SOVIET RUSSIA. Brief history of the USSR
Initially, the new peace initiatives of the USSR, despite the advent of M. S. Gorbachev and the replacement of A. A. Gromyko as Minister of Foreign Affairs with E. A. Shevardnadze, were only slightly different from the previous guidelines of the theory of peaceful coexistence. The 1985 summit meeting in Geneva between MS Gorbachev and R. Reagan ended with little to what an obligatory solemn Declaration on the inadmissibility of nuclear war. In the same vein, the Statement of the Soviet Government dated January 15, 1986 was formulated, containing a program of nuclear disarmament by the year 2000.
The USSR urged the leading countries of the world to join the Soviet Union observed from the summer of 1985 (the 40th anniversary of Hiroshima a) a moratorium on nuclear testing and gradually reduce various types of atomic weapons. At the 27th CPSU Congress (1986), the concept of creating an international security system was formulated, many of the provisions of which were similar to the Collective Security System of the 1930s. and the Peace Program, adopted by the 24th CPSU Congress in 1971. Some adjustments were made to the Soviet policy in Afghanistan, where the USSR in May 1986 replaced the country's leadership. The new NDPA General Secretary M. Najibullah proclaimed a course for national reconciliation, adopted a new Constitution, according to which he was elected in 1987 as the President of Afghanistan. The Soviet Union sought to strengthen the position of the new leadership in order to subsequently begin the withdrawal of troops from the country.
In October 1986, a meeting was held between the Soviet and American leaders in Reykjavik, which marked the beginning of a new foreign policy course of the USSR. M. S. Gorbachev proposed to R. Reagan whether to quide all medium-range missiles, while the Soviet Union made greater concessions than the United States. Although the initiative of the Soviet leadership was not supported by the American side, this statement had a great international response. In 1987, the Warsaw Pact countries worked out a new purely defensive military doctrine, providing for a unilateral reduction of arms to the limits of "reasonable sufficiency".
Along with the ideas of conversion implemented in the USSR, the adoption of the defensive doctrine demonstrated the desire of the USSR to achieve real shifts in the process of defusing tensions. The desire to reduce military spending (25% of the USSR state budget) also had an impact. Resistance to a new course in the foreign policy of individual representatives of the military leadership was prevented by the cleaning of the German citizen Mathias Rust on May 28, 1987, in the army after unhindered landing on May 28, 1987 in Red Square. On May 30, 1987, Army General D. T. Yazov, who replaced S. L. Sokolov in this post, became the new Minister of Defense.
The main ideas of the new foreign policy course were formulated by Gorbachev in his book “Perestroika and New Thinking for Our Country and the Whole World”, published in 1987. According to Gorbachev, all ideological and economic differences between the world systems of socialism and capitalism must retreat before the need to protect human values. In this process, leading countries must sacrifice their interests in favor of small countries, the common goals of peace and detente, due to the fact that mutual survival is necessary for survival in the nuclear age. Unilateral disarmament is not as such, since it helps to defuse tensions and reduce the level of armaments of the opposing side, who had not previously decided on the first step. In addition to President M. S. Gorbachev and Minister of Foreign Affairs E. A. Shevardnadze, A. N. Yakovlev played a major role in the development and implementation of the concept of "new thinking", since September 1988 he has served as chairman of the CPSU Central Committee Commission on International Politics .
At the third meeting of R. Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev held in Washington on December 8, 1987, the parties signed an agreement on the destruction of medium-range and short-range nuclear missiles. For three years, the Soviet Union undertook to dismantle 1,752 missiles, the USA - 869. The arithmetic loss was compensated by a general reduction in tension, the start of a real disarmament process. Soon after the Washington meeting, February 15, 1988, the USSR began to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Exactly one year later, on February 15, 1989, the last soldier of the 40th Army returned home.
The war was over. In the spring of 1989, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR adopted a decree reducing the army by 500 thousand people, as well as defense spending by 14.2%. The withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, along with the return of Vietnamese troops from Kampuchea, made possible a dialogue with China. In May-June 1989, Gorbachev made a trip to China, where disputed territorial issues were settled. The USSR went to change the boundaries along the fairway of the border rivers.
The main events of 1989 were the socio-political changes in Eastern Europe. The governments of most of the communist Eastern European countries were forced to resign or were overthrown. The long-restrained social explosion of the USSR, in the conditions of new thinking and lack of control by the Soviet Union, was realized in a series of bourgeois-democratic revolutions. In December 1989, a meeting of the new US President George Bush and Mikhail S. Gorbachev took place in Malta.
During the negotiations, it was scheduled to begin in the near future a 50% reduction in strategic offensive arms. It envisaged a reduction in the number of troops in Europe, a radical reduction in the stockpiles of chemical weapons. At a meeting with the German Chancellor Kohl in Moscow (February 1990), Gorbachev agreed with the possible reunification of Germany, and the FRG’s withdrawal from NATO structures was not specified. October 3, 1990 GDR ceased to exist.
In 1990, M. S. Gorbachev received the Nobel Peace Prize. The reaction in the Soviet Union was ambivalent: on the one hand, in 1989 the Afghan war ended, the danger of a new conflict also decreased, on the other hand, the USSR lost its position in the world. Gorbachev’s authority increased inversely with the fall in the prestige of the Soviet Union.
Internal political crisis of the USSR in 1990-1991. weakened the foreign policy position of the USSR. The Soviet Union practically withdrew from the resolution of regional conflicts, which was shown by the Iraq-Kuwaiti war and Operation Desert Storm (1991). The cooperation of the USSR and the countries of Eastern Europe loses its significance in the new conditions. On June 28, 1991, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) ceased to exist.
On July 1, 1991, the heads of the delegations of Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union signed in Prague a protocol on the termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance of May 14, 1955. The most significant document of this period was The Treaty on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (START-1), signed by representatives of the United States and the USSR in July 1991 in Moscow and providing for the reduction of various types of offensive weapons. The collapse of the USSR and the formation of the CIS marked the beginning of Russian foreign policy
History of the Soviet Union and Russia in the 20th Century