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What did Gorbi promise

We already had this dicussion here, which I'll place again here from the "SPO" old talk page; Jun (talk) 06:29, 27 August 2023 (UTC)

Removed content

The following has been debunked and therefore removed; "When the USSR broke apart in 1990, Russia (then represented by Gorbachev) was promised that NATO would not expand eastward. The promise was broken from beginning." Please try to study this kind of info before adding it. See:

Please try to add the sources while removing segments that already are "backed up with refs". We now have several parts explained two times in different headers. --Jun (talk) 14:05, 3 March 2022 (UTC)

I appreciate your edits. Great improvement. I did not intend to remove any content BTW, did I? I suspect Gorbi was in on it (his Club of Rome quote about a "New World Order") and if he denies the "well known" promise, this would fit in very well. Urban (talk) 18:21, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
You only moved the encirclement (and deleted the militarization) link in the lede. The militarization is not a perfect fit, but the best replacement should prob be a separate page called "NATO/Expansion". The encirclement link was really popular and a vital argument to understand narratives in the lede as pwiki data showed, that's why I placed it back in the lede.

Who Promised What to Whom on NATO Expansion?

As for Gorbi's reasoning, I don't know and I'm not that sure. It appears he was "led to believe" by U.S. Secretary of State James Baker. Kohl and Bush. They appeared to have tried to make him believe if Germany joins NATO, NATO would stay there and not have to move east. They appear to compare it to be better than Germany just being independent again until it starts some (....) again. Gorbi wanted E-Germany to become a sort of Moldova. They say Gorbi said yes as he was surprised with the speed of Germany's calls for unification. I tend to think he was pressured to believe it, but thought it helped him for the coming Soviet coup and there were to many deep state faction trying to position themselves for the August coup.

I think a missing piece here is what and who Putin did meet in '91 after leaving the KGB - according to him was Gorbi was becoming quite senile - before being exposed for fraud by Marina Salye should help to solve this.

That there were assurances in those negotiations, that NATO would not move eastwards, is not the question anymore, there were.[1][2][3][4][5][6] "In return for German unification, the west promises not to let nato advance further eastward" (ARD).[7] I believe that assurances in meetings amongst statesmen had up to that point some sort binding effect, but the US then played stupid, turned around and said: "We're not expanding, they're asking to join" ... integrating the KGB networks into NATO as they went. Anyway, if someone has the answer why the Russians did not make this binding in writing, it would be much appreciated. -- Sunvalley (talk) 23:28, 3 March 2022 (UTC)
Gorbi says[8] it was only about "new military structures created in the eastern part of the country" with no promises elsewhere, I still don't see it as the explicit promising of no expansion beyond de DDR. At best the beyond DDR part would be an informal guarantee imho. Which is suspicious and a quite weak ploy of Gorbi of its own, but plausible reading the declassified files. As to why, most witnesses suggest the combi of Gorbi preparing for the demise of Union & getting an informal financial injection to keep it still floating), as the USSR was paid $40-70 billion by the DDR as "price for reunification".[9] --Jun (talk) 00:32, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
I found It says: "Who Promised What to Whom on NATO Expansion?” The panel included Mark Kramer: the “no-NATO-enlargement pledge” was a “myth”. And: "the U.S. was playing a double game in 1990, leading Gorbachev to believe NATO would be subsumed in a new European security structure" Urban (talk) 16:11, 4 March 2022 (UTC)
I would wonder what the discussion actually is, given what is known today, and has been spoken (and been reported about at the time). But when one side has other interests than cooperation and/or keeping to agreements, then this discussion becomes more understandable. Gorbi said things to the effect (ca 2009) that the west has pulled a fast one on Russia (these are mainstream sources).[10][11] There is media manipulation about what he said, standard falsification,[12] which in no small part (I guess) is helped along by historians with an agenda, like this whack [13] who in his exclusive interviews manages to get him (Gorbi) to say the things he want him to say. If you read the Welt article,[14] this guy, Ignaz Lozo, completely plays down what has been discussed generally, and what Gorbatschow has said just a few years ago .. Lozo also plays that down. Urban's link to practically explains it all (and highlights gravity of it) .. yes nothing in writing, but assurances which brings me back to the point of agreements amongst statesmen.
-- Sunvalley (talk) 03:14, 7 April 2022 (UTC)

Role of international lending institutions

At the time massive currency speculation let to a devaluation of the Rubel. Likely, Gorbi felt he needs cold hard cash (from the West). Urban (talk) 04:00, 4 March 2022 (UTC)

...and I got a feeling that Putin is facing this same urge towards cold hard cash very soon. The role of banks in conflict is "overlooked" in history, but more visible in this case, where weapons deals are discussed publicly. Urban (talk) 07:44, 8 March 2022 (UTC)

No new viewpoints of discussion

Lozo said in that DW article;

"In 2014, in my ZDF interview on the occasion of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Gorbachev was critical of the press for distorting things. When he says that Nato's eastward expansion was not discussed during the negotiations on Germany, he is right. (...) Like the West, he also changed his position. I don't see anything contradictory there. Gorbachev originally wanted to prevent all of Germany from becoming a member of NATO, but in the end he had to bow to the CSCE Final Act, which the Soviet Union itself had signed. The Act gives every country the right to freely choose its alliance. He vigorously denies insinuations that he was deceived during Nato's eastward enlargement."

Gorbi said in RBTH;

The topic of “NATO expansion” was not discussed at all, and it wasn’t brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Not a singe Eastern European country raised the issue, not even after the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist in 1991. Western leaders didn’t bring it up, either. Another issue we brought up was discussed: making sure that NATO’s military structures would not advance and that additional armed forces from the alliance would not be deployed on the territory of the then-GDR after German reunification. Baker’s statement, mentioned in your question, was made in that context. Kohl and [German Vice Chancellor Hans-Dietrich] Genscher talked about it.

Everything that could have been and needed to be done to solidify that political obligation was done. And fulfilled. The agreement on a final settlement with Germany said that no new military structures would be created in the eastern part of the country; no additional troops would be deployed; no weapons of mass destruction would be placed there. It has been observed all these years. So don’t portray Gorbachev and the then-Soviet authorities as naïve people who were wrapped around the West’s finger. If there was naïveté, it was later, when the issue arose. Russia at first did not object. Putin: U.S. attitude to Russia “antagonistic”

The decision for the U.S. and its allies to expand NATO into the east was decisively made in 1993. I called this a big mistake from the very beginning. It was definitely a violation of the spirit of the statements and assurances made to us in 1990. With regards to Germany, they were legally enshrined and are being observed.

I was asked to start a discussion as I edited the sentence that said "Mikhail Gorbachev as the leader of the SU at the time, received a lot of assurances from western leaders that nothing of the sort would happen; U.S. Secretary of State James Bakers famous “not one inch eastward”. Some historians point to later comments by Gorbachev that: "The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all",[9][10] but the memoranda of the 1990/91 period leave little room for doubt that this is what he was given by heads of state and special envoys" to include Gorbi's own interview in which he denies and clarifies what that inch means, Lozo comment on that, and, edit the words "leave little room". I did change that to 1. to clarify that verbal agreement can be legally binding, but weren't brought up by any Russian in court, so... that raises some questions as to why they didn't do that even if it's only verbal - 2. include the observation that he did in fact discussed this, and made verbal agreements, but refuses to admit it. I'd advise to leave it this way, as I softened the original edit, and we still have the new viewpoint from 2014 added. PS: I don't get why the old talk page without any mentioning as to why, was moved, as so I thought, by doing that, we were settled on this.Jun (talk) 06:29, 27 August 2023 (UTC)

Thanks for the (re)creation of the discussion from here I added another part further above from that talk page here as well. Sorry for moving it into "archive section" without any remark as to why, just wanted to clear up that talk page - but the discussion was also not settled, I read it like you had your point (all going back to Gorbachev and his comments in interviews) and what I read in articles (Urban had this point initially and you removed saying it is debunked if I get that correctly), especially the 2017 article from nsarchive [15] which I see as overriding authoritative. At the time of the initial discussion I did not fully understand the argument around the GDR becoming part of Germany and then NATO (or not) and what that it turn meant for NATO enlargement into eastern Europe. Now I think it is just a ruse to over-complicate the matter, make it confusing to the average person who does not care anyway. My position remains unchanged, the initial wording in the article was closets to the truth:
(1) Some historians point to later comments by Gorbachev that: "The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all",[9][10] but the memoranda of the 1990/91 period leave little room for doubt that this is what he was given by heads of state and special envoys.[7][11] 
(2) Some historians point to later comments by Gorbachev that: "The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all",[9][10] but the memoranda of the 1990/91 period leave some doubt left what he was given by heads of state and special envoys.[7][11]
(3 - as of writing) Some historians point to later comments by Gorbachev that: "The topic of ‘NATO expansion’ was not discussed at all",[9][10], and the memoranda of the 1990/91 period indicate the promises were rather white lies to give hope rather than actual agreements given by heads of state and special envoys.[7][11]
It does not appear to me that these were "white lies" but meant quite honest at the time, different people from different countries all told him the same; all being well aware of what was spoken about. We may not reach agreement here, but this very thing is now moving us ever closer to war ... so I feel strongly about it. Can another user give input to the discussion? -- Sunvalley (talk) 09:07, 3 September 2023 (UTC)


  9. German Reunification: A Multinational History edited by Frédéric Bozo, Andreas Rödder, Mary Elise Sarotte
  14. in.html