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15 May 1995 : Column WA19

Written Answers

Monday, 15th May 1995

NATO Enlargement

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in his discussions with President Yeltsin on the subject of the eastwards extension of NATO, President Clinton is speaking on behalf of the North Atlantic Alliance, or of NATO, or the United States only.

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Chalker of Wallasey): The US/Russian Summit in Moscow on 10 May was a bilateral meeting. But there is consensus between NATO member states on the Alliance's enlargement policy.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have agreed to accept whatever terms President Clinton offers to President Yeltsin on the extension eastwards of NATO.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: All NATO Allies are agreed that Russia does not need to be compensated for enlargement. Instead, the Alliance wishes to build a comprehensive and lasting NATO/Russia relationship which will reflect the unique role Russia plays in European security. We feel that the US/Russian Summit in Moscow will contribute to this objective.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What information they have concerning the United States' Republican Party's commitment to the extension of NATO eastwards in its "Contract with America".

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Republican Party's "Contract with America" asserted that Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia should be in a position to join NATO by 1999; that the United States should help them prepare for admission; and that other non-member European countries should be invited to join NATO if they agreed to contribute to North Atlantic security. Draft legislation reflecting these principles is currently under consideration by the US Congress.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether in their view NATO could continue to operate by consensus if all the east and central European states mentioned by the United States as desirable members of NATO were to be allowed to join.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The US Administration has not identified those east and central European states it regards as desirable members of NATO. Neither has any other Ally. The Alliance has agreed to conduct first a study into the modalities and rationale for enlargement. Which countries might be invited to join, and when, is for a later date.

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Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the proposed extension eastwards of NATO would involve any NATO member deploying nuclear weapons in Eastern Europe or being committed automatically to the defence of countries whose respect for the human rights of their citizens may be less than exemplary.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The deployment of nuclear weapons on new members' territory is being addressed in the NATO enlargement study. Article V of the Washington Treaty states, inter alia, that "an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all . . . ". This would apply equally to any new member of NATO.

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the 'New NATO' to which the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (General George A. Joulwan) was referring in his presentation to the Royal United Services Institute on 25th January 1995, and in particular what is the grand new vision to which he also referred.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Since the end of the cold war, NATO has done much valuable work in adapting to the new security environment in Europe. It has set itself the task of extending security and stability to the new democracies of central and eastern Europe, through the establishment of the North Atlantic Co-operation Council, the launch of Partnership for Peace and its eventual enlargement eastwards. It has offered to support peacekeeping and other operations under the authority of the UN Security Council or the responsibility of the OSCE. It has agreed on the importance of a strong European defence effort as a pillar underpinning the Atlantic Alliance.

NATO and Counter-Proliferation

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether General Joulwan's statement that "Counter-Proliferation" was among "three bold initiatives launched" by the NATO 1994 Summit in Brussels indicates that NATO Member States are already committed to support the US global "Counter-Proliferation Initiative", which includes both automatic real-time identifications of "proliferation" and automatically-launched, offensive, "counter-proliferation" capabilities which later could be not under NATO or any other political control.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The NATO study of the potential challenges to the Alliance from the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is separate from the US "Counter-proliferation Initiative", which is a US national measure. The NATO study is still continuing and so it is not possible to judge what its conclusions will be.

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NATO: US Participation

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they consider the traditional United States "leadership" in matters of NATO doctrine remains appropriate in the new political situation in Europe and whether, as advocated by General Joulwan, in order to "achieve unity of command", they have agreed "one clearly understood set of rules of engagement" within NATO.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Alliance leaders made it clear in their Summit communiqué of January 1994 that the transatlantic link is the bedrock of NATO. The continued substantial presence of United States forces in Europe is a fundamental aspect of that link. All NATO countries have expressed the wish to continue the direct involvement of the United States in the security of Europe.

The rules of engagement under which NATO forces operate are specific to a situation and are subject to agreement by all NATO countries.

US Arms Sales to European States Initiative

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they were consulted by the United States before its Secretary for Defence proposed to east and central European states that they should buy advanced American-built military equipment, and if so were they able to discover against whom this equipment was to be set up, and what political effect this would have on relations among the membership of the OSCE.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: No.

NATO: Member States' Agreement to Military Deployments

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they are content with the situation where US forces commanded by NATO commanders conduct military exercises within politically sensitive areas where the European members of NATO have more immediate and intimate interests than the United States such as the Mediterranean.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: Before any military deployment by NATO, the processes of joint decision making and political consultation ensure that the overall policies and intentions of Alliance members are understood. In this way, the distinctions which might exist between members as a result of their geographical, political or military situations are fully taken into account wherever such exercises are considered.

NATO and OSCE

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether the suggestion made by the Secretaries of State for Foreign Affairs and for Defence that NATO might operate under the political direction not only

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    of the United Nations but also of the OSCE, implies OSCE's political precedence over NATO.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: NATO has offered to support on a case-by-case basis peacekeeping and other operations under the authority of the United Nations Security Council or under the responsibility of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, in order to make its contribution to furthering collective security. This does not imply that the OSCE will have political precedence over NATO.

OSCE: Role

Lord Kennet asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether, given that the offer of new offensive weaponry to central and east European governments could promote a new arms race by encouraging the Russian government to respond in kind, this is an occasion where the "pre-emptive diplomacy" of the OSCE can be brought into play.

Baroness Chalker of Wallasey: The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) provides an effective contribution to European security by preventing conflict. Its institutions—for example, the High Commissioner on National Minorities—provide early warning of potential conflict and contribute to remedying its causes. The OSCE supports the development of democracy, the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for human rights, including protection of minority rights, and emerging market economies. Participating states also develop arms control and confidence and security building measures, including Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) and Open Skies Treaties. Countries acquiring new conventional arms must accommodate these within the overall limits agreed by the CFE Treaty.


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