The Role of the Neutral Countries (Austria, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland) in Soviet Foreign Policy, 1969–1975
Project management: Peter Ruggenthaler
Sponsor: Austrian Science Fund (FWF)
Funded by the Austrian Science Fund, the Austro-Russian research project “The Role of the Neutral Countries (Austria, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland) in Soviet Foreign Policy, 1969-1975” is carried out in close cooperation with international partners such as Harvard University and Stockholm University, focusing on the history of the origins of the CSCE process. Specifically, it addresses the question of how Moscow saw the role of four neutral countries ‒ Austria, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland ‒ at the time, how the USSR used these countries for its own interests, sometimes even manipulating them, and whether and to what extent the activities of these neutral countries resulted in decisions in Moscow.
Since the relevant files in Russian archives for this period (1969‒1975) had previously been classified, Soviet policy on the neutral countries could not be researched. Now, with the recent declassification of the CPSU Central Committee's files, Soviet policy on these four neutral countries during this crucial period of East-West détente and the CSCE process can be analysed in detail for the first time.
The source pool available to the project team led by Peter Ruggenthaler opens up new academic horizons. Specifically, the holdings of CPSU General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev and the Politburo, which were classified until recently and kept in the Russian State Archive of Contemporary History (RGANI), are significant in the context of this research project.
Christiane BerthInstitut für Geschichte
Section of Contemporary History, Attemsgasse 8/II, 8010 Graz
Barbara Stelzl-MarxInstitut für Geschichte
Liebiggasse 9/I (L. B. Institut für Kriegsfolgenforschung)