Horst Teltschik diary

Cold War: Horst Teltschik diary (MT letter to Kohl on talks with Gorbachev in Moscow) [translation]

Document type: Declassified documents
Source: Horst Teltschik, 329 Tage: Innenansichten der Einigung [329 Days: Inside Views of the Unification] , Siedler Publishing 1991
Editorial comments: Translated specially for Dr Teltschik was Helmut Kohl’s closest foreign policy adviser.
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 182
Themes: Defence (general), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states), Foreign policy (Western Europe - non-EU)

Monday, 18 June 1990

Today a message arrived from Margaret Thatcher. She reports to the Chancellor about her talks with Gorbachev last Friday. She found him self-confident, even ebullient Ð but perhaps a little bit less so than usual.

The main topic of their conversation was the security of Europe and the NATO membership of Germany. Gorbachev's thoughts on this theme are still developing; there were absurdities and contradictions on his part.

Thatcher rightly finds it noteworthy that neither during their talks, nor at the joint press conference, did Gorbachev say that a united Germany ought not be a member of NATO. The British Prime Minister sees good possibilities in a joint declaration by NATO and the Warsaw Pact. It could help the Soviets to accept the NATO membership of a unified Germany. In her opinion, Gorbachev will also be ready for this.

Margaret Thatcher reports a lively debate with Defence Minister Yasov and the Soviet General Staff, who evaluate German NATO membership and the subject of nuclear weapons quite realistically. In comparison, they are rather over-taxed by the practical difficulties of the withdrawal from eastern Europe