THE UNITED STATES AND EAST CENTRAL
PART V. 19911992
Csaba BÉKÉS, Laura JORDAN, József LITKEI
© László BORHI
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2005
The English language version of this chronology was prepared with support from the Cold War International History Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C
January 7. The International Monetary Fund announces a $1. 8 billion loan to Czechoslovakia. It is the largest loan by the IMF to any Eastern European nation since the collapse of communism.
January 13. Soviet troops kill 15 protesters in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania in a crackdown on pro-independence forces. - U.S. President Bush states that there is "no justification for the use of force" in the republic.
January 21. The European Parliament suspends a $1 billion emergency food aid to the Soviet Union. - The foreign ministers of Hungary, Poland and Czechoslavkia issue a joint communique expressing "deep concern"over the Baltic bloodshed.
January 23. The U.S. House of Representatives passes a nonbinding resolution calling on President Gorbachev to cease the use of force in the Baltics. - The U.S. Senate passes a nonbinding resolution urging President Bush to consider economic pressure on the U.S.S.R. to end the crackdown.
January 28. U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and the new Soviet foreign minister, Aleksandr A. Bessmertnykh jointly announce the postponement of the planned February Moscow summit between Presidents Bush and Gorbachev.(It was the second time that a superpower summit had been put off. The first time occurred in 196O in connection with the U 2 crisis).
January 29. From President Bush's State of the Union Address: "The end of the Cold War has been a victory for all humanity Europe has become whole and free and America's leadership was instrumental in making it possible The principle that has guided us is simple: our objective is to help the Baltic peoples achieve their aspirations, not to punish the Soviet Union".
January 31. The Hungarian parliament resolves to join the North Atlantic Council - the parliamentary arm of the North Atlantic Treaty as an associate (nonvoting) member. February 1. The U.S. State Department issues its annual report to Congress on the status of human rights around the world. According to report the 1989 human rights gains in most countries of Eastern Europe had were "largly consolidated" in 1990.
February 4. Soviet foreign ministry spokesman Vitaly Churkin warned against foreign intervention in the Baltics controversy. Churkin said that his government would regard any such intervention as interference in Soviet internal affairs.
February 6. The White House announces a $5 million emergency medical aid destined directly to the Baltic republics and to the Ukraine.
February 15. Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland the leaders sign the Visegrad agreement.
February 25. The foreign and defence ministers of the six Warsaw Pact nations sign an agreement to disband the alliance's military structure by March 31. The accord was signed at a summit in Budapest, Hungary. - The trial of Todor Zhivkov, Bulgaria's former Communist Party leader opens in Sofia as the first communist leader in Eastern Europe to tried in public. February 20-21. The parliaments of the northern Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia adopt measures towards independence.
February 24. Poland announces a tentative three-year accord with the International Monetary Fund. The agreement would replace a previous one-year IMF pact and is scheduled to provide at least $2 billion in IMF aid.
March 3. The peoples of the Baltic republics of Estonia and Latvia vote for independence from the Soviet Union in nonbinding plebiscites.
March 4. The Supreme Soviet ratifies the six-nation treaty on German unification.
March 16. Serbian President Milosevic announces that his republic would no longer recognize the legitimacy of the Yugoslav federal government. He also announces a mobilization of Serbia's special police reserve to protect the republic from "anti-Serb" forces.
March 14. Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel calls on the Slovaks to hold a referendum on Slovak independence.
March 20. President Bush announces that the US would waive 70 percent of Poland's debt to the US. Bush hails Poland's radical economic reforms: "We want your economic transformation to succeed, your new democracy to flourish."
March 21. Czechoslovak President Vaclav Havel visits the NATO headquarters in Brussels. Havel warns that without a large infusion of Western economic aid, Eastern Europe would fall prey to "instbility, poverty, misfortune and disorder" during its "fundamental transformation".
March 31. The Warsaw Pact formally dissolves its military structure in Moscow while preserving its political arm, the Political Consultatuve Comittee. Tass Soviet news agency warns the the Warsaw Pact allies that they would threaten Soviet security interests by joining NATO.
April 8. Polish visitors streamed into Germany on the first day that such travel was allowed without a visa.
April 9. The Soviet Union starts to withdraw its military forces from Poland without a formal agreement to do so.
April 15. Officials from 39 countries, including several heads of government, gather in London for the auguration of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The EBRD, with $12.2 billion in capital was established in 1990 for the specific purpose of helping countries of Eastern Europe in their transformation towards market economy.
May 7. The Yugoslav military begins calling up reserves and deploying units in the western part of the country in response to rising ethnic bloodshed and unrest in Croatia.
May 8. President Bush hails Soviet leader Gorbachev for role in Eastern Europe: "What he did in terms of Eastern Europe has my deep respect."
May 19. Croatian vote overhelmingly supports Croatian sovereignty in a loose confederation of Yugoslav republics.
May 20. The Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. enacts a law to relax restrictions on travel and emigration by Soviet citizens.
May 22. Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev formally asks to attend a summit of the Group of Seven scheduled for July 15-17 in London. Gorbachev pleads for substantial Western aid for the U.S.S.R. so as to remain " one of the solid, reliable pillars of today's world".
May 28. The Defense ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation approve a fundamental military restructuring of the alliance. As part of the restructuring U.S. troops strength in Europe would be cut by as much as 50 percent within five or six years. The US was expected to reduce its troop strength in Germany from 200,000 to about 70,000.
May 24. Secretary of State James Baker announces the restoration of U.S. aid to Yugoslavia. Baker certified to the U.S. Congress that human rights were being respected in Yugoslavia. The aid was cut off only two weeks before as a result of the so-called Nickles amendment of the 1991 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. The provision required the U.S. secretary of state to certify to Congress that human rights were being respected in all parts of Yugoslavia. The amendment was aimed against the Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanians in the province of Kosovo. Yugoslavia lost about $5million in annual direct U.S. assistence.
May 30. The parliament of Croatia unanimously authorizes the republic's secession from Yugoslavia if Croatia fails to reach a confederation agreement with the other Yugoslavian republics.
June 4. Slovenia officially informs the Yugoslav parliament of its intention to secede from the Yugoslav Federation. The set date was June 26.
June 11. U.S. President Bush approved up to $1.5 billion in federal loan guarantees for the Soviet Union, to allow the Soviet purchase of U.S. grain.
June 12. Boris N. Yeltsin, campaigning as an independent candidate is elected to the newly created executive presidency of the Soviet Union's Russian Republic.
June 18-21. Soviet Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin's U.S. visit.
June 19-21. The last Soviet troops and their dependents leave Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
June 21-22. Secretary of State James Baker pays a one-day visits to Yugoslavia and Albania. In Belgrad Baker meets federal Premier Ante Markovic and holds individual discussions with the presidents of the six Yugoslav republics. He expressed U.S. concern over Yugoslavia's political crisis. June 22 Baker visits Albania as the first secretary of state ever to do so. In Tirana he was received by a crowed of an estimated 200.000- 300.000 people. Baker told the crowd, " Welcome to the assembly of free peoples building a Europe whole and free. You are with us and we are with you."
June 25. The republics of Slovenia and Croatia formally declare independence from Yugoslavia, but hedge on actual secession.
June 28-29. Yugoslav forces attack Slovenia prompting the EC to dispatch a diplomatic mission for mediation. The breakaway Yugoslav republics of Slovenia and Croatia agree to a three-month suspension of their independence declarations in order to halt federal military intervention. A cease-fire agreement is mediated in Belgrad and Zagreb by a team of foreign ministers-Jacques Poose of Luxembourg, Gianni de Michelis of Italy and Hans van den Broek of the Nederlands representing the EC. Yugoslavia is compelled to accept mediation under a threatened cutoff of $1billion in scheduled EC aid.
June 28- July 1. The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) and the Warsaw Pact are formally dissolved.
July 15-17. Leaders of the Group of Seven meet in London. The G-7 state its "strong interest in the success of market reforms and democracy" in Eastern and Central Europe, and repeats its commitment to supporting such reforms. They also call for permanent cease-fire between the army and secessionist forces in Yugoslavia.
July 17. President Bush and Gorbachev jointly announce an agreement to sign a treaty on the reduction of strategic nuclear weapons. They also disclose that their postponed Moscow summit would be held on 30-31 July.
July 22. As many as 20 people die in fighting between Croats and ethnic serbs int he Yugoslav republic of Croatia. The news prompted Croatian President Fanjo Tudjman to walk out of high-level talks on Yugoslavia's future. Fightings end in Slovenia.
July 20-31. U.S. President Bush and Soviet President Gorbachev hold the first post Cold War US-Soviet summit in Moscow. The two presidents sign the START agreement on the reduction od strategic nuclear arms, a follow-up treaty to the SALT II agreement. Bush calls the treaty "testimony to a new relationship"
July 23. The International Monetary Fund discloses that the Soviet Union applied for full membership in the IMF and the World Bank. The surprise request was forwared on 15 July. July 25 U.S. Treasury Secretary Nicholas Brady expresses dismay: the U.S advised the Soviet Union "sometimes to the points of boredom, not apply for membership" without first undertaking meaningful economic reforms.
July 25. Soviet President Gorbachev urges the ruling Communist party to scrap "outdated ideological dogma" and embrace "world socialist and democratic thought". His remarks came at the plenary session of the Communist Party Central Commitee.
August 4. EC mediation talks in Belgrad, collapse when Serbian representatives decide to boycot the high-level meetings. "Our mission in Yugoslavia failed", Van den Broek announced before leaving the country. As many as 300 people had been killed in fightings between Serbs and Croats since Croatia's June 25 declaration of independence.
August 5. World Bank announcement that it would lend Bulgaria $ 250 million for the importation of basic goods at a variable interest rate starting at 7.73% with a maturity of 17 years.
August 21. U.S. President Bush waive the Jackson-Vanik amendment with regard to Romania, paving the way for a restoration of Romania's most-favored-nation trade status. (The Jackson-Vanik amendment was enacted as part of the 1974 Trade Act and tied MFN status for the then socialist states to liberal emigration rules. The Amendment was designed to curb the extension of the MFN status to the Soviet Union. Romania was the first socialist state to negotiate the MFN in 1975, but the status was repealed in 1989 as a result of Romania's human rights violations).
August 19. A group of top Soviet hard-liners, backed by the security forces, detain President Mikhail S. Gorbachev in an attempted coup d'état. August 22 Gorbachev returns to Moscow.
August 24. The Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. votes to suspend all activities of the Communist Party in the wake of a bungled coup against Soviet President Gorbachev. August 23 President Bush refuses to comment on personal changes: "Who's on first over there is up to them".
August 24. Gorbachev resigns as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
August 24-27. The Ukraine, Byelorussia and Moldavia join the Baltic republics in taking steps toward independence from the Soviet Union. August 27 The EC foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels call for the EC nations to establish diplomatic relations with the Baltic states "without delay".
August 25-29. The U.S. makes clear its expectation that independence would be granted to the Baltic republics, resists pressure to formally recognize the three republics. (The United States never recognized the 1940 annexation into the Soviet union of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia).- The World Bank sets aside a $30million technical assistence fund for the development of key industries in the Soviet Union. The World Bank and the IMF withhold decision on granting full membership to the Soviet Union.
August 25. Yugoslav federal forces launch what appeared to be a full-scale military offensive in support of the ethnic Serb guerillas fighting in the republic of Croatia. German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher threatens diplomatic recognition of Croatia and Slovenia, if the Yugoslav military continue to ally itself with the Serb guerillas in Croatia.
September 2. U.S. President Bush announces full U.S. diplomatic recognition for Latvia, Lithuanaia and Estonia.
September 6. The State Council the new Soviet provisional executive body, formally recognizes the independence of the three Baltic republic. The Baltics had been annexed to the Soviet Union in 1940.
September 8. In a referendum citizens of the Yugoslav republic of Macedonia voted for independence from Yugoslavia. Macedonia is the third republic to embark on secession from theYugoslav federation.
September 14. U.S. Secretary of Sates James A. Baker 3rd visited the newly independent Baltic states as the first secretary of state ever to visit the region. Baker pledged only modest aid for the region, a total of $14 million in fiscal 1991 to be divided among the three countries. The Baltic leaders pressed Baker to help persuade the Soviets to quickly remove the estimated 100,000 Soviet troops still based on Baltic soil.
September 17. The 46th United Nations Assembly opens. The three Baltic states receive membership. - The U.N. Security Council votes to embargo all arms deliveries to Yugoslavia.
September 18. Fighting continues in the breakaway Yugoslav republic of Croatia in spite of a new cease-fire agreement engineered by the European Community.
September 29. U.S. President Bush announces a planned unilateral reduction of the US nuclear arsenal by about 2, 400 U.S. nuclear weapons (meaning warheads or delivery vehicles?). and calls on the Soviet Union to respond in kind.
October 5. Soviet President Gorbechev offers deeper cuts in intercontinental ballistic missile warheads then set by President Bush's announcement on September 29. The Soviet leader matched Bush by immediately taking Soviet strategic bombers off alert, deactivating 503 intercontinental missiles. In addition, Gorbachev announced that Soviet military forces would be reduced by 700, 000 troops, but gave no specific timetable.
October 8. The Polish foreign ministry announces that the U.S.S.R. agreed to remove the estimated 45, 000 Soviet troops in Poland by the end of 1992. The Soviets began a pullout in April, without a formal agreement.
October 18. President Gorbachev and presidents of eight of the 12 Soviet constituent republics sign a treaty of economic union. The Ukraine was among the four republics that snubbed the accord.
November 1. The Russian Congress of People's Deputies, the overall parliament of Soviet Russia, grant Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin sweeping powers to launch and direct radical economic reforms in Russia. The move won cautious acceptance from Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
November 7-8. The Rome meeting of the 16 member states of NATO set a new, post-Cold War course for the alliance. The demoratization of Eastern Eurpe, the reunification of Germany and the collapse of Warsaw Pact forced NATO to redifine its role in Western security since 1949. According to the newly released document the next possible threat to peace could come from Eastern Eurpoe in the form of political instability, nationalist unrest. -
Foreign ministers of the European Community impose an economic embargo on Yugoslavia in an effort to halt the civil war in the country. November 5 Serbia rejects an EC peace proposal that were tentatively accepted by Yugosalvia's other republics. The rejection, and another broken cease-fire, spurred the EC to impose sanctions.
November 21. The Group of Seven leading industrial countries reach an agreement with the Soviet republics to defer repayments on foreign debts accumulated by the Soviet Union. The pact defers $3.6 billion in principal payments on medium- and longterm debt owed to the G7 nations throught 1992.
November 23. At a meeting in Geneva Croatian, Serbian and Yugoslav army sign a United Nations-mediated cease-fire accord in which they agree in principle to admit a multinational peace-keeping force into Yugoslavia to help end the civil war. The agreement is signed by Croatian President Franjo Tudjman, Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic and Col. Gen. Veljko Kadijevic, the Yogoslavian defense minister. The accord was mediated by former US secretary of state Cyrus R. Vance, the chief U.N. mediator in the Yugoslav crisis.
December 1. A referendum in the Soviet republic of Ukraine overhelmingly votes for independence from the U.S.S.R. December 2 President Bush instructs Secretary of State Baker to go to Kiev before the end of December for high-level talks on the possible establishment of diplomatic relations.
December 3 U.S. Secretary of Defence Richard B. Cheney announces the lifting of a the ban on the sale of U.S. armaments to Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.
December 6 In response to renewed cease-fire violations in Croatia, the U.S. imposes trade sanctions against all six Yugoslav republics.
December 8. The leaders of three Slavic republics sign an agreement forming a "Commonwealth of Independent States" to replace the old U.S.S.R.
December 15-19 Secretary of State Baker's visit to the U.S.S.R. Baker receives assurances from key republic leaders that the Soviet nuclear arsenal would remain under some form of central control once the commonwealth becomes reality.
December 16. Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary sign 10-year association agreements with the European Community in Brussels.
December 17. Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev holds a two-hour private discussion with Russian republic President Boris N. Yeltsin in the Kremlin. Gorbachev accepts as imminent the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. All Soviet federal functions would either be dissolved or formally transferred to the newly created Commonwealth of Independent States by Jan. 1, 1992. - The European Community, seeking a diplomatic solution to the six-month civil war in Yugoslavia, announce that it would recognize the independence of the Yugoslav republics of Croatia and Slovenia in January 1992.
December 19. The German government unilaterally recognizes the independence of Croatia and Slovenia. In addition, holds out economic assistance to Croatia.
December 25. The Soviet Union is officially dissolved and replaced by a Commonwealth of Independent States made up 11 of the 12 former Soviet constituent republics. The demise of the U.S.S.R. came shortly after Soviet President Gorbachev announced his immediate resignation in a nationally televised address.
January 15. The European Community formally recognizes the independence of Croatia and Slovenia.The action signals the end of Yugoslavia 75-year-old federation.
January 28. Preisdent Bush proposes an approximately 30 percent reduction in U. S. military spending in his State of the Union message: "Two years ago, I began planning cuts in military spending that reflected the changes of the new era. But now, this year, with imperial communism gone, that process can be accelerated."
February 1. President Bush meets President Yeltsin in Camp David MD. It is Yeltsin's first private discussion with Bush since the disbanding of the Soviet Union.
February 10. The U.S. government confirms that Western CoCom restrictions on the transfer of militarily useful high technology to Hungary have been lifted. (Coordinating Committee was established in 1948 in compliance with US efforts to control the shipment of military and strategic goods to the Soviet bloc, aiming at the reduction of Soviet military potential and the weakening, even unseating of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Cocom survived the cold war in spite of doubts as to its usefulness.)
February 19. The German government agrees to forgive 50 percent of the $5.5 billion Polish debt to Germany.
February 21. The UN Security Council approves a resolution empowering the world organization to send nearly 14,400 peace-keepers to Croatia for the protection of the ethnic Serb minority.
February 28. Polish Premier Jan Olszewski appeals to the International Monetary Fund for more flexibility in setting the terms for aid to Poland and other Eastern European countries: "We are dealing here with a quite different system where there was no free market at all...this requires a new look."
April 1. President Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl separately announce a $24 billion aid package for the Russian Federation by the Group of Seven leading industrial nations.
April 7. The European Community and the U.S. separately recognize the independence of the Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition, the U.S. recognizes Croatia and Slovenia.
April 27. Russia and other former Soviet states are offered membership in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
April 27. The Yugoslav rebublics of Serbia and Montenegro proclaim a new "Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" in Belgrade.
May 6. Ukrainian President Leonid M. Kravchuk, speaking in Washington, D.C. vowes that his republic will cut its nuclear arsenal as required by the U.S. - Soviet 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
May 27. The European Community imposes a trade embargo on Yugoslavia in an effort to halt the fightings in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
May 30. The United Nations Security Council votes 13-0, with two abstentions, to impose sweeping international trade sanctions on Yugoslavia as a means of ending the bloodshed in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
June 20. Czechoslovak federal Vaclav Klaus and Slovak nationalist leader Vladimir Meciar agrees to dissolve Czechoslovakian Federation.
July 5. President Bush makes a stopover in Poland. In his speech following talks with Polish President Walesa, the U.S. leader urges Poles to be patient with economic reforms which increased prices and soaring unemployment. "Poland's time of trial is not caused by private enterprise, but by stubborn legacy of four decades of Communist rule. Make no mistake: the path you have chosen is the right path."
July 10. NATO and the Western European Union separately agree to send warships to the Adriatic Sea to tighten the trade embargo imposed on Yugoslavia by the UN (see May 30).
July 23. Czech Premier Vaclav Klaus and Slovak Premier Vladimir Meciar agree in peaceful divison of Czechoslovakia by the end of September. On August 26 the two leaders agree that the federation will be dissolved of Jan. 1 1993.
July 27. Troops of the Baltic state of Estonia exchange shots with Russian soldiers in Tallin. Russia had sought $7.7 billion from the Baltic states in return for withdrawing all Russian troops from the region by 1994.
August 5. The IMF releases $1 billion in stand-by credit for Russia. The loan is the first part of an anticipated $24 billion aid package that were offered by the Group of Seven.
August 6. President Bush calls for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution authorizing the use of force to protect the delivery of food and medicine to Sarajevo.
September 3. Ukraine formally joins the IMF.
September 8. IMF officials visit Poland in September. Delegation leader Michael Deppler calls the measures proposed by the Polish government to trim the budget deficit and combat inflation "impressive".
September 22. The United Nations General Assembly expells Yugoslavia from the U.N. for its role in the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
October 6. Responding to a proposal made by the United States the United Nations Security Council unanimously votes to create a warcrimes comission for Bosnia-Herzegovina.
October 9. The U.N. Security Council votes to ban all flights by military aircraft over Bosnia-Herzegovina.
October 11. Romanian President Ion Iliescu wins presidential runoff.
October 22. IMF approves a $ 82 million credit for Lithuania.
October 29. President Boris Yeltsin signs a decree suspending the pullout of Russian troops from the Baltic states because of "profound concerns over the numerous infringements of rights" of ethnic Russians in the Baltic states. According to State Depaertment estimates 80,000 Russian troops still remained stationed in the Baltic area, 24, 000 of which were to have been withdrawn by the ned of 1992.
November 3. Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton is elected the 42nd president of the US, ending 12 consecutive years of Republican control of the White House.
November 9. Serbian ethnic leader in Bosnia-Herzegovina Radovan Karadzic proposes the partioning of the Bosnia-Herzegovina along ethnic lines.
November 16. The UN Security Council imposes a naval blockade against Yugoslavia so as to tighten the sanctions on Yugoslavia in effect since May.
December 20. President Bush and Prime Minister John Major issue a joint statement calling on the UN to use force in enforcing the "no-fly zone" over Bosnia.