This paper examines the far-reaching consequences of the Non-Aggression Pact signed between Germany and the Soviet Union on August 23, 1939, and its detrimental impact on Romania in both the short and long term. The study draws upon a diverse range of primary and secondary sources, including diplomatic archives, memoirs of diplomats and politicians, official speeches, and contemporary press documents. The narrative highlights Romania’s precarious position between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, resulting in significant territorial losses and geopolitical challenges.The paper also explores the Soviet Union’s occupation of Romanian territories, which facilitated the establishment of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, including Romania. The study underscores the long-term effects of the pact, such as Romania’s alignment with the Axis powers, the rise of communism, and the enduring repercussions on Romania’s foreign policy and regional dynamics in the post-World War II era.
Key words: non-aggression pact, communism, diplomacy, treaty, security guarantees.
This paper aims to address the magnitude of the effects of the Non-ggression Pact between Germany and the Soviet Union fron August 23, 1939, and how it prejudiced Romania in both the short and long term. The narrative of the consequences of the so-called Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact continues to have effects to this day. An example of this is represented by the differences regarding the historical development of the Second World War and its preliminary events. In a post on the social media platform Facebook, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on August 23, 2022, seeks to support1 the statement of Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov2. The Ministry writes that As it will be observed in the following, the supporting arguments of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation are at least in disagreement with the diplomatic archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Romania and the diplomats’ memoirs. Being part of the Soviet Union, during the Cold War, the Republic of Moldova is also faced with diametrically opposed opinions regarding the perspective of the current leadership in Moscow regarding its suzerainty after the election of Maia Sandu as president.3
Consequently, the objective of this text is to employ a diverse range of primary and secondary sources to construct a comprehensive account of the repercussions stemming from the non-aggression pact. This endeavor rests upon establishing the role that Romania assumed in foreign policy regarding immediate outcomes, as well as its ability to adjust to the shiftingdynamics that emerged in post-World War II Europe.
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Andrei Dumitru Olteanu is a PhD student in history at the Babeș Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca where he teaches the “Analysis of Romania’s foreign policy in the 20th century” seminar. Andrei holds a bachelor’s degree in history, a master’s degree in history memory orality in the 20th century. His main research interests include the social history of communism, cultural diplomacy and the study of propaganda.
1 “…the Soviet government’s decision to sign a non-aggression pact with Germany was a forced, albeit natural and justified, step since it had failed to create an effective Anglo-French-Soviet coalition.” – Russian Foreign Ministry – МИД России, https://www.facebook.com/MIDRussia/videos/798798471298568, accessed at 15.05.2023, 16:12.
2 “In recent years, we have witnessed the start of a true historical aggression against Russia.” – Russian Foreign Ministry – МИД России, https://www.facebook.com/MIDRussia/videos/798798471298568, accessed at 15.05.2023, 16:12.
3https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/putin-cancels-decree-underpinning-moldovas-sovereignty-separatist-conflict-2023-02-22/, accessed at 15.05.2023, 20:43.