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

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 147: Records of the Foreign Ministers's
Meeting in Warsaw, October 26–27, 1989

This late October 1989 foreign ministers' meeting in Warsaw was an attempt to find joint solutions to a number of difficult problems that the PCC had been unable to resolve before. The speeches cover a range of topics which help to understand the dif- fering perspectives of the member-states just days before the fall of the Berlin Wall. While differing in their particulars, most members shared the view that the Warsaw Pact's role should evolve in the light of recent global developments toward new pri- orities, from promoting all-European integration to fighting the war on drugs.

a) Speech by Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze

"…"

Dear Mr. Chairman, dear colleagues, friends,

We have met in Warsaw at what is a turning point for the Warsaw Treaty.

The changes taking place in our respective countries cannot help but affect our alliance as well.

We have to ask ourselves a question about the purpose and mission of our alliance, and find an answer. If we fail to do that, we will run the risk of losing our sense of purpose and finding ourselves in the dangerous position of contradicting reality.

We are convinced that the foundation of our alliance is the common national interests of its member-states and the need to ensure national security in view of the historical experience of two world wars and the realities of post-war Europe.

If all of us agree on the motivation of our alliance as outlined above, we can find solutions to our alliance's problems, rebuild it in accordance with current requirements and needs, and find a new balance of national and collective interests.

"…"

The phase we are going through now requires mutual trust, understanding and even generosity, more than ever before. We have been living in an artificial political atmosphere for too long. Now we have walked out to breathe some fresh air. However, such a change may bring about a feeling of drunkenness or sickness. There is nothing terrible about that.

What matters most—and I must apologize for my rather naturalistic metaphor— is not to become an alcoholicand not to lose faith in the possibility of healing and recuperation.

If we allow the former to happen, history and our respective nations will judge us very harshly.

"…"

Now I will proceed to some general issues concerning the work of our alliance. In

-655-

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