The unification of Germany today is considered one of the most important achievements of the West in completing the era of the Cold War. The leaders of the Soviet state, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Eduard Shevardnadze, played a key role in this unification. During the forty-five years that have passed since the end of the Great Patriotic War, the West dreamed that Soviet troops would leave Eastern Europe, and first of all - Eastern Germany. The contradictions between the Soviet Union and the countries of the West (the USA, Great Britain and France) led to the fact that for almost half a century there were two sovereign states in Germany - the FRG and the GDR.
Naturally, this circumstance did not suit the West, who ultimately hoped to completely “liberate” Germany from Soviet influence under the guise of the reunification of the German people. However, it was impossible to achieve this goal without weakening the Soviet Union. The situation began to change after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. The policy of “perestroika” in the USSR launched similar processes in the countries of Eastern Europe and the GDR was no exception. 12 June 1987, the American President Ronald Reagan, arriving in Berlin, made a speech in which there was a famous appeal to Gorbachev - “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”. Naturally, when American politicians spoke of the need to demolish the wall and unite Germany, in no case did they mean by unification the creation of a new common state.
The goal of the United States and its allies was to completely eliminate the GDR and include it in the Federal Republic of Germany, with the complete removal of the communist political and military elite from the management process. It happened later. The liquidation of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany became one of the strongest geopolitical defeats of the Soviet Union, which largely predicted the imminent collapse of the Soviet state itself. Russia, as the successor of the Soviet state, also won nothing from the unification of Germany in the form in which it was implemented. Moreover, as it later became clear, Gorbachev and Shevardnadze were simply deceived by “dear Western partners”.
The most important promise made by the representatives of the Western powers to the leaders of the Soviet state was the refusal of NATO’s eastward expansion. It was on these conditions that the unification of Germany took place. The Soviet Union agreed to the unification of Germany into a single state, began the process of withdrawing a huge military contingent from Germany, and the West guaranteed that the NATO would not expand eastwards.
September 12 The foreign ministers of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, the USSR, the USA, France and the United Kingdom signed the Treaty on the Final Settlement for Germany. According to this treaty, united Germany included the territories of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, East and West Berlin. It was emphasized that the united Germany would not make any territorial claims to other states, and would also refuse to manufacture and own nuclear, chemical, biological weapons. The agreement also provided for a prospective reduction of the armed forces of Germany after the unification of the country to 370 thousands of servicemen. The Soviet Union pledged to withdraw Soviet troops from the territory of the GDR before 1994, while the Western powers guaranteed that foreign troops and nuclear weapons would not be deployed in the territory of the former GDR.
However, since in fact, instead of uniting on equal terms, the territory of the GDR was simply absorbed by the Federal Republic of Germany, the expansion of NATO’s bloc to the east automatically occurred. Since the Federal Republic of Germany was one of the key participants of NATO, the territory of the former GDR was in the quartering zone of the forces of the North Atlantic Alliance. US Secretary of State James Baker gave assurances to the Soviet Union that NATO would not expand to the east and after the unification of Germany, Europe would gradually become a zone of peace. Soviet leaders believed in the sweet assurances of their American colleagues. The decision on the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the GDR was taken quickly.
For the sake of fulfilling agreements with the West, the leadership of the USSR went on worsening the social and economic situation of more than half a million of its citizens. 546 200 people were withdrawn from Germany, including 338 800 military personnel of the Western Group of Forces and 207 400 workers and employees who performed various functions in enterprises and in support services of the Western Group. Most of the personnel officers and warrant officers who served in the Western Group of Forces were demobilized. In 1990-ies there were serious problems with the provision of housing for officers, warrant officers and members of their families who served in the USG and were rushed to their homeland. These are only the social consequences of the rash actions of the Soviet leadership.
In 1991, the Soviet Union ceased to exist. Transformed into a “country of victorious democracy,” sovereign Russia, all the beginning of the 1990s, demonstrated complete friendliness towards the West. American merchants and sectarian preachers literally poured into the country, millions of duped citizens were in awe of America, and the head of state called his American counterpart William Clinton just as “friend Bill”. But Bill and George W. Bush, who replaced him, continued to deceive their Russian partners. The promise not to expand NATO to the east has not been fulfilled.
Although at the end of the 1940s, the North Atlantic bloc was supposedly created to counter Soviet expansion and the threat of communist revolutions, after 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, no one in Washington, London, Brussels, or Paris thought to disband NATO. The Warsaw Pact Organization ceased to exist, and the North Atlantic Alliance remained. Moreover, he continued a massive and rapid expansion to the east as fast as he could not have dreamed during the Cold War.
Recall that the NATO bloc was founded on 4 on April 1949 of the year. Initially, it included 12 states - the USA, Canada, Iceland, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Norway, Denmark, Italy and Portugal. The “heavyweights” on this list were the USA, Great Britain and France, Canada and Italy could be attributed to the “second echelon”, and the Scandinavian countries, the Benelux states and Iceland could hardly be serious opponents for the USSR and its allies. Therefore, from the very beginning of its existence, the North Atlantic Alliance sought to expand. In the 1952 year, even before the death of I.V. Stalin, NATO managed to include in its membership Greece and Turkey - two strategically important states, and Turkey had direct borders with the Soviet Union and could deploy a very large army. In 1955, the Federal Republic of Germany joined NATO, and the Bundeswehr quickly became one of the main components of NATO forces in Western Europe. In 1982, Spain became part of NATO, in which by this time political liberalization and abandonment of francism had already taken place.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it seemed that the need for NATO expansion had disappeared, especially since a whole belt of buffer states emerged between Russia and Western Europe — Eastern European countries, formerly part of the socialist camp, and former Soviet republics of the Baltic States, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldavia But the real goal of the West in the face of the United States and Great Britain has always been the confrontation with Russia as a state, and not only with the Soviet Union. The West has always hated Russia — before the revolution, after the revolution, and after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Although the representatives of the Western powers promised Mikhail Gorbachev and Eduard Shevardnadze not to expand NATO to the east, in the 1990s the North Atlantic Alliance switched to an expansion policy. In the 1999 year, a “candidacy” system was created for countries wishing to join NATO, but for some reason unable to do so at the present time. This circumstance perfectly confirmed the true plans of the Western leaders - to continue the advance to the east, creating their springboards in Eastern Europe. It is clear that the prospects for further expansion of NATO were not discussed with the 1999 of the year, but much earlier, it is possible that even before the Soviet Union collapsed and Germany was united.
First, the territory of the former GDR with all the objects that were put at the service of American interests in Europe became part of NATO. Secondly, 12 March 1999, the year of NATO solemnly adopted the "first echelon" of the countries of the former socialist camp - Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic became members of the alliance. Thus, NATO is significantly closer to the Russian borders. 29 March 2004 was joined immediately by seven Eastern European countries - Bulgaria, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. The latter circumstance was particularly disturbing. The Baltic States border the Russian Federation, the very possibility of using their territory for American military-political interests is a serious direct threat to the national security of the Russian state. Thus, instead of turning the former Soviet republics into buffer countries, NATO has made them its foothold on the Russian borders and continues to deploy its troops and military equipment in the Baltic States.
In 2009, NATO also included two more Eastern European countries - Albania and Croatia, which were viewed as a traditional counterweight to “pro-Russian” Serbia. 5 June 2017 was quickly adopted Montenegro as a member of NATO, again in order to maximally tear this country away from neighboring Serbia and minimize Russian influence in Montenegro. There is a lot of talk about the upcoming entry into NATO of Ukraine and Georgia. However, the war in the Donbas for Ukraine, the problems of Abkhazia and South Ossetia for Georgia are a serious obstacle to the entry of these countries into the North Atlantic alliance. Nevertheless, NATO instructors and specialists, as you know, participated in the training of the Ukrainian and in the training of the Georgian army.
Recently, the National Security Archives of the United States published documents relating to the question of NATO expansion to the east. As it turned out, back in 1994, Bill Clinton, the very “friend” of Russian President Boris Yeltsin, decided to further expand NATO to the east, stressing that his predecessors did not commit to expanding the North Atlantic alliance to the Soviet Union, but now there is no Soviet Union and to fulfill obligations not to whom. The interests of Russia, of course, no one took into account.
Now the Western media are filled with anti-Russian materials, but many Western politicians and journalists admit that Washington, London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin bear a huge share of responsibility for the deterioration of relations with the Russian Federation. Many modern military-political conflicts and problems were caused by the expansion of NATO that began. Naturally, Moscow is not happy about the prospect of getting American missiles on the border with the Kursk or Oryol regions, American marines in close proximity to Sochi or the Crimean coast.
Today, our country is “loosening up” the consequences of the ill-conceived (or, on the contrary, purposeful?) Policy of Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage. Believing the representatives of the West, the Soviet leaders themselves provided the conditions for the further advance of the NATO bloc to the east. But American leaders were short-sighted. In fact, they prepared the ground for a new round of military-political confrontation between Russia and the West, and the fact that now this confrontation has gained strength and has resulted in some areas already in open armed conflicts, is the direct fault of the American, British, French politicians who chose the path of further militarization of Eastern Of Europe.