a draft mutual-aid treaty, intended to bring the USSR and bourgeois Czechoslovakia, Poland, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania together in opposition to Hitlerite aggression.
The idea of the Eastern Pact was advanced early in 1934 by the French minister of foreign affairs, L. Barthou, and was actively supported by the Soviet government. In May and June 1934 the USSR and France agreed to conclude a bilateral treaty providing for France’s guaranteeing of the Eastern Pact and the guaranteeing of the Locarno Treaties of 1925 by the Soviet Union. On June 14, 1934, the government of the USSR invited all interested states to participate in the Eastern Pact. Czechoslovakia (July 2), Latvia and Estonia (July 29), and Lithuania (August 3) declared their readiness to adhere to the pact. However, Estonia and Latvia made the adherence of Germany and Poland a condition of their own participation. The government of Finland avoided expressing its attitude toward the Eastern Pact. Barthou appealed to the British government in the name of the government of France, but the British, while formally approving the idea of the Eastern Pact, made their support conditional on Germany’s inclusion both in the regional mutual-aid treaty and in the Franco-Soviet treaty, so that Soviet and French guarantees would be extended to Germany. The governments of the USSR and France agreed to this. However, Hitler’s government (Sept. 11, 1934) and subsequently the government of Poland (Sept. 27, 1934) refused to participate in the Eastern Pact.
After the murder of Barthou by Hitlerite hirelings on Oct. 9, 1934, the elements that together with the British ruling circles virtually encouraged Hitlerite aggression achieved a preponderance in the government of France. The draft Eastern Pact was never implemented.