Gorbachev once asked Why Germany needed NATO, saying that the United States wanted to expand NATO by building a new empire

2022-06-13 0 By

In February 1990, THEN-U.S. Secretary of State James Baker promised the Soviet Union that NATO would not move “one inch east” after German reunification, Sputnik news agency reported Sunday.Three decades later, the Western military bloc includes more than a dozen countries in eastern Europe and has rejected Russian demands to halt its expansion.Horst Teltschik, an adviser to former West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, revealed recently that in 1990 mikhail Gorbachev, the former Soviet leader, asked the West German leadership about the future of a reunified Germany in NATO,The West German authorities had a clever answer.”Telchik told Sputnik news agency in an interview.”It seems to me that the Russian leadership is concerned that NATO expansion will directly target the Russian Federation.In this context, I am reminded of a secret conversation I had with President Gorbachev in early May 1990 on behalf of Chancellor Kohl.”(The president was the head of state of the Soviet Union from March 15, 1990 until its formal dissolution on December 25, 1991.) “Gorbachev asked me why Germany still needs NATO, because now we will be partners and friends,” Terczyk recalled.I told him it might be right if we were friends and partners.But he must take into account that a reunified Germany will be the largest country in Europe in terms of population and economy, surrounded by nine neighboring countries including Poland, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands and France.Given their history and experience with Germany, these countries would live better with us if we were in the same union.So we need NATO for our own good.”Rather than question that logic, Gorbachev agreed in October 1990 to merge the Soviet-allied East Germany with the West, while keeping Germany’s NATO membership unchanged.James Baker, us secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush, famously persuaded Moscow to abandon the creation of a neutral Germany during negotiations for German reunification.”Had Germany remained neutral, it might well have decided to build its own nuclear potential rather than rely on the U.S. nuclear deterrent,” Baker said at the time.All of our western European Allies and some of the eastern European countries have made it clear to us that they want a continued U.S. military presence in Europe.”Baker described NATO as “a mechanism for ensuring an American presence in Europe” and promised that, after unification, “if the United States maintains its presence in Germany within the FRAMEWORK of NATO, NATO’s existing military forces will not expand eastward”.In the more than 30 years since those discussions, however, NATO has included six former Soviet-led Warsaw Pact members, as well as three former Soviet republics, Albania and four former Yugoslav republics.In his home country, Gorbachev was widely criticized for his laissez-faire approach to German reunification, particularly the absence of written guarantees from the West that NATO expansion would not continue.In an interview with Sputnik news agency last year, Gorbachev said he believed the United States had been buffeted by arrogance and self-confidence after the collapse of the Soviet Union.”They are struck by arrogance and confidence.They declared victory in the Cold War, even as together we freed the world from confrontation — from the nuclear race.But the winner decided to build a new empire.That led to the idea of expanding NATO.”(Edit: SDY)