German Ostpolitik in the 1990s: Anticipating the Post-Soviet Disorder
There may be only a single, reliable clue for anticipating the Federal Republic of Germany’s policy toward the morass of competing states, ethnic groups, and interests comprising the post-Soviet Union in the 1990s. This is to be found in the dramatic shift in West German relations with the USSR during the preceding decade. In the mid-1980s, the climate between the two states could not have been much worse. To all intents and purposes, contacts between the FRG and the Soviet Union had been frozen due to Bonn’s 1983 decision to go ahead with the deployment on German soil of NATO intermediate-range nuclear missiles. The few exchanges that did take place between the two countries were confined to little more than slurs and invective. While the Soviet press was replete with comparisons of the policies of the German government to the militarism of the Nazi past, policy-makers in Bonn had pretty much written off the prospect of an improved relationship with Moscow anyway. At one point, the FRG’s chancellor, Helmut Kohl, even likened the ‘new thinking’ of a rising Soviet leader and one-day president, CPSU General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, to the propaganda tactics of Joseph Goebbels.
KeywordsEurope Assure Expense Arena Nism
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