Documents on assurances of NATO non-expansion declassified

16.12.2017, USA.

Documents confirming western leaders’ assurances of NATO non-expansion given to Gorbachev have been declassified and published on the US National Security Archive at the George Washington University, the Blacklisted News web site reported on December 14.

For example, the first statement of this kind was made by German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher in his speech about the German reunification in Tutzing, Bavaria. Genscher said that NATO must not be present in the East Germany if the country was to be united, and that NATO must not undermine the USSR’s security and extend eastward. The idea of a special status for the territory of the former German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) was enshrined in the German Reunification Treaty signed by the foreign ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany, the GDR, the USSR, the USA, France, and the UK. A memorandum on an amendment to the Treaty that was made at the last second has been declassified. The USSR was assured that this amendment allowed only the Bundeswehr to be present on GDR territory while in fact it formally opened the door to any NATO member state.

The presented documents primarily focus on western leaders’ assurances given to Soviet officials that the presence of the US in Europe was necessary as a stabilizing factor while the OSCE could start playing a more important role in Europe with a major role for Russia in the OSCE. For example, Thatcher, Kohl, and Bush said this, as the declassified documents confirm.

It is also interesting that internal documents of the US National Security Council confirm that the US administration considered NATO expansion to the east and the admittance of Eastern European countries to NATO to be undesirable before the collapse of the USSR. Apparently, they were afraid of the USSR’s response.

Gorbachev himself and his advisors repeatedly said that the West gave multiple assurances of NATO non-expansion to the east prior to the German reunification. Russia claimed that the spirit of the agreements signed with the Western countries in the late 1980s and early 1990s was violated. Western officials replied that they did not violate any agreements, and that no such NATO non-expansion agreements existed. Indeed, there were no legally binding agreements; even in the German Reunification Treaty, a legal loophole was made to allow NATO to be present on GDR territory. However, there were multiple verbal assurances and memorandums which are now supported by documents.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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