chapter  7
34 Pages

Soviet Assessments of the German Unification Process, 1989-1990

WithRobbin F. Laird

This chapter assesses the dynamic and evolving positions taken by various Soviet analysts and policymakers in the debate about German unification. The views of senior Soviet decision makers operated in four different political universes in the very fluid and dynamic period from October 1989 until December 1990. The unexpected victory of the Christian Democratic Union party in the March GDE elections quickly transformed the agenda. Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze argued that the German unification process must be synchronized with the all-European process, it must be gradual, existing borders must be preserved, both states must be militarily neutral and the military potential of both states must be dramatically reduced. In short, there were dramatic changes in the Soviet position on the German question throughout the 1989-1990 periods. But the Soviet leaders hoped that the bargain about the new Germany would provide them an important opening to the European integration process.