Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Foreign Relations under Brezhnev
Foreign Relations under Brezhnev
Formal Soviet-U.S. relations continued to be good after 1964, but there was a serious indirect conflict in Vietnam (where the USSR gave North Vietnam much material aid, but did not send troops, to oppose U.S. forces active in South Vietnam). Other indirect conflicts included the 1967 Arab-Israeli War (where the Soviet Union backed the Arabs rhetorically but gave them little material assistance), the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 (when the USSR aided India and the United States backed Pakistan), the 1973 Arab-Israeli War (when U.S. President Richard M. Nixon, believing that the Soviet Union was about to send troops to back the Arab side, instituted a worldwide precautionary alert of U.S. forces), the Angolan, Mozambican, and Ethiopian civil wars (where the U.S. backed rebellions against Soviet-backed governments), and the Contra war in Nicaragua.
In 1968, Soviet relations with the Communist nations of Eastern Europe reached a critical stage when Soviet troops (and forces of some of the other Warsaw Treaty Organization members) invaded (Aug. 21) Czechoslovakia in a successful effort to curb the trend toward liberalization there (and indirectly to reduce Czechoslovakia's increasing contact with Western European nations). Brezhnev declared (in what became known as the “Brezhnev doctrine”) that Communist countries had the right to intervene in other Communist nations whose actions threatened the international Communist movement. Romania and Yugoslavia explicitly denounced the Brezhnev doctrine.
The Sino-Soviet conflict worsened after 1964. In 1969 there were numerous border clashes, including a major one over control of Damansky Island in the Ussuri River. Both countries enlarged their border forces and maintained them in the early 1970s despite somewhat less tense relations.
Sections in this article:
- Dissolution of the Union
- Glasnost and Perestroika
- The Gorbachev Era
- Détente Ends
- The Era of Détente
- Foreign Relations under Brezhnev
- Domestic Policy under Brezhnev
- The Brezhnev Era
- The Cuban Missile Crisis
- Foreign Relations under Khrushchev
- Domestic Policy under Khrushchev
- The Khrushchev Era
- The Cold War
- World War II
- Pre–World War II Foreign Relations
- Conservatism and Purges
- The First Five-Year Plan
- The Stalin Era
- Early Years
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