A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 1: The Warsaw Treaty, May 14, 1955
The following document, signed in Warsaw, formally established the Warsaw Treaty Organization. Drafted by the Soviets without consultation with their allies and accept- ed without meaningful discussion, the treaty was drawn up as a counterpart to NATO's Washington treaty of 1949. The two documents bear many formal similarities: calling on the signatories to refrain from the threat or use of force, to consult and to render any assistance deemed necessary in case of enemy attack. There were also important dissimilarities. Mainly, whereas the NATO charter emphasized a commitment to com- mon values as an expression of a more egalitarian partnership, the Warsaw Treaty was more vague, referring primarily to general principles of peace and friendship while making sure not to override existing bilateral treaties between Moscow and its allies, which were the real basis for addressing Soviet security concerns in Europe.The Contracting Parties,
reaffirming their desire for the establishment of a system of European collective security based on the participation of all European states irrespective their social and political systems, which would make it possible to unite their efforts in safeguarding the peace of Europe;
mindful, at the same time, of the situation created in Europe by the ratification of the Paris agreements, which envisage the formation of a new military alignment in the shape of "Western European Union," with the participation of a remilitarized Western Germany and the integration of the latter in the NorthAtlantic bloc, which increased the danger of another war and constitutes a threat to the national security of the peaceable states;
being persuaded that in these circumstances the peaceable European states must take the necessary measures to safeguard their security and in the interests of preserving peace in Europe;
guided by the objects and principles of the Charter of the United Nations Organization;
being desirous of further promoting and developing friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance in accordance with the principles of respect for the independence and sovereignty of states and of noninterference in their internal affairs,
have decided to conclude the present Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance and have for that purpose appointed as their plenipotentiaries:
who, having presented their full powers, found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:

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A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991
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