WARSAW — Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki said Wednesday that he does not want to see Soviet troops withdrawn from Poland until the issue of Poland's western border with Germany is guaranteed by a formal agreement on German reunification.
"We believe that a new stage of history created by the reunification of Germany . . . must not be entered with any ambiguity regarding Poland's western border," Mazowiecki said.
About 40,000 Soviet troops are stationed in Poland, primarily supply and communications units supporting Soviet bases in East Germany. In other East Bloc countries, pressure is growing to speed up planned Soviet military pullouts. Some Soviet troops began leaving Hungary and Czechoslovakia last year. More are due to leave Czechoslovakia next week.
Poland, which was the first East European country to oust its Soviet-backed Communist government from power last year, now finds itself willing to rely on Soviet forces to provide a guarantee for the borders set by the Yalta and Potsdam agreements at the end of World War II. Under those agreements, Poland lost eastern territories to the Soviet Union and gained German territory along its western borders.
The Poles have demanded a role in the so-called two-plus-four negotiations over German reunification. Mazowiecki said Wednesday that Poland's ambassadors are delivering letters to the four major victorious powers of World War II--the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France--to press the Polish case. The "two-plus-four" formula refers to a plan, accepted by the two Germanys and the four wartime Allies, to have the Germanys meet to draw up a reunification program dealing with internal issues, followed by negotiations among the six nations on external and security issues.
Mazowiecki said Poles "cannot overlook" the pressure from right-wing groups in West Germany now agitating for the return of Silesia to Germany. On Monday, an association of West Germans forced to leave Silesia at the end of the war pledged to continue pressing their claims on the territory.
"We cannot give up our homeland," said Herbert Czaja, head of the group and a deputy in the federal Parliament in the Christian Democratic party of Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Under the pressure of conservatives in his election campaign, Kohl has not clearly stated his recognition of the Polish borders.
Adam Michnik, a Solidarity Parliament deputy, criticized Kohl in Paris on Tuesday for his failure to do so. "If Mr. Kohl wants to be credible with his neighbors, he should express himself openly."
East and West Germany have individually signed agreements recognizing Poland's western border, but Mazowiecki said Wednesday that he felt the agreements are unsatisfactory in the changing situation.
"We cannot have a situation in which we are told that a treaty is no longer binding because one of the countries involved no longer exists," he said.
"We have passed in the alliance with the Soviet Union to the state level from the ideological level," Mazowiecki said. "But this does not mean that . . . we do not see the importance of this alliance for the security of our borders."
Although Polish public opinion supports a withdrawal of Soviet troops, Mazowiecki said, "We assess this situation realistically, in the perspective of the Germany problem, and thus at this moment do not put the issue in such a category."