Treaty

Depositary

Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

Parties with reservations, declarations and objections

Party Reservations / Declarations Objections
Belarus Yes Yes
Belgium Yes No
Bulgaria Yes No
Canada Yes No
Czech Republic Yes No
Denmark Yes No
France Yes No
Georgia Yes No
Germany Yes No
Greece Yes No
Iceland Yes No
Italy Yes No
Luxembourg Yes No
Moldova Yes No
Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Yes No
Norway Yes No
Portugal Yes No
Romania Yes No
Russian Federation Yes Yes
Slovakia Yes No
Spain Yes No
Türkiye Yes Yes
United Kingdom Yes No
United States of America Yes No

Belarus

30-10-2023

[…] hereby declare, that in accordance with Article 60 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969 the Republic of Belarus suspended the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990 in relation to the Republic of Poland and the Czech Republic.
The Republic of Belarus shall fulfill obligations under the abovementioned Treaty in relation to the other States-Participants properly and in good faith. […]

Objection Poland, 28-11-2023

In response to communication from the Republic of Belarus dated 30 October 2023 stating that "in accordance with Article 60 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969 the Republic of Belarus suspended the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990 in relation to the Republic of Poland" hereby the Republic of Poland objects to the abovementioned suspension in accordance with Article 65 para. 2 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of May 23 1969.

Belgium

07-11-2023

The Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium in The Hague […] has the honour to notify the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as depositary of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990, of the Kingdom of Belgium's decision to suspend the operation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990 (hereafter: "the CFE Treaty").
In accordance with Article 65 (1) of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969, the Kingdom of Belgium wishes to inform the other States Parties of the reason for its full suspension of the operation of the CFE Treaty.
Two circumstances, which constituted an essential basis of the consent of the States Parties to be bound by the CFE Treaty, have fundamentally changed since its conclusion, and radically transform the extent of the obligations still to be performed under the CFE Treaty.
First, the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine that started in February 2022 has radically transformed the security landscape in Europe. This invasion has undermined the stability on the European continent, which constituted an essential basis of States Parties' consent to be bound by the CFE Treaty.
Secondly, the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE treaty has rendered the continued performance of obligations under the CFE Treaty excessively burdensome and unreasonable. The Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty has fundamentally changed the aspect of reciprocity, which is a core element of the CFE Treaty.
The Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine, in conjunction with its withdrawal from the CFE Treaty, radically transforms the extent of the obligations still to be performed under the CFE Treaty, in such a way that they can no longer be reasonably expected to be fulfilled.
The Kingdom of Belgium, remaining fully committed to the principle of pacta sunt servanda to the largest extent possible and in line with its continued desire to preserve the legal framework for arms control in Europe, thus considers the full suspension of the operation of the CFE Treaty to be an adequate and proportionate measure in light of the circumstances described above.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of Belgium respectfully requests the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as depositary of the CFE Treaty, to inform all States Parties to the CFE Treaty of the Kingdom of Belgium's decision to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty.


02-02-2024

The […] Kingdom of Belgium […] has the honour to refer to its Note Verbale […] in which the Kingdom of Belgium announced its decision to suspend the operation of the Treaty on Conventional [Armed] Forces in Europe (hereafter: "the CFE Treaty").
The […] Kingdom of Belgium […] wishes to notify […] that, in accordance with international law, the suspension of the operation of the CFE Treaty shall take effect on 7 February 2024 for the Kingdom of Belgium.

Bulgaria

06-11-2023

[The] Russian Federation's continuous non-implementation of its obligations under the CFE Treaty followed by its recent decision to withdraw from the Treaty has occurred against the background of a systematic disregard for a number of agreements on disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control. The most serious among them has been [the] Russian Federation's war of aggression against Ukraine held in violation of key principles and objectives of the UN Charter, the OSCE, and the object and purpose of the CFE Treaty itself.
Those actions by the Russian Federation have changed significantly the context of implementation of the CFE Treaty as a strategically binding document and have affected the nature of the obligations of the States Parties to the Treaty. Further asymmetrical implementation of the CFE Treaty without the participation of the Russian Federation is not a sufficient condition for achieving the objectives of the Treaty to establish a military balance, transparency and predictability in relation to conventional armed forces in Europe.
Therefore, in light of the abovementioned factors, which have created a situation of special urgency, the Republic of Bulgaria has decided to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty as between itself and every other State Party to it as of 7 November 2023 in accordance with its rights under international law. At the same time, the Republic of Bulgaria remains committed to confidence building, reduction of military risk, transparency and effective conventional arms control as a key element of stability and security in Europe.
In addition, the Republic of Bulgaria kindly requests the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to notify the other States Parties of the CFE Treaty of the Bulgarian decision.

Canada

07-11-2023

[…] the Government of Canada has decided to suspend the operation of the Treaty in its entirety, effective three months from the date of this letter, i.e. from February 7, 2024, in accordance with international law.
Canada's decision was taken in light of the Russian Federation's decision to withdraw from the Treaty as it continues its aggression against Ukraine, another State Party to the Treaty. Russia's withdrawal will fundamentally change the conditions that led to the adoption of the Treaty and considerably obstruct its continued application, as it was initially intended, by remaining States Parties.
Canada condemns the impact that Russia's withdrawal will have on the operation of the Treaty, on the arms control and security architecture in Europe and, more generally, on the rules-based international order.
Canada remains committed to the wider arms control framework and to cooperating with its allies and partners to identify means of reinforcing security infrastructure in Europe. It is important that the spirit of transparency and openness espoused by the Treaty continue to direct European security policy.
I would be grateful if, in its capacity as Treaty Depository, your government would ensure that this notification is transmitted to all other States Parties to the Treaty.

Czech Republic

07-11-2023

The Czech Republic,
Being a Member of the NATO and a State Party to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty),
Referring to the North Atlantic Council Statement on the Allied Response to Russia's withdrawal from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, dated November 7, 2023,
Suspends temporarily, in accordance with its rights under international law, the operation of the CFE Treaty.

Denmark

07-11-2023

[…] Denmark has decided to suspend its participation in the CFE-treaty in regard to all States Parties for the following reasons:
The purpose of the CFE-treaty was to establish stability and security in Europe and, as a matter of high priority, to eliminate the capability for launching surprise attack and for initiating large-scale offensive action in Europe. In violation of the object and purpose of the CFE-treaty, the Russian Federation launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and has since then been waging its war of aggression against Ukraine.
On 9 June 2023, the Russian Federation notified its withdrawal from the CFE-treaty with effect from 7 November 2023. It is noted that the Russian Federation's participation in the CFE-treaty was an essential basis for the State Parties to enter into the CFE-treaty.
These extraordinary events have fundamentally changed the basis and circumstances on which the CFE-treaty were concluded, they hinder the realisation of the CFE­ treaty's object and purpose, and have radically transformed the extent of the State Parties' obligations.
Denmark remains committed to the principles of the CFE-treaty of effective conventional arms control as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security. For this reason, Denmark has decided to suspend its participation in the CFE-treaty to allow for the possible return to the treaty at a later date. Denmark's suspension of the CFE-treaty will come into effect 150 days after receipt of this note verbale.
Denmark would appreciate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands bringing this notification to the attention of all States Parties of the CFE-treaty.

France

07-11-2023

The French Republic hereby provides notice of its decision to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty as well as the 1996 CFE Flank Document Agreement. This decision is taken in light of the consequences of Russia’s decision to withdraw from the CFE Treaty. This decision will take effect on 7 December 2023.
The Russian Federation has decided to withdraw from the CFE treaty, with effect from 7 November 2023. This decision seriously undermines a Treaty signed in 1990 to build confidence and reduce the risk of conflict in Europe. With this decision, Russia has once again shown disregard for existing conventional arms control frameworks.
Russia’s withdrawal is the latest step in Russia’s challenging of Europe’s security architecture. Since 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation, supported by Belarus, has been waging an illegal and unjustified war of aggression against Ukraine which violates international law and the fundamental principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Helsinki Decalogue and the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. This war of aggression is also contrary to the aims and principles of the CFE Treaty.
The CFE Treaty was established to foster stability and security in Europe and to eliminate the capability to launch surprise attacks and large-scale offensives. While recognizing the role of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone of Euro-Atlantic security, France considers that Russia’s withdrawal and its war of aggression against Ukraine now make it impossible to fulfil the objective of the CFE Treaty.
The CFE Treaty established a logic of restraint, transparency and verification, based on legally binding commitments to balance holdings of conventional armaments within the CFE Treaty’s area of application. As the obligations under the CFE Treaty were based on the principles of mutual balance of military forces in Europe and legal reciprocity, the withdrawal of Russia, which has a large share of these holdings and the territory of which forms a significant part of the Treaty’s area of application, seriously undermines the Treaty’s viability.
The French Republic regrets Russia’s decision to withdraw from the CFE Treaty and that suspension has become necessary. However, years of efforts to encourage the Russian Federation to return to compliance with the Treaty have not persuaded Russia to abandon its destructive posture. The French Republic remains totally committed to the conventional arms control frameworks and the fundamental principles that underpin them, including those set out in the Helsinki Decalogue and the Charter of Paris for a New Europe. The French Republic emphasizes that it has chosen to suspend its obligations, rather than withdrawing from the CFE Treaty, to preserve the possibility that performance of the CFE Treaty might resume.
The French Republic asks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to share this notification with all States Parties to the CFE Treaty.

Georgia

22-11-2023

The Ministry refers to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) for which the Kingdom of the Netherlands is the Depositary.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia has the further honour to notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of the decision of Georgia to suspend its participation in the Treaty.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia hereby requests that the Depositary convey its decision to the States Parties to the CFE Treaty.

Germany

19-11-1990

In connection with the signature of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany confirms the declaration made by the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs on 30 August 1990 in the plenary session of the Negotiations on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, which reads as follows:
"The Government of the Federal Republic of Germany undertakes to reduce the personnel strength of the armed forces of the united Germany to 370,000 (ground, air and naval forces) within three to four years. This reduction will commence on the entry into force of the first CFE agreement.
Within the scope of this overall ceiling no more than 345,000 will belong to the ground and air forces which, pursuant to the agreed mandate, alone are the subject of the Negotiations on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
The Federal Government regards its commitment to reduce ground and air forces as a significant German contribution to the reduction of conventional armed forces in Europe. It assumes that in follow-on negotiations the other participants in the negotiations, too, will render their contribution to enhancing security and stability in Europe, including measures to limit personnel strengths."


23-12-1991

1. The Federal Republic of Germany will apply Section VI, paragraph 24 of the Protocol on Inspection in such a way that inspections outside military establishments are not carried out in spaces used for residential purposes.
2. Section VIII, paragraph 6 (C) of the Protocol on Inspection will be applied in such a way that inspections outside military establishments are carried out in spaces not used for residential purposes only during normal business and operating hours.


10-11-2023

The Federal Foreign Office […] has the honour […] to inform the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as Depositary of the Treaty of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe signed in Paris on 19 November 1990, hereinafter referred to as "the CFE Treaty", that the Federal Republic of Germany has decided to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty in regard to all States Parties for the following reasons:
The Russian Federation notified on 9 June 2023 its withdrawal from the CFE Treaty with effect from 7 November 2023. Since 24 February 2022, the Russian Federation, supported by Belarus, has been waging a war of aggression against Ukraine which fundamentally violates the object and purpose of the CFE Treaty.
The withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the CFE Treaty is the latest in a series of actions that systematically undermine Europe's security architecture. Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine constitutes a flagrant breach of fundamental principles of international law as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the CSCE Final Act and the Charter of Paris. Both actions are unforeseen events of an extraordinary character which have adversely affected the Federal Republic of Germany's supreme interests.
These actions have fundamentally changed the basis on which the CFE Treaty was concluded. This basis was characterised by the principles of non-violence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states. The core objective of the States Parties was to establish stability and security in Europe and to eliminate the capability to launch surprise attacks and large-scale offensives. For the Federal Republic of Germany, these aspects constituted an essential basis for being bound by the CFE Treaty. As the obligations under the CFE Treaty were based on the principles of mutual balance of military forces in Europe and legal reciprocity, Russia's definite withdrawal from the Treaty has also fundamentally affected the extent of Germany's remaining obligations under the CFE Treaty. For, due to the design of the CFE Treaty and Russia's weight as a State Party, they have now become to a large extent unilateral obligations and have been deprived of their most substantial reward.
The Federal Republic of Germany remains committed to the principles underpinning the CFE Treaty of effective conventional arms control as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security. For this reason, the Federal Republic of Germany has decided to suspend its obligations under the CFE Treaty, leaving open the possibility of returning to treaty implementation at a later date.
The Federal Republic of Germany will notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of the coming into effect of the suspension of Germany's obligations under the CFE Treaty 150 days after receipt of this Note Verbale.
The Federal Republic of Germany would appreciate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands bringing this notification to the attention of all States Parties of the CFE Treaty.


08-04-2024

I have the honour to inform the […] Depositary of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe signed in Paris on 19 November 1990, with reference to the notification from the Federal Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany dated 7 November 2023 […], that the suspension of the obligations of the Federal Republic of Germany deriving from the Treaty shall take effect on 8 April 2024.

Greece

08-07-1992

Greece wishes hereby to reaffirm the validity of the 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty, the 1936 Montreux Convention regarding the regime of the Straits and the 1947 Paris Peace Treaty between the Allies and Italy, insofar as obligations deriving from them have not explicitly or implicitly been abolished by other Treaties, including the present one, or other rules and principles of international law.


09-11-2023

The Embassy of the Hellenic Republic in The Hague […] has the honour to refer to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), of which the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is the Depositary.
The CFE Treaty is the cornerstone of the Euro-Atlantic Security architecture. The Russian Federation's decision to withdraw, as well as the war of aggression against Ukraine, are the contrary to the CFE Treaty's aim and objectives, disregarding arms control, including key principles of reciprocity, transparency, compliance, verification and host nation consent, and undermined Euro-Atlantic Security and the rules based international order.
Therefore the Hellenic Republic has decided to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty for as long as necessary, in accordance with its rights under international law and in line with the decision taken (on November 7, 2023) by the North Atlantic Council on the allied response of Russia's withdrawal from the Treaty.

Iceland

15-11-2023

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland […] has the honour of notifying the Government of the Kingdom of Netherland as Depositary of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed in Paris on 19 November 1990 (the "CFE Treaty"), that the Government of Iceland has determined to suspend operation of the CFE Treaty.
The CFE Treaty has been the cornerstone of the Euro-Atlantic security architecture since 1990 and its purpose was to establish stability and security in Europe. The Russian Federation's full-scale invasion of another CFE Treaty State Party, Ukraine, is in strict violation of the objectives of the CFE Treaty. Further to this the Russian Federation gave notice of its withdrawal from the CFE Treaty on 9 June 2023, with effect from 7 November 2023. These extraordinary events and actions by the Russian Federation have fundamentally changed the basis and circumstances on which the CFE Treaty was concluded and undermines Euro-Atlantic Security. The Russian Federation's participation in the CFE Treaty was an essential basis for the State Parties to enter into its obligations under the CFE Treaty.
The Government of Iceland emphasizes that it has chosen to suspend its obligation under the CFE Treaty rather than withdrawing from the Treaty, to preserve the possibility that performance of the CFE Treaty might resume should a reversal of the changed circumstances occur. Iceland remains committed to the principles of the CFE Treaty on effective arms control, stability, and security in Europe. Considering the aforementioned, the Government of Iceland has determined to suspend its participation in [the] CFE Treaty. This suspension will take effect 150 days after receipt of this note verbale.
The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland would appreciate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands bringing this notification to the attention of all State Parties of the CFE Treaty.

Italy

28-11-2023

The Embassy of Italy, on behalf of the Government of the Italian Republic, hereby provides notice of the decision of the Government of the Italian Republic to suspend the operation of all of its obligations under the CFE Treaty as well as the Flank Document Agreement to the CFE Treaty, done at Vienna on 31 May 1996, as between itself and every other State Party, in light of a fundamental change of circumstances. This suspension will take effect on 7 December 2023.
Under customary international law as reflected in Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), a State may invoke a fundamental change of circumstances as a ground for suspending the operation of a treaty. The Russian Federation's full-scale war of aggression against another CFE Treaty State Party, combined with the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty, together represent a fundamental change in circumstances. Indeed, the existence of the aforementioned circumstances constituted an essential basis of the consent of the Parties to be bound by the Treaty, and the effect of their change is to radically transform the extent of obligations still to be performed under the Treaty.
At the time the CFE Treaty was concluded, it was not foreseen by the signatory States that one State Party would conduct a full-scale invasion of another State Party and perpetrate a war of aggression that would result in the upending of the security landscape in Europe. The Russian Federation's full-scale invasion of Ukraine beginning in February 2022 is the largest and most consequential armed conflict in Europe since World War II and has led numerous states, including the Italian Republic, to provide significant political, financial, and materiel support to Ukraine's defense. It is precisely the kind of large-scale conventional war that the CFE Treaty was designed to prevent and is being fought with the very conventional forces that the treaty aims to constrain.
A full-scale war of aggression by one State Party against another is a dramatic departure from the context in which the Parties undertook their CFE Treaty obligations, and impacts an essential basis of their consent to be bound.
Furthermore, an essential and fundamental assumption in concluding the CFE Treaty was the continued participation of the Russian Federation. It would have been inconceivable to the signatory States to enter into the Treaty, with the constraints it places on their own forces, without similarly constraining the Russian Federation's conventional armed forces. Thus, the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty, while consistent with a general right provided in its Article XIX, represents a fundamental change in the circumstances that formed an essential basis for the State Parties' consent to be bound.
The combination of the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty and its ongoing war of aggression has radically transformed the extent of the remaining CFE Treaty obligations. Russia's actions have rendered these obligations essentially different from those originally undertaken.
The Government of the Italian Republic emphasizes that it has chosen to suspend its obligations, rather than withdrawing from the CFE Treaty, in light of the potential for reversal of the changed circumstances and to preserve the possibility that performance of the CFE Treaty might resume should such a reversal occur.
The Embassy of Italy requests that the Depositary circulate this Note expeditiously to all other State Parties to the CFE Treaty.

Luxembourg

07-11-2023

[…]. The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg hereby wishes to inform the depositary of its full suspension of the operation of the aforementioned CFE Treaty, in accordance with Article 65, paragraph 1, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 23 May 1969.
The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg bases its decision to suspend, in accordance with Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, on the fact that the current circumstances differ fundamentally from the circumstances existing at the time of the conclusion of the CFE Treaty.
The withdrawal by the Russian Federation from the CFE Treaty undermines the CFE Treaty's core principle of reciprocity, leaving States Parties with excessively burdensome and unreasonable obligations.
Furthermore, the Russian Federation's illegitimate and illegal invasion of Ukraine has fundamentally transformed the foundation of the European security architecture and undermined its stability. The former European security landscape was an essential factor for the States Parties' consent to be bound by the CFE Treaty.
The Government of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is of the view that the withdrawal by the Russian Federation from the CFE Treaty on 7 November 2023, in conjunction with the ongoing war of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which is contrary to the CFE Treaty's objectives, cannot remain without consequences for the relations between the States Parties to the CFE Treaty.
Consequently, the Embassy of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in The Hague kindly requests the depository to acknowledge receipt of this Note and to inform all States Parties to the CFE Treaty of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg's decision to suspend its operation.

Moldova

13-12-2011

[...] the Republic of Moldova has decided to cease the implementation of certain obligations under the CFE Treaty vis-à-vis the Russian Federation, particularly pertaining to the provision of information and notifications as well as acceptance of inspections. This decision will be effective as long as the Russian Federation continues not to perform its obligations under the CFE Treaty.
The Republic of Moldova will continue to honour all its obligations under the CFE Treaty and its associated documents towards the non-defaulting State Parties and remains committed to good faith negotiations aimed at finding a solution.[...]

Netherlands, the Kingdom of the

14-12-2011

[...] the Netherlands has decided that, for as long as the Russian Federation continues not to perform its obligations to the Netherlands under the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document, the Netherlands ceases to perform the following obligations vis-à-vis the Russian Federation, effective upon the date of its statement in the Joint Consultative Group, i.e. November 22, 2011.
- The Netherlands will not provide information to the Russian Federation in the annual data exchange that takes place pursuant to the CFE Treaty;
- The Netherlands will not provide any notifications to the Russian Federation pursuant to the CFE Treaty; and
- The Netherlands will not accept inspections requested by the Russian Federation pursuant to the CFE Treaty.
The Netherlands will continue to perform all its obligations vis-à-vis States Parties to the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document other than the Russian Federation.[...]


07-11-2023

The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is of the view that the withdrawal by the Russian Federation from the CFE Treaty on 7 November 2023 in combination with the continued war of aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine which is contrary to the Treaty's objectives, cannot remain without consequences for the relations between the States Parties to the CFE Treaty. In particular, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is of the view that the current circumstances differ fundamentally from the circumstances existing at the time of the conclusion of the CFE Treaty. It is evident that the States Parties at the time did not foresee this change of circumstances and also, that the circumstances existing at the time constituted an essential basis of the consent of the States Parties to be bound by the CFE Treaty. Moreover, the effect of the change of circumstances is radically to transform the extent of obligations still to be performed under the CFE Treaty.
Therefore, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands notifies its suspension of the operation of the CFE Treaty which shall take effect on 7 December 2023. Suspension is urgently required to enable the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to take all measures necessary for its and other States Parties' security.
The Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands would kindly request the depositary to acknowledge receipt of this Note and to notify the other States Parties to the CFE Treaty of this claim to suspend its operation.

Norway

23-11-2023

[…] the Government of the Kingdom of Norway has decided to suspend its participation in the CFE Treaty in regard to all States Parties for the following reasons:
On 9 June 2023, the Russian Federation notified its withdrawal from the CFE Treaty with effect from 7 November 2023. As other States Parties, Norway regrets the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the Treaty. The object and purpose of the CFE Treaty is to establish stability and security in Europe through reciprocal arms limitations and mechanisms to ensure transparency and to control that those limits are complied with. The essential aim has been to eliminate the ability to launch surprise attacks and to initiate large-scale offensive action in Europe.
The Russian Federation's withdrawal marks a fundamental departure from the circumstances that existed at the time of the conclusion of the CFE Treaty and which constituted the essential reason for Norway and other States Parties to consent to the Treaty. The Russian Federation's withdrawal hinders the fulfilment of the CFE Treaty's object and purpose, and has radically transformed the extent of the States Parties' obligations.
Norway remains committed to the principles of the CFE Treaty of effective conventional arms control as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security. For this reason, Norway has decided to suspend its participation in the CFE Treaty to allow for the possible return to the Treaty at a later date.
Norway's suspension of the CFE Treaty will come into effect 90 days after the receipt of this note verbale.
Norway would appreciate if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands could bring this notification to the attention of all States Parties to the CFE Treaty.

Portugal

24-11-2023

The Embassy of Portugal in the Netherlands […] has the honour of notifying the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands as Depositary of the Treaty of Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed in Paris on 19 November 1990 (hereinafter the "CFE Treaty"), of the intention of the Portuguese Republic to suspend its participation in that Treaty in regard to all States Parties, for the following reasons:
The Portuguese Republic considers that the withdrawal by the Russian Federation on 7 November from the CFE Treaty was just the latest in a series of deplorable actions that systematically undermine Euro-Atlantic security and the rules-based international order, among which stands out the ongoing illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war of aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, which blatantly violates international law, including the purpose and the object of the CFE Treaty.
Recognizing the role of the CFE Treaty as a cornerstone to Euro-Atlantic security architecture, the Portuguese Republic also takes into consideration that a situation whereby the remaining States Parties abide by the CFE Treaty, while the Russian Federation does not, would be unsustainable. The Portuguese Republic thus considers the withdrawal by the Russian Federation of the CFE Treaty a fundamental change of circumstances with regard to those existing at the time of the conclusion of the CFE Treaty amounting to an invokable ground for suspending the operation of that treaty, as established under Article 62, paragraphs 1 and 3, of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Indeed, in addition to the fact that the status of the Russian Federation as Party to the CFE Treaty constituted an essential basis of the consent of the Portuguese Republic to be bound by this treaty, the effect of the abovementioned withdrawal also radically transforms the extent of obligations still to be performed by the Portuguese Republic under the CFE Treaty.
For those reasons, the Portuguese Republic has decided to suspend its participation in the CFE Treaty to allow for the possible return to the Treaty at a later date, as the Portuguese Republic remains committed to the principles of the CFE Treaty of effective conventional arms control as a key element of Euro-Atlantic security, to reduce military risk and to build trust and confidence, based on key principles of transparency, compliance, verification and reciprocity, thereby contributing to peace and security.
The Embassy of Portugal in the Netherlands would appreciate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands acknowledging the receipt of this notification via Note Verbale and bringing it to the attention of all States Parties of the CFE Treaty, on the basis of and for the purposes of Articles 65 and 67 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. In preparation of the suspension of the participation of the Portuguese Republic in the CFE Treaty, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is also kindly requested to inform the Embassy of Portugal in the Netherlands of any objection to such intention of the Portuguese Republic, that may be raised in the three months following the notification bringing it to the attention of said States Parties.

Romania

14-11-2023

The Embassy of Romania […] has the honour to refer to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (Paris, 19 November 1990) ("the Treaty"), for which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands acts as depositary.
The Embassy hereby notifies the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands of Romania's intention to suspend the application of the said Treaty, as well as of the Document Agreed Among the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (Vienna, 31 May 1996) (the Flank Document Agreement), as between Romania and the other States parties.
The suspension of the Treaty shall come into effect on 14 December 2023.
Romania has taken this decision in light of the Russian Federation's aggression against Ukraine, which is ongoing, as well as of the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the Treaty. These actions cumulatively amount to a fundamental change of circumstances, which could not be foreseen at the time of the conclusion of the Treaty, and which affect the fundamental basis of Romania's consent to be bound by the Treaty, and fundamentally alter the obligations that Romania would have to perform in accordance with the Treaty. Romania is thus justified in suspending the application of the Treaty, in accordance with the norms of customary international law, as reflected in the Convention on the Law of Treaties (Vienna, 23 May 1969).
The Embassy of Romania kindly requests the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to circulate the current notification to the other States parties.

Russian Federation

14-07-2007

Suspension of the Treaty from 12 December 2007.
[Note of the depositary: The Russian Federation has requested the depositary to convey to the States Parties to the Treaty its decision to suspend the operation of the CFE Treaty and the Document agreed among the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990. The Russian Federation proceeds from the point that the operation of the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document will be suspended in relations between the Russian Federation and States Parties to the CFE Treaty after 150 days upon the date of receipt by all the CFE Treaty States Parties of the notification on suspension, i.e. from 12 December 2007.]

Objection United Kingdom, 11-12-2007

...the United Kingdom would reserve the right to consider an act of suspension of the CFE Treaty by a State Party, should it occur, as an unlawful, material breach of the CFE Treaty.

Objection Romania, 11-12-2007

...Romania would like to inform that it does not agree with Russian Federation's demarche regarding the suspension of the latter's obligations under the CFE Treaty starting with 12 December 2007.

Objection United States of America, 17-12-2007

... the CFE Treaty contains no provision that allows a State Party to carry out such a suspension and that such a suspension is not justified under the circumstances based on customary international law, as reflected in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. As such, the United States of America will continue to review closely the Russian Federations's compliance with its obligations, which continue in force, under the CFE Treaty and review options available under international law to respond to breaches of those obligations. The United States' future actions with regard to its own CFE Treaty commitments will take into account Russian compliance with its CFE Treaty commitments.

Objection Türkiye, 03-01-2008

... The CFE Treaty contains no provision for a state party to carry out such a suspension. Turkey, therefore, reserves the right to consider an act of suspension of the CFE Treaty by a state party as a material breach of the CFE Treaty and the right to take necessary legal measures in accordance with the principles of international law.

Objection Canada, 07-02-2008

... The CFE Treaty does not contain provisions allowing States Parties to suspend their obligations. It is also the understanding of Canada that neither does customary international law, as embodied in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, contain grounds to justify such a unilateral course of action. Under these circumstances, Canada will continue to review the Russian Federation's compliance with its obligations, which continue in force, under the CFE Treaty and review options available under international law to respond to breaches of those obligations. Canada will also take into consideration the Russian Federation's level of compliance in determining its own future actions.

Objection Czech Republic, 19-05-2008

... As the CFE Treaty does not contain any provision allowing States Parties to suspend their obligations and there is no consent on the suspension of the operation of the CFE Treaty, the Czech Republic will review the Russian Federation's compliance with its obligations, which continue in force, under the CFE Treaty. The Czech Republic reserves, therefore, the right to take necessary legal measures under international law to respond to the breaches of those obligations.


30-07-2008

(unofficial translation)
The suspension of the CFE Treaty is in line with the provisions of the CFE Treaty, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, customary international law and general principles of law.
It is well known that pursuant to Article 57 of the Vienna Convention the operation of the international treaty may be suspended (i) in conformity with the provisions of the treaty, or (ii) by consent of the parties to the treaty. Paragraph 2 of Article XIX of the CFE Treaty provides that "each State Party shall, in exercising its national sovereignty, have the right to withdraw from this Treaty if it decides that extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty have jeopardized its supreme interests".
The Russian Federation is of the view that the State Parties to the CFE Treaty are fully allowed by international law to suspend it on the same grounds and under the same procedure as provided for in Paragraph 2 of Article XIX for the withdrawal from the CFE Treaty.
Article 31 of the Vienna Convention stipulates inter alia that for the purpose of interpretation the text of the treaty comprises its preamble. In accordance with the ninth paragraph of the preamble of the Vienna Convention 'the rules of customary international law will continue to govern questions not regulated by the provisions of the present Convention'. So the Vienna Convention itself provides the permissibility to act in accordance not only with its provisions, but also with applicable rules of customary international law.
Legal permissibility of the suspension of the international treaty that is silent on suspension but provides for withdrawal stems from the in plus stat minus maxim (the greater includes the lesser). This maxim is a well-known general principle of law supported by customary international law. For instance, International Court of Justice in a number of cases was guided by the logic of this principle in the context of consideration of the issue of its jurisdiction. This legal maxim is equally applicable within the realm of the law of treaties and in particular to the regime of suspension and termination of international treaties. The provisions on termination and suspension of the international treaty are 'hand in hand' in the Vienna Convention.
Application of the in plus stat minus principle as the means to substantiate the linkage between termination and suspension clauses is evidenced by the materials of the International Law Commission related to the draft articles on the law of treaties. An explicit right to terminate the treaty (for the indefinite period of time) presumes and includes a right to suspend it, i.e. temporarily terminate the fulfillment of obligations under the treaty.
The Russian Federation has suspended the CFE Treaty on the same grounds on which it had and has the right to withdraw from it.


09-06-2023

The Russian Federation has taken a decision to withdraw from the CFE Treaty 150 days after this notification is sent. The Russian Federation also assumes that in the context of its withdrawal from the Treaty, the Document agreed by the States Parties to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990 (Annex A to the Final Document of the First Conference to Review the Operation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Concluding Act of the Negotiation on Personnel Strength adopted in Vienna on 31 May 1996 (the Flank Document)) will cease to have effect with respect to the Russian Federation 150 days from the date of this notification.
The Russian Federation considers it necessary to withdraw from the CFE Treaty in the context of extraordinary events related to the subject matter of this Treaty that have jeopardized its supreme interests. Such events include, in particular:
1. Accession to the North Atlantic Treaty signed in Washington on 4 April 1949 (Washington Treaty of 1949) of new states without a corresponding change in the composition of the CFE States Parties and groups of States Parties, as well as the stationing of conventional armaments of "old" NATO members in the territories of "new" members, resulting in the repeated circumvention or excess of CFE Treaty "group" limitations.
2. Non-compliance by the CFE States Parties that have signed or acceded to the Washington Treaty of 1949, with the political commitment made in Istanbul on 19 November 1999 to accelerate ratification of the Agreement on Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, as well as with the commitment to adjust territorial ceilings.
3. Other actions by a number of the CFE States Parties, which run counter to the objectives of the Treaty, in particular actions relating to the transfers of conventional armaments.
The recent NATO accession of Finland that is not a CFE State Party but borders on the part of the territory of the Russian Federation included into the area of Treaty application, probable future deployment of conventional armaments of the third States in Finland, as well as continuing procedures for admitting Sweden, neither a CFE State Party, into the Alliance, considerably upset the safe and stable balance of conventional armed forces in the North of Europe, being the last straw that has necessitated the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the Treaty.
The Russian Federation assumes that the CFE and the Flank Document will cease to have effect for it 150 days after the notification of withdrawal is sent to all CFE States Parties, namely starting from 7 November 2023.
The Russian Federation would appreciate the Depositary's prompt bringing this information to the attention of all the States Parties to the CFE Treaty, as well as timely convening a conference of States Parties to the CFE Treaty in accordance with Article XXI, paragraph 4, of the Treaty.

Slovakia

12-12-2023

The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in The Hague […] has the honour to notify the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands acting as Depositary of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe concluded at Paris on 19 November 1990 (hereinafter referred to as the "CFE Treaty") of the decision of the Slovak Republic to suspend, in accordance with international law, the operation of the CFE Treaty in relations between the Slovak Republic and the States Parties to the CFE Treaty.
The Slovak Republic considers the full scale invasion of the Russian Federation in the territory of Ukraine launched on 24 February 2022 followed by the ongoing war of aggression against Ukraine and the withdrawal of the Russian Federation from the CFE Treaty of 9 June 2023, with effect from 7 November 2023, as fundamental change of circumstances with regard to those existing at the time of the conclusion of the CFE Treaty which constituted an essential basis for the consent of the State Parties to be bound by the CFE Treaty. This change radically transformed the extent of obligations of States Parties under the CFE Treaty and does not allow to fulfil the CFE Treaty object and purpose.
The Slovak Republic would appreciate the Depositary's prompt bringing this information to the attention of all the States Parties to the CFE Treaty.

Spain

01-06-1992

1. Declaration drawn up 'ad referendum' on 14 June 1991 on behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Spain by the Spanish representative at the CFE negotiations:
The Government of the Kingdom of Spain hereby agrees that the declaration made today by the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics provides a satisfactory basis for moving towards the ratification and application of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe of 19 November 1990 (the Treaty).
Both the above-mentioned declaration made by the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the present declaration made by the Government of the Kingdom of Spain are to be equally legally binding, to enter into force at the same time as the Treaty and to have the same duration.
2. Declaration made by the representative of the Kingdom of Spain in the Joint Consultative Group:
The representative of the Kingdom of Spain in the Joint Consultative Group hereby declares that, in accordance with the legally binding declaration made by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, all conventional armaments and equipment in the categories defined under Article II of the Treaty present on or after 19 November 1990 in the territories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are to be deemed subject to all the provisions of the Treaty, its supplementary documents and the legally binding commitment made by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on 14 June 1991. More specifically, the conventional armaments and equipment in the categories limited by the Treaty will be notified as part of existing Soviet holdings and will be taken into account with regard to the volume of the required Soviet reductions. 18 October 1991.
The application of the present Treaty to Gibraltar shall be without prejudice to the legal position of the Kingdom of Spain on the dispute with the United Kingdom concerning the sovereignty of the Isthmus.

Türkiye

08-07-1992

The provision contained in Article II/1/B and Article V/1/A of the Treaty that the Treaty covers the entire land territory in Europe, including all the European island territories of the States Parties, or any other of its provisions do not alter, terminate or affect in any way the demilitarized status of the Eastern Aegean Islands established by the 1914 Decision of the Six Powers, 1923 Lausanne Peace Treaty, 1923 Lausanne Convention on the Straits and 1947 Paris Peacy Treaty.

Objection Greece, 29-06-1993

Objection of the Government of the Hellenic Republic to the reservation formulated by the Government of Turkey to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.
The Government of the Hellenic Republic objects to Turkey's reservation concerning the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe to the extent that this reservation departs from the declaration made by Greece on the same Treaty, not only with regard to the instruments and international acts quoted therein, but also with regard to the basic issue at stake.


09-04-2024

The Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye […] has the honor to notify the Government of the Kingdom of Netherlands as Depository of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed in Paris on 19 November 1990 (the "CFE Treaty") that, with reference to the North Atlantic Council statement on 7 November 2023 concerning Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty as well as the national statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Türkiye on the same day, internal procedures for the suspension of the implementation of the Treaty have been completed for the Republic of Türkiye and that the decision has come into effect as of 8 April 2024.
As has been highlighted before, this decision is, in essence, reversible. The need for the foundations and fundamental principles of the legally binding CFE Treaty that provide balance, transparency, and predictability among military forces with its numerical limitations and sub-regional system, including the flank regime, continues. Modernization, as may be needed for the European security architecture in the upcoming period, can only be built on this basis.
The Embassy of the Republic of Türkiye kindly request the Kingdom of Netherlands to circulate this Note to all other States Parties to the CFE Treaty.

United Kingdom

29-11-2011

[...] the United Kingdom decided that, for as long as the Russian Federation continues not to perform its obligations under the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document, the United Kingdom would from 22 November 2011, and in the hope that it will encourage the Russian Federation to return to its Treaty obligations:
- no longer provide information to the Russian Federation in the annual data exchange that takes place under the terms of the CFE Treaty on 15 December;
- no longer provide any notifications to the Russian Federation under the terms of the CFE Treaty;
- no longer accept inspections requested by the Russian Federation pursuant to the CFE Treaty.
The United Kingdom will continue to perform its obligations vis-à-vis States Parties to the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document other than the Russian Federation, including with respect to numerical limitations on conventional armaments and equipment established by the Treaty. [...]


07-11-2023

[…]. I have the further honour to notify you of the decision of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to suspend its participation in the Treaty.
The legal basis for suspension of the Treaty is the fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred following the Russian Federation's war of aggression against Ukraine and its withdrawal from the Treaty on 7 November 2023.
The United Kingdom hereby requests that the Depositary convey its decision to the States Parties to the Treaty. The United Kingdom advises that suspension will take effect 30 days from the date of this notice.

United States of America

24-11-2011

[...] the United States has decided that, for as long as the Russian Federation continues not to perform its obligations vis-à-vis the United States under the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document, the United States will cease performing the following CFE Treaty obligations vis-à-vis the Russian Federation:
- The United States will not provide information to the Russian Federation in the annual data exchange that takes place pursuant to the CFE Treaty.
- The United States will not provide notifications to the Russian Federation pursuant to the CFE Treaty.
- The United States will not accept inspections requested by the Russian Federation pursuant to the CFE Treaty.
This action was announced in the Joint Consultative Group on November 22, 2011, and was effective on that date.
The United States will continue to perform its obligations vis-à-vis States Parties to the CFE Treaty and the Flank Document other than the Russian Federation, including with respect to numerical limitations on conventional armaments and equipment established by the Treaty. [...]


07-11-2023

The Embassy, on behalf of the United States of America, hereby provides notice of the decision of the United States of America to suspend the operation of all of its obligations under the CFE Treaty as well as the 1996 CFE Flank Document Agreement, as between itself and every other State Party, in light of a fundamental change of circumstances. This suspension will take effect on December 7, 2023.
Under customary international law as reflected in Article 62 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT), a state may invoke a fundamental change of circumstances as grounds for suspending the operation of a treaty. The Russian Federation's full-scale war of aggression against another CFE Treaty State Party, combined with the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty, together constitute a fundamental change in circumstances.
At the time the CFE Treaty was concluded, it was not foreseen by the signatory states that one State Party would conduct a full-scale invasion of another State Party and perpetrate a war of aggression that would result in the upending of the security landscape in Europe. The Russian Federation's full-scale invasion of Ukraine beginning in February 2022 is the largest and most consequential armed conflict in Europe since World War II and has led numerous states, including the United States, to provide significant political, financial, and materiel support to Ukraine's defense. It is precisely the kind of large-scale conventional war that the CFE Treaty was designed to prevent and is being fought with the very conventional forces that the treaty aims to constrain.
The CFE Treaty's Preamble states that the signatory states were motivated by the "need to prevent any military conflict in Europe" and "[c]ommitted to" a secure and stable balance of conventional armed forces in Europe at lower levels than previously, with the goal of "eliminating, as a matter of high priority, the capability of launching surprise attack and for initiating large-scale offensive action in Europe." A full-scale war of aggression by one State Party against another is a dramatic departure from the context in which the Parties undertook their CFE Treaty obligations, and impacts an essential basis of the States Parties' consent to be bound.
Furthermore, an essential and fundamental assumption in concluding the CFE Treaty was the continued participation of the Russian Federation. It would have been inconceivable to the signatory states to enter into the treaty, with the constraints it places on their own forces, without similarly constraining the Russian Federation's conventional armed forces. Thus, the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty, while consistent with a general right provided in its Article XIX, represents a fundamental change in the circumstances that formed an essential basis for the States Parties' consent to be bound.
Taken together, the combination of the Russian Federation's withdrawal from the CFE Treaty and its ongoing war of aggression has radically transformed the extent of the remaining CFE Treaty obligations. Russia's actions have rendered these obligations essentially different from those originally undertaken. Suspension of the United States' obligations is urgently required so that the United States may take all measures necessary for its own and its Allies' security, in light of the rapid pace of events and the fact that Russia is now entirely unconstrained by the CFE Treaty.
The United States emphasizes that it has chosen to suspend its obligations, rather than withdrawing from the CFE Treaty, in light of the potential for reversal of the changed circumstances and to preserve the possibility that performance of the CFE Treaty might resume should such a reversal occur.
The United States regrets that this fundamental change of circumstances has occurred and that suspension has become necessary. However, years of efforts by the United States and other States Parties, including the adoption of lawful countermeasures and other actions in order to induce the Russian Federation to return to compliance with the CFE Treaty and to reverse its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, have not persuaded Russia to abandon its destructive path.
The Embassy of the United States of America requests that the Depositary circulate this note expeditiously to all other States Parties to the CFE Treaty.

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