Could the Cold War Have Ended Earlier? Preliminary Study (In Commemoration of 110th Anniversary of Andrei Gromyko)

Rubric: Jubilee
DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2019-63-10-109-115

Al. Gromyko (,
Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Sciences (IE RAS), 11–3, Mokhovaya Str., Moscow, 125993, Russian Federation


In the focus of the present material is the phenomenon of the Cold War between the USSR and the USA. The history of the post-war rivalry between the two superpowers and, what is not less important, mechanisms of its management, have acquired new significance in light of the current state of affairs in international relations with a new edition of a “small Cold War”. The author explores main interpretations of the beginning and the end of the Cold War, different approaches to its chronology. A hypothesis is put forward that the detente included substantial attempts to overcome the Cold War and to end it on the basis of international law, de-escalation, a new nature of international relations with marginalized ideology. The centerpiece of the detente was the Helsinki process and the Final Act signed in August 1975. It was predated by a long and exhausting chain of events, bilateral and international treaties, which ushered in the period of “strategic stability”. However, the full potential of detente was never realized. Among other sources to support his view, the author richly draws from speeches and works of Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Ambassador to the U.S. in 1943–1946, the USSR permanent representative to the UN in 1946–1948, the Soviet foreign minister in 1957–1985. It is shown that the Soviet leadership was ready to revise profoundly its relationship with the West relying on categories of equal security, reciprocity, compromise and trust. The competition between socialism and capitalism was to be won by a political and socio-economic system, which would prove itself more efficient and attractive, not by force and coercion. Peaceful cooperation of different development models has endured as a burning topic in the first third of the 21st century. The author holds that in the 1970s, the intentions of one of the superpowers, expressed by representatives of the top political leadership, was of utmost importance in terms of probability of ending the Cold War.


Cold War, Andrei Gromyko, USSR, USA, UN, strategic stability, Helsinki process, Final Act, atomic weapons, detente, CSCE, trust


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For citation:
Gromyko A. Could the Cold War Have Ended Earlier? Preliminary Study (In Commemoration of 110th Anniversary of Andrei Gromyko) . Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2019, vol. 63, No 10, pp. 109-115.

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