|Russia and the CIS News Digest
Some Brits Continue To Expose Gorbachov as British Asset
Sept. 15 (EIRNS)As divisions rise among the British imperialists, where some want an alternative to what they see as the failed Blair-Obama policies, there has been exposure of former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachov's role as a British asset against German unification, simultaneous with early declassification of British Foreign Office files on the period of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In a letter appearing in the Financial Times today, Gorbachov's role is exposed by Alex Pravda, a top British expert on Soviet foreign policy. Formerly at Chatham House, Pravda is now at St. Anthony's College, Oxford. He gives no source for his assertions, but they probably come from certain Kremlin documents which have just surfaced in London.
Alex Pravda writes:
"Sir, Philip Stephens rightly reminds us that Margaret Thatcher was not only hostile to German unification but also concerned to avoid destabilising Mikhail Gorbachev ('A misreading of the past holds a lesson for the future,' September 11).
"Well before she shared her misgivings about German unification with François Mitterrand, she made her views clear to Mr. Gorbachev. Halfway through a meeting with him in Moscow on September 23 1989, she asked that notes not be taken of what she wanted to say about German developments. Mrs. Thatcher then proceeded to confide that she and Mr. Mitterrand were opposed to unification as they saw it bringing border change, undermining stability and posing a threat to security. The Soviet leader made no comment.
"At a politburo meeting on the eve of the fall of the Berlin wall, Mr. Gorbachev explained western opposition to unification as an attempt to use the Soviet Union to obstruct the process and sow conflict between Moscow and Bonn to prevent their reaching a deal. He underestimated Mrs. Thatcher's visceral fear of the Germans, just as he overestimated Helmut Kohl's personal assurances that he would cooperate with Moscow to manage a gradual change in relations between the two Germanys.
"Mr. Gorbachev was surprised and angry at what he saw as Mr. Kohl's opportunistic use of chaos in the German Democratic Republic to swallow East Germany. Resigned to unification, Mr. Gorbachev then went on to agree to NATO membership for a united Germany, not as 'an admission of defeat'as Mr. Stephens impliesbut as a price worth paying for partnership with Bonn and Washington."
See InDepth for further discussion of the British revelations, in "London 'Adjusts' to Collapse of Obama Presidency."