Political Successors of Kohl And Mitterrand Aren't Trying to Stop the Chaos
Meanwhile, Germany clearly doesn't know how to say goodbye to its former Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, who passed away last week. For some reason, they refused to perform a national funeral ceremony. They have some sort of European farewell in mind. It's to be held at the end of next week. That's not the Germany or the Europe Kohl had dreamed of. Mikhail Antonov reports from Berlin. There isn't much left from the 106 km concrete monster.
The Wall is like a ghost that doesn't scare anybody. It became a historical, if not to say a cultural landmark. You can purchase a piece to keep, starting at €6. Meanwhile, the remains of the Wall are fighting to survive. The owners of the land, where it stands, are already executing their right to put up a nice, expensive house in its place.
Berlin, August 1961. It split up Berlin on August 15th, 1961. For 38 years, it grew higher and wider, it was cared for and upgraded constantly. On November 8th, 1989, the Wall seemed timeless. On November 9th, this property immediately lost its value. GDR authorities opened up the borders. The democratization process became final, irrepressible, and uncontrollable. FRG Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, saw it as a head spinning opportunity. After the fall of the Wall, it became obvious that there's a chance to reunite the country. In 1989, on the territory of West Germany, there were 270,000 refugees and migrants from the GDR. Add USSR inner political processes to that, Perestroika and Glasnost.
In June 1990, Gorbachev visited Bonn to meet with Helmut Kohl. As the result of the negotiation, a joint agreement was signed. This was the first German-Soviet document, which contained the condition of people's right for self determination. Everyone, including USSR, knew what was implied by this in Germany. Horst Teltschik is Kohl's political advisor. He's been a Munich Security Conference Chairman for many years. With this person's direct help, the Chancellor pushed the idea of the reunion through their allies. USSR is buried in their own economic issues, they can be bought. Those, who know about the deal in Arkhyz, are quiet, and the experts argue.
The US sees this situation as a chance to spread their influence in Europe. The hardest challenge is with the British and with the French. Margaret Thatcher stood by the opinion that since Germany had started 2 wars in the past, then the united state in the future may start a 3rd one. For this reason, Germany's membership in NATO was a matter of principle for Thatcher. Mitterrand was worried that after reuniting, Germany would become bigger and stronger economically. In April, 1990 during a summit in Dublin, he and Kohl suggested the start of political integration and strengthening the political union.
For Mitterrand, this step was a guarantee that Germany and France would remain close partners. Kohl and Mitterrand led the process, which led to signing the Maastricht Treaty in February 1992. This formed the European Union as a politically and economically, and partly a monetary integrated space. But someone had to give in on united Germany's military status. Neutrality or NATO? Gorbachev gave in. USSR gave up their positions and Russia then started giving up their former friends. The General Secretary of SUPG, Erich Honecker, who had kidney cancer, got arrested several times.
After that, he was secretly transferred to the USSR on a military plane. Germany demanded extradition, which the new, Russian authorities had agreed to. The elderly had to hide in the Chilean Embassy, but not for long. Upon his return to Berlin, Honecker went to prison in Moabit. Then came the court, the appeal, treatments, metastasis in the liver. In 6 months, the case was closed. He was allowed to fly out to Chile to his family. That's where Mr. Honecker died. There were many fates like this one, but all of them got lost among great hopes and the expectation of time, which resulted in the Paris Charter of 1990. It announced the course of creating a united space of peace and safety from Vancouver to Vladivostok.
The Charter was signed by 35 leaders of states and countries. That's when we agreed upon the principles of creating such space. We created administrative prerequisites. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to be exact. The process of uniting Europe was supposed to take place within its terms. Today it's OSCE. We have created the Conflict Prevention Center. Unfortunately, in 25 years, it hasn't prevented even one argument. We agreed upon annual conferences for foreign ministers. Why were there no real results from these meetings? We organized top-level meetings. No success.
During Kohl's times, we wanted to suggest an all-European Security Council. Unfortunately, this topic didn't pan out. Back in 1990, they agreed upon financial aid for the USSR. During the G7 summit in Houston, Kohl, Mitterrand, and Thatcher insisted on mass support for the USSR, all for its democratization. It wasn't necessary, democracy quickly dealt with USSR, by itself. Without any risk, its separate parts could be, just as US wanted, caught on the IMF hook. The same thing happened to other grand beginnings, like the common security space.
Instead, there's the US missile defense system in Europe, which neutralizes the point of the basic, for Europe's peace, 1987 treaty about neutralizing medium-range and long-range missiles. Kohl didn't like this, neither did Teltschik. I think that Putin's Munich speech is a missed opportunity. During his speech, the President has stated a list of aspects, with which he was not pleased with.
Putin had pointed out a few issues, which surfaced during cooperation with the West. That's when everyone should have sat down at the negotiations table and went over that list point by point. That never happened. I think that the only issues, which the Americans have joined in to solve, are the missile defense negotiations. USA invited Medvedev to the NATO summit in Lisbon. Where they promised him that they'd include Russia in the missile defense system. But they broke their promise, it was their decision.
The decision of the people, who believe they can control probability. They turned their global politics into a scam. There's still a veto in the UN Security Council, but nothing definite, no clear perspective or common rules. This is just what François Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl were afraid of, foreseeing the end of the USSR. They couldn't prevent the chaos, they didn't have enough time. But their biggest merit is that they really tried, unlike their current political students and successors.
In the center of Berlin, there's a metal pavement, where the iron curtain used to be, or the anti-fascist defense wall, depending on which side you observed from. Germans will always be grateful to Gorbachev for allowing to take this structure down, and to Helmut Kohl for making its reconstruction impossible. But the Wall always has a chance, somewhere else. It's as true as the fact that the souvenir concrete pieces have nothing to do with the Berlin Wall.