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Socialist Countries Face the European Community

Soviet-Bloc Controversies over East-West Trade

Suvi Kansikas

In the early 1970s, the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) began to revise its trade policy towards the outside world. It needed to counter the European Community’s bid to implement its Common Commercial Policy and thereby change East-West trade practices. Foreign trade priorities became at once a crucial issue on the socialist countries’ political agenda. The key question was whether they would have to open their system to the global economy – and bear the consequent pressures and competition that this decision entailed. Based on newly declassified archival sources, this study shows how the East European states were able to lobby their positions towards the USSR within the CMEA. The pressure from its allies forced the Soviet leadership to accept the CMEA’s opening towards the EC.
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Primary sources

Archives in Russia

Arhiv Rossiiskoi Akademii Nauk [ARAN] The Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia. Fond 1933: Institute of the Economy of the World Socialist System of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Ekonomiki [RGAE] Russian State Archive of the Economy, Moscow, Russia. Fond 302: Soviet representative in the CMEA.

Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arhiv Noveishei Istorii [RGANI] Russian State Archive of Contemporary History, Moscow, Russia. Fond 2: CPSU Central Committee Plenums.

Tsentral'nyi arkhiv obshchestvenno-politicheskoi istorii Moskvy [TsAOPIM] Central Archive of Socio-Political History of Moscow, Moscow, Russia. Fond 2289: Party organisation of Institute of the International Economy and International Relations (IMEMO) at the Soviet Academy of Sciences. Fond 2287: Party organisation of the Institute of the Economy of the World Socialist System (IEMSS) at the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Archives in Germany

Politisches Archiv des Auswärtiges Amts [PAAA] Political Archive of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Berlin, Germany.

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