Soviet Union Table of Contents
A recurrent theme in Soviet propaganda concerning West Germany has been the supposed resurgence of revanchism and militarism, indicating to some degree real Soviet fears of a rearmed and nuclearized West Germany. The Soviet Union strongly opposed the creation of multilateral nuclear forces in Europe in the 1960s and demanded that West Germany sign the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons, which the Soviet Union had signed in July 1968. After Willy Brandt of the Social Democratic Party was elected chancellor in October 1969, he implemented a détente, termed Ostpolitik (literally, Eastern policy), with the Soviet Union. West Germany signed the nonproliferation treaty in November 1969. In August 1970, the Soviet Union and West Germany signed a treaty calling for the peaceful settlement of disputes, with West Germany agreeing to respect the territorial integrity of the states of Europe and the validity of the Oder-Neisse line dividing East Germany from Poland. The provisions of this bilateral treaty became multilateral with the signing of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Accords) in 1975, in which the Western signatories, including the United States, recognized the de facto hegemony of the Soviet Union over Eastern Europe and the existing territorial boundaries of the European states. The Helsinki Accords also bound the signatories to respect basic principles of human rights. In the early 1980s, the Soviet Union began a harsh propaganda campaign accusing West Germany of revanchism and militarism because of West German initiation and support of NATO efforts to counter the Soviet deployment of SS-20s targeted on Western Europe. Gorbachev remained cool toward West Germany because of its role in fostering a NATO response to SS-20 deployments and delayed scheduling his first visit for June 1989. This visit was very successful in emphasizing Gorbachev's message of the "common European home" and the peaceful intentions of the Soviet Union regarding Western Europe.
Data as of May 1989