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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 25: Polish Foreign Ministry Memorandum
regarding Possible Mongolian Accession to the Warsaw Treaty,
July 20, 1963
The idea of admitting Mongolia to the Warsaw Pact, presumably backed by Moscow, met opposition from other alliance members. In this memorandum for the Polish Politburo, Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki argues that membership should be limit- ed to Europe, and that adding Mongolia would be an unnecessarily provocative move. The Romanians were also unhappy with the idea. It is not clear whether the Soviets knew of these views or whether the dissent influenced Moscow's thinking. In any case, when the PCC discussed the subject a week after this memorandum was prepared, the Soviet representative no longer supported Mongolia's application, claiming that to do so would have sent the wrong signal to the West at a time of rapprochement resulting from the conclusion of the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.Other than the letters of Cde. Tsedenbal and Cde. Khrushchev, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not possess any information further clarifying the arguments to be made at the current stage of this measure.In this situation, it is difficult to accept as politically warranted the proposal regarding the Mongolian People's Republic's accession to the Warsaw Treaty.The military significance of such a decision for the security of Mongolia and the interests of the Warsaw Pact seem to be practically indiscernible. The political consequences for the short and the long term are dubious and risky.
1. From the point of view of the interests of the socialist camp:
a. The acceptance of Mongolia into the Warsaw Pact at this time will of course be discerned both in the socialist states of Asia and in the West as a step whose thrust is directed against the PRC "People's Republic of China". In a situation in which the PRC, continuing its policy of deepening divisions, is making attempts to push the responsibility onto the USSR and the other states supporting its stance, an initiative with regard to Mongolia might in a certain sense play into the hands of the PRC and be used to blame our side for carrying the dispute into the area of military alliances and moving along the path of dividing the "socialist" camp along military lines. Imperialist propaganda on the other hand will try to exploit this fact with the goal of bringing into further relief the divergence within the "socialist" camp and questioning the superiority of socialism over capitalism by telling the masses all the more that such is the peaceful substance and internationalist policy of the socialist states.
b. Cde. Tsedenbal's letter underlines the point of the imperialist threat to Mongolia. Even if we could count on the fact that the Chinese comrades would accept

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