Ostpolitik: What Were The Aims Of Brandt's Ostpolitik And How Did He Seek To Achieve Them?

1330 words - 6 pages

After the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis, tensions worldwide, including within Europe, eased significantly, all sides agreeing to work towards a policy of détente. The leader of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), or West Germany as it was named at that time, Willy Brandt, decided to review the policies that the FRG had up till this point held regarding Eastern Europe. Under the Hallstein Doctrine, relations with Eastern Europe had basically ground to a halt during the mid-fifties, so Brandt in 1970, along with his foreign minister Walter Scheel, agreed to hold negotiations with the leaders of the East. This policy of improving relations with the Eastern communist bloc was ...view middle of the document...

The Soviets were also given a letter from the West Germans where it stated that the FRG would work towards -peace in Europe where "the German people regains its unity in free self-determination". This explains what the FRG gained out of a seemingly biased treaty leaning towards the USSR; the successfully dropped hints that the FRG wished to see reunification later on. Also, the FRG managed to use the word "inviolable" rather than the Soviet chosen word "immutable" when describing the frontiers, as immutable means "unchangeable", whereas "inviolable" leaves room for future negotiations as to borders. This agreement allowed Brandt to work cooperatively with the Soviets, conceding to points which would not affect the FRG perversely in any way, while ensuring that the option to reunify remained open in the future. This achieved both of Brandt's goals of clearing the air with the leader of the Eastern bloc and easing the pathway for future reunification with the GDR.The Four Power negotiations over Berlin represented another milestone in Brandt's policies. Berlin still remained the thorn in the sides of all the powers, with the question of access to it a constant quandary for the USSR, the US, Britain, and France. The aims of the Western Allies were that West Berlin should be officially linked with the FG, and that the West should have free access to it. As both sides' reputations were on the line with as sensitive a subject as Berlin, which had long been a point of contention for the duration of the Cold War. This explains the Soviet anxiety to appear as if they were not making significant concessions, however they were eager as well to for tensions to ease, and especially wary of angering the US, who were working on relations with the Soviets' nemesis at the time, China. As for the Western Allies, they were confident of the upper hand due to their exploiting of the deteriorating relations between the USSR and China in 1969-1970 with President Nixon being the first US President to visit China. The terms of the Four Powers agreement saw the Soviets concede "unimpeded traffic between West Berlin and the FRG, recognition of West Berlin's ties with the FRG, and finally, the right for West Berliners to visit East Berlin". On the Western side, they agreed that West Berlin was not an official part of the FRG. As for Willy Brandt and his aims, the Four Power Treaty was another Ostpolitik success as it showed that even though the FRG was attempting to strengthen relations with the East, this policy did not compromise their links with the West, whose involvement in these negotiations...

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