The Soviet attitude to the EEC
Ever since the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the USSR had condemned any idea of European integration. It regarded an association of European States as a channel for American capitalism, which sought to subjugate the peoples of Europe in order to derive maximum profit. The Soviets, fearing the rebirth of a strong Germany, were also concerned by the military efforts in Western Europe, which they regarded as a tool for use by NATO and a direct threat to the Communist bloc.
In January 1949, the USSR organised the establishment of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon) as a counterweight to the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC). Comecon and the European Economic Community (EEC) ignored one another for a long time. However, sporadic contacts became more frequent during periods of détente in East-West relations, though the EEC’s trade relations with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe were conducted mainly on a bilateral basis.