AY – COMINFORM and The Takeover Of Eastern Europe

The Paris Negotiations

After Marshall’s speech, the British and the French held a conference in Paris in order to formulate a plan for the distribution of the US aid. In need of financial support, Stalin sent Molotov to Paris in his name in order to negotiate some of the aid which the USA was offering however they did not want it to be restricted with any limitations and therefore decided to back out of the negotiations once Britain and France argued for a joint programme for spending aid as it would encourage free trade and Stalin thought that it would undermine Soviet influence in Eastern Europe. Bevin was happy about this as he thought that Molotov’s departure marked the beginning of the formation of a Western bloc- an alliance of Western European states and the USA. On the 16th of July, a meeting took place where 16 Western European nations were represented however, Eastern countries did not attend as they were stopped by Stalin. Each state had their own agenda which they prioritised in the meeting, e.g, France wanted to ensure that their economy had more reparations than the economic needs of Bizonia. However the British wanted to safeguard their national sovereignty and were opposed to creating powerful supranational organisations. By mid-August, each country had decided on a list of requests with their own needs in mind rather than thinking of it as a whole.

Stalin’s response

Dollar Imperialism is a cold war term by the Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov of the Soviet Union that believed the Marshall Plan was being used by the United States to create a sphere of influence in Western Europe after World War II. Cominform was established in September 1947 in order to promote the community of the Communist parties within their separate states. Its main tasks were to complete Sovietisation of the Soviet satellite states and to also co-ordinate the activities of the Communist parties in both the Soviet bloc and through the world. COMECON (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance) was founded in 1649 by the USSR, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania and had aims to integrate the economies of Eastern Europe with that of the USSR’s. However it was only in 1954 that where the organisation was given more authority and became better organised and certain developments were made such as :

  • Agriculture was collectivised
  • Centralised economies were established
  • Five-year Plans laid the foundation for large scale industrialisation and the development of heavy industry

In a response to the Marshall Aid, Stalin incorporated Eastern Europe into his sphere of Soviet control which was helped by the presence of the Red Army. Stalin also did not want any coalition governments within Soviet zones as he wanted their to be no opposition to Communism and hence he created Cominform and COMECON in order to unite the Communist countries together and help each other economically. This helped Stalin to take control of Eastern Europe as he was more aware of what each state was undergoing and was able to stay in touch more closely through better forms of communication with each minister.

The Takeover of Eastern Europe

1. Poland

2. Hungary

3. Czechoslovakia

4. Yugoslavia

5. Romania

6. Bulgaria

7. Baltic States

 

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