The author analyzes the response of two superpowers to the unexpected German initiative. He characterizes certain features of the Soviet and American approaches, their background, reactions to the hasty decisions and violently manifested craving for reunification, especially visible on the East German street which plunged into a revolutionary crisis. Kohl's conception was received with reserve by the allies and fierce opposition from the Kremlin, which saw the chancellor's initiative as 'artificial acceleration' and 'complication of a most significant turning point' in the developing dialogue between the European states. Also American reactions signaled anxiety that German alacrity would weaken Gorbachev's position, undermine the process of reconstruction and impair the cohesion of the Western Bloc.
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