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November 18, 2023 @ 7:30 am - 11:30 pm


The recent announcement by NATO to formally suspend the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) in response to Russia’s withdrawal from the agreement has reignited Cold War-era discussions on security and geopolitical tensions. This move underscores the complex dynamics between Russia and NATO, with implications for global security, particularly in Eastern Europe.

Background of Russia’s Pullout from CFE

CFE Treaty Overview

  • Signed in 1990, fully ratified in 1992.
  • Aims: Prevent massing of conventional armed forces by NATO and Warsaw Pact countries during the Cold War.
  • Significance: Reduced tensions and arms build-up in Europe.

Russia’s Withdrawal:

  • Suspended participation in 2007; formally announced withdrawal in 2015.
  • Recent Move: Finalized withdrawal after the Russian President signed a bill in May 2023.
  • Blames US and allies for withdrawal, citing their “destructive position.”

Impact of Ukraine Conflict:

  • Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 influenced its decision to withdraw.
  • Direct implications for NATO member states bordering Ukraine.
  • Russia’s Concerns and NATO’s Position

Russia’s Claims:

  • CFE no longer serves its interests, designed for conventional weapons and not advanced ones.
  • Cites developments in Ukraine and NATO expansion as justifications for withdrawal.

NATO’s Stance:

  • Underlines commitment to reducing military risk, preventing misperceptions, and maintaining security.
  • Ongoing tensions underscore significant implications for global security and regional stability.

The Cold War and Other Treaties Timeline (1945-1991):

Cold War Overview:

  • Geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the US and their respective allies.
  • Division into two power blocs led by the Soviet Union and the US.


  • Ideological war between capitalism (USA) and communism (Soviet Union).
  • No large-scale direct fighting, termed “Cold” War.

Other Cold-War Era Treaties

  • North Atlantic Treaty (1949): Formed NATO for collective defence among Western nations.
  • Warsaw Pact (1955): Mutual defence alliance among Eastern Bloc countries led by the Soviet Union. Response to NATO.
  • Four Power Agreement on Berlin (1971): Addressed the status of Berlin, aimed to ease tensions.
  • Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty (1987): Eliminated intermediate-range nuclear missiles from Europe. Marked a significant step in reducing Cold War tensions.
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) and START Treaties: Bilateral conferences to reduce long-range ballistic missiles. SALT I signed in 1972; New START Treaty suspended by Russia in 2023.
  • Helsinki Accords (1975): Declaration of principles to improve relations between East and West. Included commitments to respect human rights and territorial integrity.

What is NATO?

Political and military alliance with 31 member countries. Established to promote mutual defence and collective security.



  • Founding members in 1949, with 19 additional countries joining over the years.
  • Article 5: Mutual defence provision, invoked once after 9/11 attacks.

Alliances of NATO:

  1. Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC)
  2. Mediterranean Dialogue
  3. Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI)


NATO’s formal suspension of the CFE Treaty in response to Russia’s withdrawal reflects the enduring geopolitical tensions reminiscent of the Cold War era. As the world observes the implications for global security, it’s crucial to recognize the historical context of Cold War treaties and alliances that shaped the dynamics between major powers. The ongoing complexities between Russia and NATO highlight the need for diplomatic efforts to address regional stability and prevent further escalation.

Mains Question:

  1. Discuss the implications of NATO’s suspension of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) following Russia’s withdrawal. Analyze the historical context of Cold War-era treaties and alliances and assess the current geopolitical tensions between Russia and NATO. What diplomatic measures can be taken to address the regional stability concerns and prevent further escalation in Eastern Europe? (250 Words) 10M


November 18, 2023
7:30 am - 11:30 pm
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