SOVEREIGNTY AND STALIN’S POLICY TOWARDS EASTERN EUROPE
Within the region of Eastern Europe in the early postwar years, Stalin had the ability to consign the concept of sovereignty to the dust-heap of history by incorporating the states occupied by Soviet troops into the USSR. In the interwar period the Soviet Union had been forced by the prevailing balance of power to limit its policy objectives in the region to the pursuit of limited and conventional security interests. Any ‘aspirational’ ambitions which Soviet policy makers might have entertained about the possibility of a dramatic westward shift of the USSR’s boundaries would have been dismissed as fanciful in the sobering light of political and military realities: the outcome of the Second World War opened up an array of policy options for the Soviets which would have previously been deemed impracticable. There is some evidence which suggests that Stalin was not unmindful of one tantalisingly attractive policy option — the prospect of wholesale territorial expansion in Eastern Europe — which had been brought within the bounds of possibility by the outcome of the War.
KeywordsEurope Assure Turkey Hull Arena
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