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Treaty

Depositary

Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe

Parties with reservations, declarations and objections

Party Reservations / Declarations Objections
Germany Yes No
Greece Yes No
Moldova Yes No
Netherlands, the Kingdom of the Yes No
Russian Federation Yes Yes
Spain Yes No
Türkiye Yes Yes
United Kingdom Yes No
United States of America Yes No

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.

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.

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.[...]

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.

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.

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. [...]

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. [...]

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