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Subject History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


Western acronym for the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance formed by stalin in January 1949. Within the cold war context this trading bloc constituted his Soviet response to the challenge presented by the US-sponsored marshall plan . Initial participants were the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, and Romania. Albania entered later in 1949 (but was expelled in 1961), and the German Democratic Republic participated from 1950. The formerly excluded Yugoslavia became an associate in 1965. Membership was also extended to Mongolia (1962), Cuba (1972), and Vietnam (1978). Comecon proclaimed itself as operating on the basis of exchange between the primary goods and energy resources sent from the Soviet Union and the finished materials prepared elsewhere in the bloc. In practice, the Council seemed to operate largely to the advantage of the Soviet economy, and there was constant tension between the Kremlin's desire to dictate trading strategy throughout eastern Europe and the resistance of the “satellites” to such centralizing aspirations. Mutual recognition between Comecon and the much more dynamic European Community (see european integration ) did not occur until 1988, in the reformist era of gorbachev . However, Stalin's creation failed to survive the European revolutions of 1989–91. In 1990 german reunification caused the eastern provinces previously ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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