Saturday, March 27, 2010

NATO History: 1990 No pledges not to expand NATO eastward

In early nineties, when Est-West confrontation was ending, USSR leader Gorbaciev was promised by European and North American leaders that NATO will not be expanded eastward, if he would accept reunification of Germany.
Mark Kramer, Cold War Studies Project at Harvard University and a senior fellow of Harvard’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, in his recent analysis on the Washington Quarterly, challenges this thesis and argues that no ‘pledge’ or ‘commitment’ or ‘categorical assurances’ about NATO’s role vis-a`-vis the rest of the Warsaw Pact countries were made during the negotiations between Europeans, Americans and Russians leading toward Germany reunification, as previously assumed.

Kramer assumption is that in 1990 it was too early to talk about these issues, since NATO expansion was not in anyone's agenda, excluding East Germany. Following the declassification of written memories and other crucial documents of the actual conversations, the surviving assumption of "no-eastward-enlargement-pledge"can be challenged. The protagonists of that time [Kohl (then German Chancellor), Gorbaciev, Shevardnadze (then USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Baker (then US Secretary of State)] have not clearly discussed that option.

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