But Russia, as President Yeltsin acknowledged tonight in a television interview, played a weak hand. To limit the internal consequences, Yeltsin`s government began insisting on a NATO-Russia agreement that it could promote at home to show that it had defended Russian interests.  See z.B.: D. Johnson, “ZAPAD 2017 and Euro-Atlantic security,” NATO Review, December 14, 2017, www.nato.int. Russia also avoids fulfilling its obligations under the Life document. As part of the OSCE mechanisms, it should report in advance on planned exercises with the participation of more than 9,000 soldiers and invite observers if the planned manoeuvres exceed 13,000 soldiers. Russia notoriously divides the maneuvers into small pieces, which remain respectively below the thresholds provided by the VD, while the entire series of coordinated exercises goes well beyond the authorized borders. According to Russian authorities, 12,700 soldiers participated in the exercises in the West in 2017. However, the series of other Western-related maneuvers in 2017 brought the number of Russian and Belarusian forces to 60,000 to 70,000 soldiers.
 On the eve of a meeting of the Russian-NATO Council at the level of permanent representatives on 20 April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cited an unprecedented military rearmament since the end of the Cold War and NATO`s presence on the eastern flank of the Alliance in order to exert military and political pressure on Russia to contain it. “, and stated: “Russia does not foresee and will not be involved in a senseless confrontation and is convinced that there is no reasonable alternative to pan-European cooperation in the field of mutually beneficial security, based on the principle of the indivisibility of security, based on international law.”   After the meeting, the Russian Ambassador to NATO stated that Russia felt well without a cooperative relationship with the Alliance; He found that Russia and NATO did not have a positive timetable at that time.  NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: “NATO and Russia have deep and persistent differences. Today`s meeting did not change that.    The opening of the first site of NATO`s missile defence system in Deveselu, Romania, in May 2016 led Russia to reaffirm its position that the system put in place by the United States undermined Russia`s security, constituted an “imminent threat to global and regional security,” the INF violated, and measures would be taken “to ensure the necessary level of security for Russia.”  The “current and predictable environment” of security in Europe has changed dramatically since 1997, given Russia`s record since the NATO-Russia Basic Law. This alone justifies the permanent revocation of NATO troops in Central and Eastern Europe. The OSCE, which has 57 members, including Sweden, Finland and Ukraine, which are not NATO members, is a much more appropriate forum for such discussions than the NRC.