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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 103: Report on the Committee of Ministers
of Foreign Affairs Meeting in Budapest, April 26, 1984

The main significance of this Czech summary of the foreign ministers' meeting is that it gives a clear picture of the concern that the Reagan administration's rearmament pol- icy provoked within the Eastern alliance. Foreign ministers' meetings were generally characterized by very candid discussions. As usual, the Romanians created significant difficulties for the Soviets and their closer allies, in this case by effectively backing Reagan's proposal for an "interim solution" of freezing NATO Euromissile deploy- ments at current levels while requiring the Warsaw Pact to remove all of its previous missile installations. This discussion came at a time when the Soviet Union and its allies were preparing for the Stockholm negotiations on confidence-building measures as part of the CSCE process. The Romanians wanted to focus on making missile deployments less threatening while the Soviets sought to undermine Western Europeans' support for further deployments.

On April 19 and 20, 1984, the 10th meeting of the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Warsaw Treaty member-states took place in Budapest. It was the first meeting after the deployment of new U.S. intermediate-range nuclear missiles in West Germany, Great Britain and Italy, after countermeasures on the part of the USSR, East Germany and the ČSSR, and after the failure of Soviet–American negotiations in Geneva.

"…"

The documents were proposed by the Hungarian side, after discussing them with the USSR. All delegations agreed to accept the Hungarian proposals as a basis for negotiations. The delegation of the Socialist Republic of Romania (SRR), however, raised several objections to all of the proposals, the acceptance of which would have resulted in the complete transformation of the documents' content.


THE COMMUNIQUÉ

In the introductory part—an evaluation of the international state of affairs—the SRR delegation refused to accept a passage, which accused the USA and NATO of "responsibility for" the current complex and tense situation, and pressed for adoption of more general language. In the passage on dialogue between East and West, the SRR surprisingly refused to agree to react positively to the NATO declaration of December 9, 1982, in Brussels—without giving acceptable grounds. Apparently it realized that a positive attitude would really mean supporting certain "differentiating processes" in NATO, or approaches by some Western European countries, which are not identical to those of the USA, and which we want to cultivate, not

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