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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 75: Comparison of Warsaw Treaty
and NATO Positions concerning the European
Security Conference, December 1, 1971
At the time this document was written, preparations for the European security confer- ence had been underway for almost two years and the respective positions of the Warsaw Pact and NATO had crystallized. Those positions are reflected clearly here and point to some very different conceptions of the CSCE and its purpose. The Soviets wanted to convene the conference soon, whereas the Western side favored discussing the agenda first, and proposed adding to it a range of subjects including human rights. For its part, the East wanted to limit the agenda to security issues but excluding arms control nego- tiations. In the end, preparatory discussions would not start until the following year, and the conference itself would not meet until 1975 in Helsinki. So the West ultimately achieved much of what it wanted: delays, a broad agenda and a process that would con- tinue past the conference itself. Importantly, the Western representatives also won the right to review how the other side was observing the agreement, a practice that turned out to be very much to Moscow's disadvantage.Comparison of the Warsaw Treaty and NATO Positions on Issues
Concerning the Conference on Security and Cooperation in EuropePosition concerning the idea of the CSCE:Warsaw Treaty: Is the author of the proposal whose formal expression was "An Appeal to all countries of Europe" adopted at the PCC meeting in Budapest on March 17, 1969. The proposal was further developed during the following PCC sessions and meetings of foreign ministers of the Warsaw Treaty states, including the last one, held in Warsaw (November 30 to December 1, 1971).NATO: Believes that at the present phase of general European dialogue, convening the Conference has become inevitable.Proposed topics:Warsaw Treaty: Formulated in a Memorandum approved during the meeting of foreign ministers of the Warsaw Treaty states in Budapest (June 22, 1970)
a. assuring security in Europe and abandoning the use of force, or threat of its use, in mutual relations between states in Europe;
b. widening, based on equal opportunity, trade, economic, scientific–technological and cultural relations which lead to the development of political cooperation between European states;
c. establishing, during the European conference, an institution for matters of security and cooperation in Europe.

NATO: Formulated on the basis of the report of the NATO Permanent Council

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