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Importance Of Helsinki Agreements

Each side considered itself “responsible,” but the more countries with nuclear capabilities, the less the superpowers could control events. There was also the fear of nuclear accidents. During the period of détente, a number of political agreements were reached. In addition to creating a climate conducive to the development of dissident movements in the communist world, which demanded more freedom, democracy and an end to totalitarian repression, the agreements demonstrate that diplomacy and negotiation can change the world. As Ford put it, the agreements saw that some of the most closed and repressive regimes met a public obligation to grant their citizens “greater freedom and freedom of movement,” which served as a “gauge” by which the world could measure “how well they lived up to the stated intentions.” [19] Ford and others in Helsinki were convinced that normalization of relations with the Soviet Union would not limit discussion issues to those of defence, but would also include cultural exchanges and trade, which could reduce tensions. “Certainly,” ford says, “is in the best interest of the United States and peace in the world.” [19] The cultural and commercial encounters made possible by the agreements helped each party to see the other side as another human being, with artistic and other interests. Stereotypes of the other as “enemy” became more difficult to bear. A prominent Soviet scholar called the agreements “the beginning of a new phase in international relations, which results in the strengthening of international ties and cooperation in the economic, scientific and cultural fields.” [20] Yale argues that it was primarily cultural exchange that ended communism in the Soviet Union. Over a 35-year period, such an exchange took place “within the framework of agreements” such as the Helsinki Agreements, which “were concluded with the Soviet government” and “improved US defence and intelligence spending.” [21] Basket one This contained the hypothesis that the borders of European countries were “untouchable”; they could not be changed by force. Although the West was initially unpopular, the final act of Helsinki proved important at the end of the Cold War. Some activists opposed the Western concession on borders, which led to the formal adoption of the Soviet annexation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, effectively recognizing Soviet domination in Eastern Europe. Despite these criticisms, the third basket of human rights and freedoms ultimately proved important to dissidents in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

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