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"Did the United States promise the Soviet Union..." Topic


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©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2019 9:15 p.m. PST

… during the 1990 negotiations on German reunification that NATO would not expand into Eastern Europe?.

""Western scholars are similarly divided on the question of what the United States offered the Soviet Union in 1990. Drawing largely upon public statements and memoirs by Western and Soviet leaders, some scholars in the 1990s contended that NATO's eastward expansion violated what Michael MccGwire termed "top-level assurances" against NATO enlargement. More recently, however, access to declassified archival materials has led most scholars to agree with the historian Mary Sarotte, who writes that "contrary to Russian allegations, [Soviet President Mikhail] Gorbachev never got the West to promise that it would freeze NATO's borders." Still, current studies are divided into two schools of thought over the process and implications of the 1990 reunification negotiations for NATO's future. One school largely agrees with U.S. policymakers that—as Mark Kramer claims—NATO expansion into Eastern Europe "never came up during the negotiations." As a result, Russian accusations of a broken non-expansion promise are "spurious." In contrast, a second school contends that a NATO non-expansion offer that may have applied to Eastern Europe was discussed briefly in talks among U.S., West German, and Soviet leaders in February 1990. This non-expansion proposal was quickly withdrawn, but given the February meetings, Russian complaints cannot be entirely dismissed: the United States and the Soviet Union never struck a deal against NATO expansion, yet Soviet leaders may have thought otherwise." (Source: Deal or No Deal? The End of the Cold War and the U.S. Offer to Limit NATO Expansion by J.R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson, International Security, Spring 2016; vol. 40, issue 4, pp.7-44)"
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