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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 121: Report on the Committee of Ministers of
Foreign Affairs Meeting in Moscow, March 24–25, 1987

At this Warsaw Pact foreign ministers' meeting in Moscow, the allies continue discus- sions on how to implement Gorbachev's new initiatives on arms control. They agree that the main goal is to support the Soviet Union in its attempts to reach an accord on the removal of intermediate-range missiles from Europe. Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze says that the Pact should seek a compromise on SDI rather than expect the United States to abandon it. An arms race must be prevented at all costs, he says. He adds that the Warsaw Pact should formulate a common position on the CSCE so that due attention could be paid to negotiations on conventional forces. By this time, those talks have shifted venue to Vienna, where they were merged into the CSCE.

"…"

a) Providing comprehensive political, diplomatic and propaganda support for the Soviet initiative to conclude an agreement on the removal of intermediaterange missiles in Europe is regarded as the most important common task at present. All member-states are of the opinion that such an initial agreement would be of key significance for the whole nuclear disarmament process. In the estimation of comrade "Eduard" Shevardnadze, an agreement could possibly be reached before the beginning of the election campaign in the USA. "…"

A second task parallel to the efforts for an agreement on the removal of intermediate-range missiles is to broaden the political and propaganda front against the space-based weapons plan of the USA, thereby underpinning the Soviet position on this matter. Comrade Shevardnadze confirmed that the Soviet Union is steering towards a compromise on the question of SDI "Strategic Defense Initiative". A new arms race must be avoided at all costs. "…"

b) All member-states consider it very important to exploit the new opportunities for political dialogue created by the most recent Soviet initiative in order to strengthen the process of intellectual reorientation and differentiation already underway in Western Europe, the USA and NATO itself. "…"

"…"

The ČSSR suggested that a serious effort be made to cultivate contacts between political and military representatives of the Warsaw Pact and NATO, thus creating a forum for multilateral dialogue.

c) The member-states agreed to take all the necessary steps to maintain an offensive position with regard to the Budapest Appeal.64

d) "…"

64 Adopted at the June 11, 1986, PCC meeting in Budapest. See Document No. 15 and the footnote in Document No. 117.

-554-

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