Background: Western Diplomats Debunk the NATO Lie on Promises to Russia in 1990
A number of senior Western diplomats have confirmed over the past days that the eastward expansion of NATO was in violation of promises made to the Soviet Russians in 1990 and 1991.
Roland Dumas, the French Foreign Affairs Minister from 1988 to 1993, attended all the top-level 2plus4 talks at the time on the reunification of Germany and the end of the Cold War. In an interview given to the website lescrises.fr on Feb. 13, he completely refuted the western narrative that “no guarantees” had been given to Moscow during the negotiations among the six participants (East and West Germany plus U.S., UK, France and Russia). The interview with English subtitles is posted here.
Dumas explained to blogger Olivier Berruyer that the USSR delegation to the negotiations demanded a commitment from the West that “no NATO troops would move into the areas of the Warsaw Pact that were about to be disarmed”. And the western representatives, Dumas remembers “formally”, agreed to that commitment. Although it may not have been officially written into the treaty agreements, he said, it was agreed upon by all the parties involved, as a logical quid pro quo for the USSR to accept a reunified Germany in NATO and the withdrawal of its own armed forces.
Dumas points out in his interview that his American and German counterparts, James Baker and Hans-Dietrich Genscher, later confirmed that such assurances were given to Gorbatchov.
While there was next to no coverage in western mainstream media on this explosive interview with Roland Dumas, a few of them did feel obliged to report the news published by Der Spiegel on Feb. 18, concerning documents discovered by U.S. historian Joshua Shifrinson in the British National Archive confirming the Russian view. Among those documents is a memo quoting German diplomat Jürgen Chrobog, who attended a meeting of the political directors of the foreign ministries of the United States, Great Britain, France and Germany in Bonn on March 6, 1991: “We had made it clear during 2+4 negotiations that we would not extend NATO beyond the Elbe. We could not therefore offer membership of NATO to Poland and the others.”
The same memo shows that the U.S. Representative at that meeting, Raymond Seitz, agreed with Chrobog, saying: “We have made it clear to the Soviet Union – in 2+4 as well as other talks – that we will not take advantage of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Eastern Europe… NATO should not expand to the east, either formally or informally.”
Another senior US diplomat, former Ambassador to Russia Jack Matlock, wrote in a Feb. 15 commentary on antiwar.com, that in 1990, “Gorbachev was assured, though not in a formal treaty, that if a unified Germany was allowed to remain in NATO, there would be no movement of NATO jurisdiction to the east, “not one inch’.”