Eastern Europe looks west

by A. Ross Johnson


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Discusses the Soviet stake in Eastern Europe and Western influences to which Eastern Europe is more open than it was in the mid-1960s. Soviet control is as secure as ever, but the USSR has not made significant progress in its East European policy. National and societal forces that Moscow views as antithetical to Soviet interests have revived in parts of East Europe because of the fact that it is more, rather than less, open to the West. Domestic impulses and Western influences propel these countries in the direction of "Finlandization" yet the Soviets cannot tolerate a single "Finland" in Eastern Europe. Thus these countries are increasingly a burden of empire to the USSR rather than an asset. They continue to require a proportion of Soviet time, energy, and resources that is excessive. But they are a burden the Soviets cannot consider giving up for reasons of ideological security far more than military security.

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