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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 8: Draft of a Warsaw Pact–NATO
Nonaggression Treaty, May 24, 1958

During the early years of the Warsaw Treaty Organization, Soviet Premier Nikita Khru- shchev presented various proposals for the simultaneous dissolution of the Warsaw Treaty and NATO, indicating that the original purpose of proclaiming the Eastern alliance was to eliminate, or at least weaken, its Western counterpart. Khrushchev's pro- posals were calculated to soften Western public opinion and to pressure politicians to be more amenable to Soviet arguments. Generally, Warsaw Treaty meetings, in this case a meeting of the Political Consultative Committee (PCC), were used as a platform for launching these initiatives. Khrushchev was at a minimum hoping to prod the West to begin negotiations. A major question for the West was whether he was serious. Certainly, his interest in initiating talks was genuine but his ultimate purpose and what exactly he was willing to concede are still matters of debate. A "true believer" in the advantages of socialism, Khrushchev undoubtedly felt that the important thing was to begin the process of talks, at which point opportunities would arise for the Soviet Union to gain an edge over its adversaries.

The contracting parties, states, parties to the Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance of May 14, 1955 on the one hand and states, parties to the North Atlantic Pact of April 4, 1949 on the other hand, being desirous of putting into effect in international relations the purposes and principles of the Charter the United Nations; attaching great importance to the necessity of maintaining and developing peaceful relations and cooperation between states on the basis of equality, non-interference in internal affairs, nonaggression, mutual respect for lovakntal integrity and state sovereignty; inspired by the desire to promote the relaxation of international tension and the creation of an atmosphere of universal confidence in relations between states; considering that in view of the existence in Europe of two opposing alignments of states it will be of great importance for invigorating the international situation, terminating the arms race and removing the threat of a new war if the members of these alignments undertake mutual obligations not to resort to the use or threat of force in international relations; have decided to conclude the present pact of nonaggression and have authorized it to be signed:

For the states, parties to the Warsaw Treaty by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the Polish People's Republic, the Czechoslovak Republic and the Romanian People's Republic:

For the states, parties to the North Atlantic Pact by…


Article 1

Noting that the use or threat of force in international relations is prohibited by international law and in particular by the Charter of the United Nations, the states, parties to the Warsaw Treaty and the states, parties to the North Atlantic Pact solemn-

-95-

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