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Romania Table of Contents


Arms Control

In 1989 Romania viewed arms control as an element of its military doctrine and strategy that had the potential to promote its national security. It was the most vocal Eastern European proponent of a general military disengagement in Europe, maintaining that general reductions in armaments and military activities by NATO and the Warsaw Pact would minimize the threat of a general European conflict. In 1985 Romania repeated its previous calls for the establishment of a nuclear and chemical weapons-free zone in the Balkans.

Romania adopted positions on arms control issues that would reduce the ability of its Warsaw Pact allies to intervene in its internal affairs. It urged that NATO and the Warsaw Pact be dissolved simultaneously. It called for the United States and the Soviet Union to cease maintaining bases or troops on the territory of allied countries, declaring that they constitute a violation of the host country's sovereignty and provide opportunities for external pressure on the host government.

Romania strongly advocated, and benefited from, the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), signed in Helsinki in 1975. The confidence-building measures contained in the Final Act stipulate that when a signatory nation conducts large-scale maneuvers, involving 30,000 or more troops within 300 kilometers of international boundaries, it should give neighboring states prior notice of the size and geographic area of the exercise. This provision made it more difficult to use maneuvers as a pretext to mobilize for an invasion of another country. Thus, the Helsinki Final Act complicated possible Soviet military action against Romania.

Data as of July 1989