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By Andrew Cottey (auth.)

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Extra resources for East-Central Europe after the Cold War: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in Search of Security

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By being pan-European in character they could, in theory, provide for the security of the East-Central European states without threatening other states and thereby avoid the danger of provoking responses which might undermine East-Central European security. A collective security system would provide security guarantees for the countries of East-Central Europe. Unlike a Western alliance, however, it would also provide security guarantees for the Soviet Union/Russia, rather than being directed against it.

3 The formation of the Solidarity-led government under Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki in September 1989 resulted in a compromise under which the Ministries of Defence and Interior remained under the nominal control of the PZPR, but President Jaruzelski (presenting himself as a national leader above political divisions) was given ultimate authority in defence and foreign policy. 4 In his inaugural address to the Sejm on 12 September 1989 Prime Minister Mazowiecki confirmed Poland 29 that his government wished to 'maintain allied relations with the Soviet Union'.

Similarly, a successful cooperative security system depends on the willingness of its members to abide by the norms of the system (such as commitments to the non-use of force, to respect existing borders, and to limit national armed forces). Given the unstable situation in Eastern Europe and the former-Soviet Union, whether the states of the region could be relied upon to abide by such norms was questionable. Should cooperation break-down, moreover, a cooperative security system would provide no guarantee of a response to an actual or potential threat.

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