Comecon ended in 1991 as the Soviet Union fell. China's long isolation from the West was coming to an end. International economic organizations generally took the form of either joint enterprises, international economic associations or unions, or international economic partnerships. Comecon was established at a Moscow economic conference January 5—January 8, 1949, at which the six founding member countries were represented; its foundation was publicly announced on January 25; joined a month later and in 1950. The Molotov Plan was the system created by the in 1947 in order to provide aid to rebuild the countries in Eastern Europe that were politically and economically aligned to the Soviet Union. To these differences were added fear of Soviet invasion in the West and Russian fear of the ; fear of economic collapse in the west versus fear of economic domination by the west; a clash of ideologies capitalism versus communism and, on the Soviet front, the fear of a rearmed Germany hostile to Russia. For a long time, the satellite nations were happy with universal employment and healthcare; but their inefficient economies were hurting, and many of the countries had huge debts.
History Main article: Foundation The Comecon was founded in 1949 by the , , , , , and. As remarked above, most Comecon foreign trade was a sometimes corrupt state monopoly, placing several barriers between a producer and a foreign customer. Discover more through the photograph. The Council Committee for Cooperation in Planning was the most important of the four. In Comecon countries, where prices for many goods were subsidized, empty shells and long waiting lines became a standard feature, encouraging a mentality to buy in excessive quantities when a product was available, to store many items and to use one's connections when an item - a spare part for the car, wall paper, paint for the wall etc. In 1956, eight standing commissions were set up to help Comecon make recommendations pertaining to specific economic sectors.
Slovakia specialized in arms production. Although such equalization had not been a pivotal point in the formation and implementation of Comecon's economic policies, improved economic integration had always been Comecon's goal. Essentially, by the time the Soviet Union was calling for tight economic integration, they no longer had the power to impose it. The Secretariat supervised the actual operations of the commissions. Although Mongolia and Vietnam later gained full membership, China stopped attending Comecon sessions after 1961. In practice, it meant that the Soviet Union sent raw materials and energy to the other member states, and those member states sent back manufactured goods to the Soviet Union.
However this article was not invoked until well after the Cold War, following the Sept. The Truman Doctrine was Truman's support for countries that rejected communism, especially in Greece and Turkey. Most commentators have viewed this as implicit, politically motivated subsidization of shaky economies to defuse discontents and reward compliance with Soviet wishes. Even Vietnam, though remaining politically communist, introduced some capitalist economic reforms. A week later eastern nations signed the Warsaw Pact, creating a military alliance under a Soviet commander. It was meant to prevent Soviet expansion into the Middle East.
This cooperation is guaranteed by Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which states that an armed attack against one member is to be considered an attack against all members. This aimed, at least in part, at allowing Romania to chart its own economic course without leaving Comecon entirely or bringing it to an impasse. All interested parties had to consider recommendations handed down by the Session. In 1948 Stalin enforced a blockade of 'Western' Berlin aimed at bluffing the Allies into renegotiating the division of Germany in his favor, rather than them declaring war over the cut off zones. Subordinate to the secretary were his deputy and the various departments of the Secretariat, which generally corresponded to the standing commissions. Aid under the Marshall Plan first went to Greece and Turkey to continue to crush communist influence there.
Yugoslavia negotiated a form of associate status in the organization, specified in its 1964 agreement with Comecon. The Secretariat's responsibilities included preparation and organization of Comecon sessions and other meetings conducted under the auspices of Comecon; compilation of digests on Comecon activities; conduct of economic and other research for Comecon members; and preparation of recommendations on various issues concerning Comecon operations. . Whereas the latter was interested in production efficiency and in allocation via market prices, the former was interested in bilateral aid to fulfill central planning goals. Germany was divided into four parts and occupied by Britain, France, America, and Russia; Berlin, situated in the Soviet zone, was also divided.
The Cominform or Communist Information Bureau was set up in September 1947 by Stalin to draw together the various European communist parties. In strict economic terms, barter inevitably harmed countries whose goods would have brought higher prices in the free market or whose imports could have been obtained more cheaply, and benefitted those for whom it was the other way around. Although the Cominform was disbanded in 1956, interparty links continued to be strong among Comecon members, and all participated in periodic international conferences of communist parties. Likewise, a large national income difference existed between European and non-European members. The international Secretariat, Comecon's only permanent body, was Comecon's primary economic research and administrative organ.
This alignment provided the framework for the military standoff that continued throughout the Cold War 1945-91. Comecon's stated purpose was to encourage trade between member states, as well as sharing technical knowledge and raw materials between members. That meant, for example, that Moscow could decide which industry Hungary should grow - but it also meant that the weak economies of the East were propped up by, and dependent on, the Soviet Union. Once again, however, efforts at transnational failed. In principle, a country could still veto, but the hope was that they would typically choose just to step aside rather than either veto or be a reluctant participant. Mongolia joined in 1962; Cuba followed in 1972, as did Vietnam in 1978.