SOVIET COMPLIANCE WITH THE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES DOCUMENT OF THE HELSINK

Created: 12/15/1983

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SOVIET COMPLIANCE UITH THE CONFIDENCE-BUILDING MEASURES DOCUMENT OF THE HELSINKI FINAL ACT

INTRODUCTION

The signatories of che Helsinki Final" Act are required by the Ace's "Documents on Confidence-Building Measures (CBM's) and Certain Aspects of Security andto give prior notification of "major Dilitaryotal oftroops, independently or combined with possible air or naval components." Inignatories are encouraged to engage in other confidence-building measuresoluntary basis. These voluntary CBM's include inviting observers to maneuvers, military exchange visits, prior notification of aajor military movements, and prior notification of exercises involving fewer0 troops.

The United States has formally charged the Soviet Union with violating tne prior-notification provision off the Helsinki Final Act by its conduct of theexercise. The Final Act provisions constitute political commitnents, but not Binding legal obligations. The Soviet actions were clearly contrary to their commitment.

IKFLbftENTATION

5ll Conference on Security and Confidence-Building Measures in in Europe (CSCE) participants holding military maneuvers0 ground troops or more provided prior notification of those maneuvers, arsaw Fact exercise in Poland which could conceivably have involved more0 men was not notified under CSCE. Soviet failure to notify the "Sovuz-til" exercise raised some questions about Eastern compliance with che letter as well- as the spirit of che iinal Act. however,

',. did notormal protest. Although thisommand staff exercise, it apparently involved some number of troops, but we do not know how

as the largest maneuver conducted by any CSCE signatory state, or group of signatory states, since the Final Act was adopted The Soviet Union's notification of this1 maneuver did not contain all the information required by tne confidence-building measure on prior notification of major military maneuvers. The CBM's document requires the notifying party to provide "information of the oesignation, if any, the general purpose of and the states involved in the maneuver, the type or types and numerical strength of the forces engageo, tne area and estimated cliae-frame of its conduct." The Soviet notification, issued on Augustn hoscow, did not include the maneuver's designation, nor did it provide tne types of forces engaged. Finally, ana most importantly, the Soviet notification did not include the number of troops taking part. Through diplomatic channels, the United States askea the Soviet Union about these items prior to the beginning of the maneuver. No further information was provided by. tne Soviets untilthe second day ot thehen the Soviet news agency TASS reported the name of tne maneuver and the

APPROVED FORHL MAR iOO? , fCI

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fact thatroops were taking part. . formallySoviet Union's lack of notification ofs inconsistent with theAct.

It should be noted, however, that Soviet compliance with the maneuverprovisions of the Helsinki Final Act has improved Betweenndhe Soviet Union notified two major maneuvers and made its first voluntary Final Act notificationaneuver involving fewer0 men. All three notifications were madeays in advance, as required by the Final Act, and specified the number of troops participating, as well as the areas in which the exercises were to take place.

The first of the two major maneuvers was notified on Junehe exercise was scheduled forith participation of0 men. The second major maneuver was notified on Julyhe exercise was scheduled forith participation of0 troops. The Soviet Union's first voluntary notification was made Augustf an exercise scheduled for0 involving0 troops) The Soviets Invited three NATO countries-Turkey, Greece, andwell as Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Algeria, and Austria to send observers to the exercise. Although this welcome step went beyond the minimum requirements of the Final Act, it must be balanced by the Soviet Union's failure to invite NATO observers to either of the two major exercises noted above.

As background, the record of Eastern states regarding CBM's has been disappointing when compared with that of Western states and the information in notification issued by Eastern states has normally been minimal. . and Its NATO Allies havenotified all major maneuvers of more0 troops. Both NATO and Neutral/ Non-Aligned signatories have made voluntary notifications of maneuvers involving less0 troops. Of the Warsaw Pact states, only Hungary has consistently made such notifications. NATO and Neutral/Non-Aligned signatories have regularly extendedto Eastern and other observers, and given them the opportunity to carry out their activities. In contrast, the Eastern states have invited observers to less than half of their major maneuvers. In addition, Eastern states are frequently unwilling to per-olt those observers who are invited to, in fact, adequately observe the exercise.

zechoslovakia notified the maneuvereld infromnd0 Czech, Soviet, and Hungarian forces, but no Western or Neutral/Non-Aligned observers were invited. However, the Warsaw Pact did not notifyhich took place in Czechoslovakia from Februarynd involved Czech, Hungarian, and Soviet troops. Given the tight security which surrounded the exercise, it was not possible to verify whether more0 troops took part.

Alsoulgaria notified that0 men" would be participating in theWarsaw Pact exercise between Septembernd October 1. ypical Warsaw Pact minimalist approach to CSCE obligations. Particularly egregious was the failure to specify the area Involved and the countries which would be taking part in the exercise.

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