A Soviet Eye on France from the rue de Grenelle in Paris, 1924–1940*
The present article is about Soviet perceptions of French politics and society as reported by the five Soviet ambassadors in Paris between 1924 and 1940, and about how their reports influenced Soviet policy making in Moscow. This article is based largely upon unpublished documents from the Soviet foreign policy archives in Moscow (AVPRF), specifically opened to researchers in the 1990s. It contends that these Soviet ambassadors established effective relationships with French counterparts and that they were pragmatic, non-ideological realists trying unsuccessfully to improve Soviet relations with France. The narrative is about the failure of these efforts over a period of sixteen years and ultimately about the failure of the Soviet Union and France to form anti-Nazi alliance during the 1930s.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: June 1, 2006