The article examines Soviet involvement in the Danish campaign for a Nordic nuclear weapon free zone in 1981. During spring and summer that year, three major events promoting the idea of a Nordic zone took place in Denmark: a Nordic Peace Congress in Aalborg, the publication of an appeal in Danish newspapers and a peace march from Copenhagen to Paris. The analysis suggests that Moscow played a major role in these initiatives, with the climax being marked by a statement from CPSU General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in which he alluded to parts of North-Western Russia being included in a nuclear weapon free zone. This case study explores how Soviet authorities attempted to influence Western audiences. On the one hand, in this particular case the planning and timing of the Soviet initiatives seemed quite successful, while on the other the sources reveal a rigid system with little room for improvisation when confronted with the complex reality of a democratic society.
Keywords: Nordic nuclear weapon free zone, Soviet influence, peace movements, CPSU peace initiatives, KGB
The article analyses how in the early 1970s two European economic organisations â the EC and the CMEA â attempted to formulate a common foreign trade policy vis-Ã -vis one another. Ever since its inception, the EC had worked towards establishing a customs union and implementing a common commercial policy, whereas the CMEA Charter initially focused solely on internal economic cooperation within the socialist bloc. It was thus only in the early 1970s, in response to the expansion and consolidation of the EC, that discussions on a common foreign trade policy commenced within the CMEA. The two organisations began protracted discussions on how to organise their mutual relations, but it is argued that neither party was able to reach its goals. Up until the late 1980s, the CMEA and the EC had no formal relations and trade agreements, and, as a result, both parties had to compromise in order to keep trade agreements between them from collapsing.
Keywords: CMEA, EC, customs union, common foreign trade policy, bloc cohesion, national interests
Observation of economic reform and competition in socialist states offers a new approach to studying the Cold War. On the most general level, this research is an attempt to answer the following question: How is competition linked to legitimacy and alliance cohesion? Studying the limits of the attempted economic and administrative reforms helps provide some answers. Under what conditions could economic reform and competition in the Soviet Union surface as political arguments? Which interest groups in Soviet society were the ones most prone to use this argument and how was their position and decision-making affected? Finally, how did the attempted reforms influence alliance cohesion within the socialist bloc? These processes are observed through the Soviet Sovnarkhozy reform (1957-€“64), which is then contrasted with the later Kosygin reform (1965-€“68), and with the Hungarian New Economic Mechanism (NEM) reform (1965-€“73) forming an important point of reference from the viewpoint of alliance cohesion and the development of East-West interdependence.
Keywords: Soviet Union, competition, legitimacy, standard of life, unity of alliance