Neutrality for Eastern Europe?: an examination of possible Western role models

by Richard Bitzinger

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As the neutralization of Eastern Europe becomes increasingly likely, it is useful to examine the West European neutrals as potential role models for a new bilateral relationship with the Soviet Union. After considering five major Western neutral nations, it is apparent that some, particularly Austria and Finland, are better role models than others. Taking a cue from these two neutral states, the emerging East European neutrals should proceed in a way that actively addresses basic Soviet regional security interests. In addition, they should adopt a patient and evolutionary approach to neutrality. Otherwise, events could only lead to increased insecurity and instability in Europe, to the detriment of NATO, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe.

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