The Soviet Union and the Federation Plans of the Balkan States (1942–1948)
The authoress discusses the political game conducted by Stalin during the second world war and the early post-war years, and involving the conception of a Balkan federation. The Soviet dictator was a determined opponent of all federation plans concerning Central-Eastern Europe and perceived them as a threat for Soviet expansion in this macro-region. Consequently, in 1942 he brought about the downfall of the already prepared Polish-Czechoslovak confederation and contributed to the failure of the well-advanced Yugoslav-Greek union. Stalin's veto on plans for a post-war configuration of Central-Eastern Europe could not be ignored by the western powers in view of the stronger position held by the Soviet Union in the Big Three. Nonetheless, in order to counterbalance the rejected federation plans and, at the same time, to enjoy strategic, political and economic profits, the Soviet dictator proposed the establishment of a post-war Yugoslav-Bulgarian federation, counting on the union's subjugation by the Kremlin. Soon afterwards, he became aware that the political leaders of Yugoslavia did not intend to be controlled by Moscow and tried to conduct an independent foreign policy which could prove to be a infections example for Bulgaria. In this state of things, Stalin, who aimed at thwarting the South Slavic union, embarked upon a tactic of camouflaged and interchangeable support for the divergent negotiation stands represented by Belgrade and Sofia; in 1948 his political game finally torpedoed the idea of a federation.
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