Moscow Posts Draft of European Security Treaty

MOSCOW (WSJ)–Russia on Sunday published the draft text of a new European security treaty it wants to see adopted, adding flesh to calls President Dmitry Medvedev has made for new security architecture.

The text, published on the Kremlin’s official Web site, would create an umbrella agreement to be signed by governments in places “from Vancouver to Vladivostok,” as well as by existing security organizations including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, which consists of Russia and six ex-Soviet states.

Western leaders have reacted skeptically to Medvedev’s calls for a new security treaty until now. Last week, he said he would publish the draft in response to demands for detail. Russia’s draft treaty would enable any signatory to call a summit if it considered its security under threat. The draft also includes collective security clauses, similar to NATO’s, and would give signatories wide-ranging rights to object to actions by others that it considers contrary to its security interests.

The goal of the treaty, according to a Kremlin statement, would be that “no one state, and no one international organization could strengthen their security at the expense of other countries and organizations.”

Western diplomats and analysts said the draft would be read with caution by the U.S. and other NATO members, worried that the treaty could be used to undermine existing security institutions — NATO in particular.

Under the draft, signatories would have to ensure that “any actions” they take on the territory of another treaty signatory don’t significantly affect the security of a third treaty signatory, said Stephen Flanagan at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, adding that could give Russia more leverage to block NATO activity on the territory of its members in Central and Eastern Europe.

Spokesmen for NATO and the U.S. State Department couldn’t be reached for comment Sunday.

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