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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 69: East German Evaluation of Polish Proposal
for a European Security Treaty, November 13, 1969
In this reaction to the Polish proposals on European security and disarmament (see the previous document), the East Germans clearly grasped what the Poles were up to, con- cluding that if their proposal were implemented it would be much more onerous for the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact than for the United States and NATO. The discussion over what exactly the CSCE should look like continued mainly because the Soviets them- selves were unsure of what they wanted or believed they could accomplish. The initial Soviet idea was for a conference that would make general statements essentially confirming the territorial and political status quo in Europe, but deal with no specifics. However, during the four years before the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, the West, especially West Europeans, managed to maneuver the Soviets into discussions about highly specific issues, non-military ones such as human rights in particular.During pre-consultations of the Warsaw Treaty's deputy ministers of foreign affairs on October 24, 1969 in Moscow, the People's Republic of Poland presented a draft proposal of "Basic Principles of a Treaty on European Security and Cooperation." The Polish side stressed that the draft of this document was supposed to aid longterm discussion of problems of European security.However, it should be presented as a document at the European Security Conference. "…"Despite repeated requests by Cde. "Stefan" Jędrychowski, the document was not discussed at the Warsaw Treaty foreign ministers' conference on October 30 and 31, 1969 in Prague. Cde. Winzer and Cde. Mănescu stated that the party and government leadership of their countries will examine the draft and will inform the Polish side of their statement.Cde. Jędrychowski stressed that the Polish side will not take any steps to publish the draft before a statement by the member-states of the Warsaw Treaty. "…""…" attention must be paid to the following issues:
a. The goal of the "…" consultation requirement lies in the implementation of measures to eliminate the existing threat. Such consultations, to be undertaken upon request of an individual member state, could be used by imperialist states to interfere in matters pertinent to the mutual relationship of the socialist states. Therefore they would be part of the internal affairs of the community of socialist states. (As is known, the imperialist states have regarded support for the fraternal ČSSR by the five socialist states as a threat to peace in Europe.)
b. The listed obligation to enter into negotiations on disarmament, and to attempt to "produce adequate and effective regional measures in the field of disarmament in Europe, contributing to ending the arms race especially with regard to

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