What Was The Importance Of The Helsinki Agreements For Superpower Relations

Each side considered itself “responsible,” but the more countries with nuclear capabilities, the less the superpowers could control events. There was also the fear of nuclear accidents. During the period of détente, a number of political agreements were reached. The final act of Helsinki was an agreement signed by 35 nations that closed the conference on security and cooperation in Europe in Helsinki (Finland). The multifaceted law addressed a number of important global issues and had a significant impact on the Cold War and US-Soviet relations. According to Cold War scholar John Lewis Gaddis, in his book The Cold War: A New History (2005), “Leonid Brezhnev had looked forward,” recalls Anatoly Dobrynin, about the “audience he was about to win… When The Soviet public learned of the definitive colonization of the post-war borders, for which it had sacrificed so much”… “[Instead, the Helsinki Accords] have gradually become a manifesto of the dissident and liberal movement” … This meant that people who lived under these systems – at least the bravest – could claim official permission to say what they thought. [15] The Helsinki Conference has its origins in the early discussions on the Cold War. In 1954, at the Geneva Conference, the Soviet Union sought for the first time to organize a European conference on security issues, in the hope that such a meeting would lead to formal recognition of the political borders in Eastern Europe that had been created after the Second World War. At that time, the United States and other Western nations were reluctant to participate in such a debate, fearing that they would strengthen the Soviet position and lead to an expansion of communism.

As a result, no progress was made in the 1950s and 1960s. However, the transition to détente in the early 1970s encouraged Western heads of state and government to reconsider the negotiations. Discussions began in 1972 with the Helsinki consultations and continued until the opening of the official Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) in July 1973. From the summer of 1973 to the summer of 1975, intensive negotiations took place in Geneva, until the participants finally met in Helsinki on 1 August 1975 to sign the Helsinki Final Act. All European countries except Albania have signed the law, in addition to the United States and Canada. The final act of Helsinki dealt with a large number of issues, which are divided into four “baskets”. The first basket included ten principles that included political and military issues, territorial integrity, border definition, peaceful dispute resolution, and the implementation of confidence-building measures among opposing military personnel.