Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (MRP)

​The non-aggression treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union, was signed on 23 August 1939; its secret protocol divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence.

The MRP, or the non-aggression pact between Germany and the Soviet Union, was signed on 23 August 1939 in Moscow, by the German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and the People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, Vyacheslav Molotov. The parties pledged to avoid aggression against each other and any unions or agreement against the other party. The secret protocol of the treaty divided the spheres of influence in Eastern Europe – Finland and the Baltic countries, plus Bessarabia that belonged to Romania – belonged in the Soviet sphere, while Poland was divided. The treaty enabled Germany to attack Poland, which happened on 1 September 1939, now considered the beginning of World War II. According to the secret protocol, the Soviet Union occupied Eastern Poland and forced the Baltic countries to accept the agreements of mutual assistance, and installed the Soviet military bases there. Finland refused to sign such an agreement. The Soviet Union attacked Finland, starting the Winter War, so was declared an aggressor by the League of Nations which therefore expelled it. In summer 1940 the Soviet Union occupied the Baltic countries and Bessarabia. The Soviet Union denied the existence of the secret protocol until 1989, when the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union declared the MRP and its secret addenda null and void.


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