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The Warsaw Pact, officially named the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance (Rus. Договор о дружбе, сотрудничестве и взаимной помощи) was an organization of communist states in Central and Eastern Europe. The treaty was signed in Warsaw, Poland on May 14, 1955 and official copies were made in Russian, Polish, Czech and German. The treaty was an initiative of the Soviet Union and was in direct response to West Germany joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1955. As such, the Warsaw Pact was the Soviet-sponsored military-treaty organization and the European Communist Bloc's counterpart to NATO; it was similar to NATO in that there was a political Consultative Committee, followed by a civilian secretary-general, while down the chain of command there was a military commander in chief and a combined staff, although the similarities between the two international organizations ended there.

Membership Edit

Founding members:

Joined later:

Article 4 Edit

Article 4 of the Treaty states the raison d'être for the formation of the Warsaw Pact: [2]

In the event of an armed attack in Europe on one or several states that are signatories of the treaty by any state or group of states, each state that is a party to this treaty shall, in the exercise of the right to individual or collective self-defence in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations Organisation, render the state or states so attacked immediate assistance, individually and in agreement with other states that are parties to this treaty, by all the means it may consider necessary, including the use of armed force. The states that are parties to this treaty shall immediately take council among themselves concerning the necessary joint measures to be adopted for the purpose of restoring and upholding international peace and security.

Interference in internal affairs Edit

Although the members of the Warsaw Pact pledged to defend each other if one or more of them came under attack, emphasized non-interference in the internal affairs of its members, and supposedly organized itself around collective decision-making, the Soviet Union ultimately controlled most of the Pact’s decisions. The Soviet Union also used the Pact to contain popular dissent in its European satellites, for example in Hungary in 1956, in Czechoslovakia in 1968, and in Poland in 1981. [3]

See also Edit

Notes and references Edit

  1. Warsaw Pact -- Hutchinson encyclopedia
  2. Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance -- Modern History Sourcebook
  3. The Warsaw Treaty Organization, 1955 -- US State Department