The Marshall Plan and The Beginnings of Comecon
Abstract: The integration of the Eastern-European states into the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence at the end of the Second World War represented a complex process that aimed all the vital sectors in those states.In a relatively short period of time, the political, economic, social and cultural life of the Eastern-European states was radically transformed, according to the models imposed by Moscow. The Soviet Union imposed its control over Eastern Europe because it had strategic, political, military and economic interests in this region. The states in this region became, after the Soviet Union broke relations with its former Western allies, the main suppliers of resources for the recovery of the soviet economy. The soviet control over the Eastern-European economies took many forms: from the brutal transfer of raw materials, finite products and technology during the first years after the war, to more subtle methods, as the establishment of “mixed enterprises”, the initialization of bilateral agreements and finally by establishing the COMECON. The establishment of the COMECON in January 1949 was one of the measures taken by Moscow in order to counteract the effects of the Marshall Plan and to consolidate the Soviet influence in the satellite-states from Eastern Europe. This measure was preceded by other actions meant to strengthen Moscow’s political, economic and ideological control over these states.
Keywords: Marshall Plan, COMECON, Cold War economic integration, Iron Curtain