The government of East Germany voted last month to dissolve its governing body and unite with West Germany. The measure to reunite was delayed, however, and will probably occur later in the year.
The move caused Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to soften his stance on the reunification of Germany. Earlier, the Kremlin had sought membership in Both NATO and the Warsaw pact for the reunification of Germany. Now Gorbachev maintains that East Germany’s obligations toward the Warsaw pact be held to only during a transitional period.
Gorbachev also suggested that a united Germany could be a member of NATO if the western alliance changed its Cold War position against the Soviet Union.
The Soviet leader’s comments appeared to be a “positive movement” on the German issue, said an anonymous Western diplomat.
German Chancellor Helmut Kohl said in a recent Time magazine interview, “Some transitional arrangements will be needed. It is possible to allow for the stationing of Soviet troops for a certain time period in what is today the German Democratic Republic.
“German unity in the year 2000 cannot be the same as German unity in 1900. The future of free Europe is not the future of the old nation-state. We are talking about a wider opening, and that is the hour of Europe.”