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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Letter from Premier Bulganin to President Eisenhower, on European security, the Rapacki Plan, and disarmament, December 10, 1957,   pp. 220-226 PDF (3.2 MB)

Page 221

from cooperation with one another, instead of sharpening their knives
against one another.
All of this leads us to the conviction that in the development of the
international situation a moment of great responsibility has arrived.
We feel that in this situation the responsibility that rests upon the
government of every state in determining its future foreign policy is
greater than ever before. Especially great is the responsibility of
the governments of the great powers.
I must frankly say to you, Mr. President, that the reaction of
certain circles in your country and in certain other NATO countries
regarding the recent accomplishments of the U.S.S.R. in the scientific
and technical field, and regarding the launching, in connection with
the program of the International Geophysical Year, of the Soviet
artificial earth satellites in particular, appears to us a great mistake.
Of course, the launching of artificial earth satellites bears witness
to the great achievements of the U.S.S.R., both in the field of peaceful
scientific research and in the field of military technology. However,
it is well known that the U.S.S.R. has insisted and still insists that
neither ballistic missiles nor hydrogen and atomic bombs should ever
be used for purposes of destruction, and that so great an achievement
of the human mind as the discovery of atomic energy should be put
to use entirely for the peaceful development of society. The Soviet
Union has no intention of attacking either the U.S.A. or any other
country. It is calling for agreement and for peaceful coexistence.
The same position is held by many states, including the Chinese
People's Republic and other socialist countries.
On the other hand, in the present situation the governments of
the Western powers are making the decision to step up the armaments
race still further and are following the line of intensifying the "cold
war." It is our deep conviction that nothing could be more danger-
ous to the cause of world peace.
First of all, who can guarantee, if the present competition in the
production of ever newer types of weapons is continued and assumes
still greater proportions, that it will be the NATO members who are
the winners in such a competition? I do not even mention the fact
that the, armaments race in itself is not only becoming an increasingly
heavy burden on the shoulders of peoples but is also still further
magnifying the danger of an outbreak of war.
Let us suppose that, in calling for further development of military
preparations with special emphasis on the creation of new types of
weapons of mass destruction, the American military leaders expect
to achieve some success. But nothing can change the fact that even
with the present status of military technology a situation has de-
veloped for the first time in history where in the event of war the terri-
tory of none of the great powers will any longer be in privileged
position that would spare it from becoming one of the theaters of
war from the very beginning of the conflict. Nothing is changed in
this respect, even by the fact that the U.S.A. has a network of far
advanced military bases, nor by plans to use territories and military
potential of Western European allies.
At the present time- in the United States of America there has been
proclaimed the thesis of "interdependence" of the countries members
of NATO. A new and increased contribution to the military prepara-

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