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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 146: Records of the Political Consultative
Committee Meeting in Bucharest, July 7–8, 1989

Although the substance of this PCC session was recognized at the time from its pub- lic statements,26the speeches delivered there by the main participants behind closed doors have never been published before. Together they provide a unique, multi-dimen- sional view into the deliberations of the Warsaw Pact at a key moment late in its exis- tence. Among the conclusions that can be drawn is that Gorbachev is virtually alone in predicting the imminent end of the Cold War. Despite the generally positive tone of the other speeches, the recollections of Heinz Kessler, below, reveal that they glossed over serious issues and concerns facing each member of the Pact.

a) Speech by Mikhail Gorbachev

"…"

I think everybody will agree that in the last two or three years the military danger has moved away, "and" the atmosphere in the world has cleared up substantially. The first real steps have been made on the path of nuclear disarmament. The winding down of regional conflicts has begun. Capital in the form of trust is being created in relations between East and West.

Maybe the most obvious demonstration of the scale of the changes is the fact that not only the theorists, but many political figures also, M"argaret" Thatcher and G"eorge" Bush among them, speak today about the end of the "Cold War."

If that is so—and in this case we have no grounds not to agree with the Western leaders—then we are talking about the end of a period that has lasted over forty years, about the beginning of a transition to a new international order.

"…"

I believe that today we have a right to say that the processes unfolding on the international stage are to a substantial degree a result of our common work. It is not a secret—this is what they think everywhere in the world—that the current turn in world affairs became possible first of all because of the course of perestroika, the reform and perfection of certain elements of the socialist governing system, which have commenced in the recent years in the Soviet Union, "and" which are being implemented with varying degrees of intensity and are taking account of national conditions in practically all the fraternal countries.

By changing ourselves, we are thus inspiring the rest of the world to change. The initiatives introduced by us on all the key problems of international life could find a

26 See the documents on the PHP website, http://www.isn.ethz.ch/php/documents/collection_3/PCC_meetings/coll_3_PCC_1989.htm.

-644-

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