Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON)

The end of World War II saw the United States and the Soviet Union in a struggle for dominance in Europe. The United States offered European states the Marshall Plan as a program to rebuild the war-ravaged economies and their infrastructure. Invitations to participate were offered to Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland, but under pressure from the Soviet Union, they declined. As a response, the Soviet Union formed the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON). The majority of members were European, but as Soviet efforts to influence other countries gained ground, others in southeast Asia, southwest Asia, and Latin America established relationships, if not full-fledged membership (see Table 1 for membership).

Table 1 COMECON membership

Source: Author.

Council Session: This was the main body of COMECON, whose decisions were ...

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