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Расширение НАТО: история и оценка

Сегодня полемика по вопросу о решении США и их союзников пойти на принятие в НАТО ряда стран Центральной, Восточной и Южной Европы, а также Прибалтики имеет в основном исторический характер. Страсти неизбежно улягутся. Но приближение к исторической истине – дело необходимое. Недавно бывший посол Великобритании Родрик Брейтвейт познакомил меня с перепиской по этой проблеме, которую он вел с историками и своим коллегой Джеком Мэтлоком, занимавшим пост посла США в Москве в те же годы. По моей просьбе Брейтвейт изложил суть своей позиции в следующем резюме.

Russians say they were given oral assurances by Western leaders in 1990-1991 that NATO would not be enlarged beyond united Germany. They regard the subsequent enlargement of NATO as a breach of faith. They criticise the Soviet government of the day for not having insisted on getting binding assurances in writing.

Western officials and historians say either that that no assurances were given, or that they were without significance, or that they have to be seen in the context of a rapidly changing situation.

Despite the passage of twenty years, the issue still crops up as a burden on Russia's relations with the West.

The assurances

Russians point to the following:

  1. Assurances given in 1990:
    1. James Baker, US Secretary of State, 9 February 1990: “We consider that the consultations and discussions in the framework of the 2+4 mechanism should give a guarantee that the reunification of Germany will not lead to the enlargement of NATO's military organisation to the East”);
    2. Helmuth Kohl. German Chancellor, 10 February 1990: “We consider that NATO should not enlarge its sphere of activity”.
  2. Assurances given in 1991:
    1. John Major. British Prime Minister, Speaking to Defence Minister Yazov, 5 March 1991: "He did not himself foresee circumstances now or in the future where East European countries would become members of NATO:;
    2. Douglas Hurd, British Foreign Secretary, speaking to Foreign Minister Bessmertnykh,  26 March 1991: “[T]here were no plans in NATO to include the countries of Eastern and Central Europe in NATO in one form or another”;
    3. Francois Mitterand, speaking to Mikhail Gorbachev, 6 May 1991: “Each of the [Eastern European] countries I have mentioned will seek to ensure its security by concluding separate agreements. With whom? With NATO, of course. ... I am convinced that is not the right way forward for Europe.” This was, of course, a prediction, not an assurance.[1]

This factual record has not been successfully challenged in the West. The remarks by Major and Hurd are confirmed by British records. I was present on both occasions.

A distinction needs to be drawn between the assurances given in 1990, and those given in 1991. The earlier assurances were given before agreement was reached in the “2+4”  negotiations about the status of united Germany and its position in NATO between the Soviet Union, the United States, Britain, France and the two Germanies.

American officials later argued that James Baker's remarks referred only to the possibility that NATO forces would be introduced into Eastern Germany after reunification. As they stand, however, the remarks are ambiguous, and it is not surprising that they have been interpreted as referring to a wider expansion. In the event, Baker's point was dropped from the US negotiating position in the 2+4 negotiations, because his lawyers advised that it was not sustainable. A tortuous form of words concerning the deployment, exercising or stationing of non-German as well as German NATO forces in East Germany following reunification was agreed in the last hours of the 2+4 negotiations in Moscow on 13 September 1990.

The situation had, however, changed radically by the time John Major and Douglas Hurd spoke six months later, by when it was clear that the Warsaw Pact was on its last legs. Their remarks related specifically to expansion beyond German into Eastern Europe. They followed a speech by the Czech President Havel arguing that Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland should all be brought into NATO.

German and Americans leaders do not appear to have given the Russians similar assurances. Given the care with which the British normally clear statements on common issues of policy, especially with the Americans, it is barely conceivable that the two British statements should not have reflected a common Allied understanding. However the relevant documents have not yet emerged from the British archives.

The Context

Western officials now argue that given the turmoil at the time—Germany reunified much more rapidly than anyone had expected, the ending of Communist governments all over Eastern Europe, war in Iraq, and the impending tragedy in Yugoslavia—it was not surprising that Western leaders failed to consider the issue of NATO expansion more systematically: at that time the possibility seemed remote. The argument is plausible, even if it is not very respectable.

Nevertheless, the Russians were entitled to take seriously the repeated high-level assurances they were given. They were bound to feel that they had been dealt with in bad faith when the push for NATO enlargement began not long afterwards under President Clinton. It is easy to imagine how the West would have reacted if the positions had been reversed.

An alternative?

Primakov and other Russians have since argued that the Gorbachev government ought to have got Western assurances about NATO expansion in writing. Some argue that this was one more example of Gorbachev’s failure to stand up for Soviet interests.

This is unrealistic. If the Russians had demanded that the West give them written assurances, Western governments would have had to consider much more carefully whether or how they wished to bind their hands for the future. It is highly unlikely that they would have agreed. The chances of the Russians getting written assurances were close to zero.

Regardless of what assurances were or were not given, some people in the West argue that it was a major error of policy to alienate Russia by enlarging NATO into Eastern Europe without providing for a wider European security arrangement in which Russia was included. But the uncertainty following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the unsurprising concerns of the East European countries including the Baltic States that they would be left to deal with the consequences on their own, were powerful motives for NATO to move into a vacuum. The expansion of NATO into Eastern Europe was almost inevitable in the circumstances, even though it was badly tainted by Western triumphalism and sloppy Western diplomacy.

The subsequent push to expand NATO into Ukraine, the Caucasus and even Central Asia has stalled, probably permanently.

How far the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West in the 1990s would have been slowed or prevented if NATO had not expanded must remain an open question. There were plenty of other sources of friction at the time. Expansion is now a fact, to which all are having to adapt. Russia and its Western partners seem to be settling into a more pragmatic relationship, in which both Western triumphalism and Russian bitterness play a lesser role. The question of who said what to whom in the early 1990s will eventually become a matter of concern only to historians.

Rodric Braithwaite, 24 April 2011

Мэтлок не во всем согласен с Брейтвейтом. Особенно когда речь идет об оценке решения о расширении НАТО и о том, как это решение осуществлялось. Привожу цитаты из его писем:

As yet, the Bush Library has not declassified many of the documents involved in the 1990 negotiations.  However, what was said by Baker in his February, 1990, meetings with Shevardnadze and Gorbachev has been reported accurately both in Gorbachev's memoirs and in the book on German unification by Zelikow and Rice (Germany Unified and Europe Transformed, Harvard Univ Press, 1995, p. 187).  It is quite possible that there was no formal discussion among the allies on this point—strange as it may seem.  I was told subsequently that Baker picked up the idea from Genscher, whom he saw on his way to Moscow, and floated it with Gorbachev.  It was not a formal proposal and, clearly, what he had in mind regarding expansion of NATO jurisdiction to the east was the territory of the GDR. (The Warsaw Pact was still in existence at that time and though one might have suspected that its days were numbered, nobody was thinking of NATO taking on new members in the East.)

Baker was trying to persuade Gorbachev that it would be in the Soviet interest to have a united Germany in NATO—as assurance that it would not in the future make an attempt to dominate Europe or to acquire nuclear weapons.  He advanced the argument with a comment to the effect that he did not expect an immediate answer, but wanted Gorbachev to think about it.  Gorbachev's answer was sufficiently forthcoming that I advised Baker when we were riding back to the embassy that "he is going to buy this,  because in fact it will be in the Soviet interest to have Germany tied to NATO and some U.S. military presence in Europe as a guarantee." (Not a direct quote, of course, but a paraphrase from memory.)

When Baker returned to Washington from his Moscow trip, he was told by State Department lawyers that there was no legal way to exclude the territory of the GDR from “NATO jurisdiction” if that territory was part of a NATO member state.  So the idea was dropped from subsequent negotiations.  That is probably why it was never formally discussed in NATO.  Subsequently, in the two plus four negotiations, it was agreed that foreign troops would not be stationed on the territory of the erstwhile GDR, so in fact that territory was excluded from the full force of NATO jurisdiction.

This latter point is relevant because, subsequently, the Clinton Administration refused to consider brining the East European countries into NATO with restrictions on stationing foreign troops there.  “We will not have second-class NATO members!” it was argued, ignoring the fact that France was not part of the military structure at that time. 

It should also be recalled that the February 1990 conversations took place just a few weeks after Bush and Gorbachev had met in Malta harbour, at which time Gorbachev pledged not to use force in Eastern Europe and Bush assured him that the U.S. would not “take advantage” of the rapidly changing situation there.  It was not yet obvious in early December 1989 that German unity would occur so rapidly, or on the terms it did.  But when it became clear that the East Germans had no stomach for a separate state, U.S. policy was to make sure that a united Germany stayed in NATO.  If we could have done so legally, we would have been pleased to exclude the territory of the GDR from NATO jurisdiction. As it was, we all agreed that only German forces could be stationed there.

In my view, the subsequent expansion of NATO by the Clinton Administration, was an error of the first magnitude, but not because it violated promises given earlier.  It was an error because it militated against bringing Russia into the European security community, which should have been a strategic goal of our countries in the 1990s. And it was a reversal of the Bush policy of not “taking advantage” of the democratization of Eastern Europe.

В марте 1997 года мне пришлось вступить в полемику по этому вопросу с Алексеем Пушковым (который, кстати, в 1991 году работал вместе со мной в группе по внешней политике аппарата Президента СССР). Его статью я не нашел. Помню, что это было длинное рассуждение о недопустимости расширения с упреками в адрес «советского руководства» и призывами стоять до конца, чтобы не допустить в НАТО прибалтов (из этого, как известно, ничего не получилось). Вот мой ответ:

Полемика с Алексеем Пушковым («НГ», 19.03.97)

Безосновательные претензии

Павел Русланович Палажченко — в 1990 г. — советник МИД СССР, с 1991 г. — сотрудник аппарата президента СССР.

Статья Алексея Пушкова «Лидеры Запада не сдержали обещаний», небогатая конструктивными идеями или осуществимыми предложениями, вряд ли заслуживала бы комментария, если бы не одно обстоятельство. Я имею в виду содержащиеся в ней претензии к «советскому руководству», которое в 1990-1991 годах якобы не «поймало американцев и немцев на слове» в вопросе о нерасширении НАТО. Аргументация автора статьи, являющаяся по существу перепевом высказываний нынешних российских руководителей, подкрепляется цитатами из записей бесед Михаила Горбачева с Джеймсом Бейкером и Гельмутом Колем, а также из двух документов для внутреннего пользования. Что же доказывают и чего не доказывают эти выдержки, буквально «выдернутые» из контекста того времени?

Алексей Пушков считает, что они доказывают: «нынешней коллизии между Россией и НАТО можно было избежать», если бы не «недомолвки дня вчерашнего». Но теперь Россию не проведешь: «в готовящемся документе» об отношениях между Россией и НАТО должны быть юридически обязывающие заверения, не допускающие приема в НАТО стран Балтии и Украины.

Модные у нынешней российской «элиты» претензии к Горбачеву в данном случае безосновательны. Беседы с Бейкером и Колем состоялись в феврале 1990 года, когда еще существовал Варшавский Договор. Уже поэтому любые попытки советских руководителей «конкретизировать» подобным образом заверения западных политиков выглядели бы нелепо. А спустя некоторое время их еще обвинили бы в том, что тем самым они ускоряли распад ОВД. В 1990 году речь шла только о том, чтобы структуры НАТО, военные маневры этой организации не распространялись на территорию ГДР, чтобы там не размещалось ядерное оружие. На этот счет не только были получены заверения, но и было включено специальное положение в договор об окончательном урегулировании с Германией.

Конечно, последующие решения США и НАТО о принятии в этот блок восточноевропейских стран нарушают дух этих заверений. Однако условия для этого возникли гораздо позже, когда распался не только Варшавский Договор, но и Советский Союз. Между тем Россия не только не требовала юридических гарантий нерасширения НАТО, но вначале вообще не высказывала возражений против идеи расширения.

Главное, однако, даже не в этом. Любая страна имеет право вступать или не вступать в любой союз. Право ее соседей — высказываться по этому поводу, выдвигать политические возражения. Вопрос этот по сути своей — не международно-правовой, а политический. Если бы Россия удержалась от самоослабления (на грани саморазрушения), если бы она сумела выстроить нормальные отношения со своими соседями, не было бы речи об их вступлении в НАТО. В этом состоит действительный «урок недавней истории».

Не стоит гнаться за химерой «кодификации намерений» (формулировка Алексея Пушкова). Кодифицировать, как знает любой студент юридического факультета, можно только право — внутреннее или международное. Договор, который превратил бы НАТО в своего рода «общество закрытого типа», отказывающее в приеме рвущимся в него кандидатам, — не более чем фантазия, утопия, из которой все равно ничего не получилось бы тогда, как не получится и сейчас. К тому же утопия эта довольно вредная: ведь потребовав «юридически обязывающих гарантий», российское руководство уже загнало себя в угол, выход из которого найти будет не просто. Селективная распечатка «выписок» из архивных документов здесь явно не поможет.

В заключение приведу еще одну цитату из письма Мэтлока, где его и мое мнение сходятся на сто процентов:

It is easy to say that Gorbachev could have gotten a formal commitment not to expand NATO if he had asked. Nobody in the senior ranks on our side was thinking of taking in new NATO members and all would have been eager to reassure Gorbachev. But I am not sure what concrete form such assurances could have taken, other than an oral agreement that the Bush Administration would not approve new members of NATO in East and Central Europe. (A promise which, though never made, was in fact kept.) Attention was not paid to this issue. From August 1990 it was Iraq and Kuwait, then concern about the Soviet Union itself breaking up, and Yugoslavia showing even more distressing signs, plus a desire to get START nailed down while there was still a coherent Soviet government.  To the best of my knowledge, nobody in a decision-making level of the U.S. government was thinking of expanding NATO or preserving the right to do so.  But how, practically, could  binding assurances have been given? Would the U.S. Senate have accepted a treaty that removed this option for future administrations?  Not very likely. Gorbachev was probably wise not to open that potential can of worms with everything else that was going on.

Therefore, my position remains that the decision to expand NATO was a cardinal political error.  It was bad policy for the reasons I have given—and gave at the time.  But it is a stretch to say that, so far as the U.S. is concerned, it broke a promise made earlier. Steve Cohen has absolutely no inside information.  Many of his comments reflect a reluctance to acknowledge that the U.S. government did anything right.

[1] (Source: Russian archives, quoted by Yevgeni Primakov, Gody v Bolshoi Politike, Moscow 1999, pages 231-246.)

Не могу удержаться

С годами еще забавнее выглядит комментарий "поэта-правдоруба" Игоря Иртеньева на тему расширения НАТО, написанный в 1997 году:

Отвратительно, страшно, мохнато,
Воплощая всемирное зло,
На восток расширялося НАТО
И до нас невзначай доползло.

Над страною нависло зловеще,
Заслонивши нам солнечный свет,
И зажало в железные клещи,
От которых спасения нет.

Мы тут сеяли мирно и жали,
Добиваясь рекордов в труде,
На соседей мы зла не держали –
Мы добром их держали в узде.

Достигали совместных успехов
И кормили их щедрой рукой,
Всяких разных поляков да чехов,
Что сдались нам незнамо на кой.

А теперь эти самые братья,
Не вернув миллиардных долгов,
Жадной сворой рванулись в объятья
Наших общих недавних врагов.

А раз так, мы должны, я считаю,
Как один всей великой страной,
Обратив свои взоры к Китаю,
Повернуться к Европе спиной.

И, слегка наклонившись при этом,
Брючный пояс ослабить чуток...
Что и явится лучшим ответом
Расширеньям любым на восток.

И (в той же стилистике) бессмертные стихи поэта Соева из моего любимого фильма "Покровские ворота":

В купе под диваном лежала она,
Костлява, беззуба, безброва,
Лежала холодная, братцы, война,
Поверьте на честное слово!