Neither Russia nor NATO has ever formally denounced the 1997 Founding Act, but in practice it does not work because the alliance is in violation of it, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov assessed on Thursday. There were some who believed that the key treaty would be scrapped by NATO during the summit of its leaders in Madrid.
“In a legal sense, the Founding Act continues to exist, we have not initiated the procedure for terminating this agreement,” the minister said during a press conference.
“The decisions that were taken [in Madrid] grossly violate the terms of the Founding Act, first of all the parts regarding NATO’s obligation not to host on a permanent basis any significant troops in the territories of the new – meaning Eastern European – member states,” Lavrov said.
He was referring to NATO’s decision this week to further build up its military presence at the Russian border.
The Russian minister’s assessment of the viability of the 1997 document coincided with that of his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock, who is one of the most vocal critics of Russia.