Relations Between the Soviet Union and Its Eastern European Allies

A Survey

by James Brown


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A comprehensive survey of Soviet East-European relations since 1969, analyzing Soviet goals in Eastern Europe, the successes and failures of Soviet policy in pursuing those goals, and future prospects. Policies toward the East European countries differed considerably in the Khrushchev and Brezhnev eras. In seeking a balance between cohesion and viability, Khrushchev instituted reforms in economic structure, planning, and policy that led to increased nationalism and a serious threat to Soviet absolutism. The Brezhnev leadership since 1964 has tilted the balance back sharply in favor of cohesion and the restoration of Soviet control. This report appraises regionwide developments in the Eastern European countries and discusses the bilateral relations of each country with the Soviet Union. Intra-East European ties, which are of considerably less importance, are also briefly considered. The report concludes with a discussion of problems and prospects for the immediate future and suggests some possible developments that may occur with the eventual succession of a new Soviet leadership.

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