TITLE

THE CASSANDRA IN THE FOREIGN COMMISSARIAT

AUTHOR(S)
Mastny, Vojtech
PUB. DATE
January 1976
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Jan1976, Vol. 54 Issue 2, p366
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article focuses on Soviet diplomat Maksim Litvinov and the whole pattern of Russian behavior during the formative years of the cold war. Contrary to the legend created by his admirers, Litvinov at the height of his career before World War II did not stand for any particularly altruistic or otherwise morally superior brand of Soviet foreign policy. He was an altogether unsentimental former revolutionary firmly dedicated to the pursuit of Russian raison d'état. As such, he was notably out of sympathy with the aspirations of smaller nations, particularly those which history had taught to beware of the Russian neighbor. In 1929, he gave his name to the Litvinov Protocol designed to bring them closer into Moscow's fold. Its deceptively reassuring nonaggression pledge was a device to diminish their reliance upon the West and to convince them about the superfluity of any mutual combinations as well.All considered, Litvinov's career had so far been that of one among the autocrat's many replaceable servants, what did distinguish him from the type wasapart from his British-born wife, the knowledge of the outside world and the experience in dealing with foreigners which he had acquired during prolonged stays abroad. He was therefore the right person to be chosen to reassure the West once the honeymoon with Germany was over.
ACCESSION #
4853308

 

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