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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 68: Polish Proposals for the Conference
on Security and Disarmament, October 24, 1969
The Warsaw Pact member-states held numerous meetings to discuss a common strat- egy for the CSCE conference, including how to sell it to the West. But before anything could be agreed, the Poles prepared their own unilateral proposal without prior clear- ance from Moscow. (Ever since the Rapacki Plan,6security of its western border had been a particular concern for Poland.)This proposal, which was not just an idea for a conference but a draft of a treaty, is reproduced here. Among its features is a provision for compulsory consultation among signatories (including smaller countries), which could be read as putting con- straints on the Soviet Union. The Poles' ultimate goal, as implied in this document and elsewhere, was to soften the division of Europe and enhance Poland's international status and influence.The second document, on disarmament, proposed freezing nuclear weapons at cur- rent levels on the territories of non-nuclear states. The authors obviously had in mind not just NATO stockpiles but Soviet weapons in Poland, East Germany, Czechoslo- vakia and Hungary, but they also called for the gradual reduction and withdrawal of these weapons, proposing negotiations under international supervision, thus remov- ing the issue from the superpower context. Needless to say, the Soviets summarily reject- ed these ideas and prevented the Poles from actually submitting their proposal.Draft Principles of a Treaty on Security and Cooperation in Europe"…"
II. The discretionary part of the Treaty
would contain a decision based on the following rules:
1. Acceptance of obligations:
non-use of force or threat of its use against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or independence of any country, or in any other way incompatible with the goals and rules of the United Nations Charter;
acceptance and respect of existing state borders in Europe;
non-intervention in the internal affairs of other countries;
resolution of any disagreements which may arise between signatories of the treaty only through peaceful methods in accordance with the United Nations Charter in such a way as not to threaten peace and security in Europe.

6 On October 2, 1957, Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki proposed a nuclear-free zone in Central Europe (Poland, Czechoslovakia, West Germany and East Germany). The plan never reached fruition but served as a model for further discussion.

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