Diplomatic relations were established between the USSR and France on Oct. 28, 1924. A nonaggression pact was subsequently signed (Nov. 29, 1932), according to which both parties renounced war as a means of resolving international disputes and agreed not to impede the development of trade with each other and not to interfere in each other’s internal affairs. A convention establishing a conciliation board for resolving disputes was also signed at the same time. As the danger of fascist aggression grew, an agreement was signed expressing mutual desire to conclude an Eastern regional pact (Dec. 5, 1934). According to an agreement on mutual assistance (May 2, 1935), both countries agreed to consult with each other if either country found itself in danger of attack by any European state and immediately to come to the aid of the attacked country.
Following the occupation of Czechoslovakia by fascist Germany, the French government opened negotiations with the USSR on practical measures of assistance to be taken in the event of war; the British government also took part in these talks. However, the Moscow negotiations of 1939 were broken off, and the 1935 agreement thus lost all significance. In an agreement concerning relations with the Fighting French and the French Committee of National Liberation (Nov. 28, 1942), the Soviet government expressed its readiness to assist Frenchmen who rejected their government’s surrender in the struggle against fascist Germany and Germany’s allies; the Fighting French declared that they would use all means at their disposal in contributing to a joint victory. On Oct. 23, 1944, the USSR recognized the French provisional government, with which it concluded a 20-year treaty of alliance and mutual assistance (Dec. 10, 1944); both countries bound themselves to continue the war until total victory over Germany had been achieved; neither was to open separate negotiations with the Germans or to conclude either an armistice or a peace treaty without the agreement of the other. The treaty also stipulated that with the end of the war a new German menace would not be allowed to develop. After France had signed the Paris Agreements of 1954, the USSR, in May 1955, abrogated the 1944 treaty.
Agreements were concluded in the 1960’s on cooperation in the field of color television (Mar. 22, 1965) and in the peaceful use of nuclear energy (May 4, 1965). In a declaration of June 30, 1966, both countries expressed their interest in furthering exchanges and cooperation; they agreed to consult with each other on a regular basis, created a permanent joint commission on cooperation, and established a direct communications link between the heads of government. The two countries also concluded agreements on scientific, technical, and economic cooperation (June 30, 1966) and on cooperation in space research and exploration for peaceful purposes (June 30, 1966). A consular convention (Dec. 8, 1966) and a maritime agreement (Apr. 20, 1967) were also signed. Other agreements included those on cooperation in cinematography (July 8, 1967), medicine (Jan. 9, 1969), science (Sept. 15, 1969), and agriculture (Feb. 5, 1970). A protocol on Soviet participation in the construction of a metallurgical complex at Fos-sur-Mer was signed (Nov. 12, 1970), as was a declaration on cooperation in the metallurgical industry (Nov. 13, 1970).
In a declaration of Oct. 13, 1970, both parties spoke in favor of a discussion of disarmament issues among nuclear powers and delineated measures for improving cooperation. A protocol was signed (Oct. 13, 1970) stipulating that if a threat to peace were to occur, both parties would immediately contact each other in order to coordinate their positions and agree on measures to avert international conflict. Agreements were also concluded on deliveries of natural gas from the USSR and French deliveries, on credit, of equipment, pipes, and materials for the construction of rigs in gas deposits and the construction of pipelines (Aug. 6, 1971) and on the development of economic and industrial cooperation (Oct. 27, 1971).
In a declaration of Oct. 30, 1971, both parties spoke in specific terms in favor of convening an all-European conference to discuss problems of security and cooperation. According to the principles of cooperation agreed on by the USSR and France (Oct. 30, 1971), agreement and cooperation between the two countries was not to be at the expense of any other nation and was not to lessen any existing obligations toward third parties. Both countries agreed to engage in political consultations with a view toward coordinating their actions in, for example, international organizations and conferences; they pledged themselves to take the necessary steps so that political settlements could be rapidly reached in areas of the world where there were violations of or threats to peace. The principles also provided for a development of cultural ties, economic and commercial exchanges, and scientific and technical cooperation. A communique of Jan. 12, 1973, noted in particular that the policy of agreement and cooperation in Soviet-French relations was acquiring increasing significance in international affairs. An agreement was concluded on increasing the deliveries of natural gas by the USSR and on the terms of credit by which France supplied equipment, pipes, materials, and industrial installations (Dec. 6, 1974). The two countries also signed an agreement on economic cooperation in the years 1975–79, according to which both parties committed themselves to carry out large-scale projects and to encourage industrial cooperation between enterprises and organizations of the two countries, including programs of joint production (Dec. 6, 1974); a protocol to a program of increased economic and industrial cooperation over a ten-year period was signed on the same day. In a communique of Dec. 7, 1974, both parties stressed that regular political consultations at all levels, and particularly at the highest level, would be a permanent aspect of their cooperation. Agreements were signed on cooperation in protecting the environment (Mar. 24, 1975) and in agriculture (Mar. 24, 1975).
In a declaration on the further development of friendship and cooperation between the USSR and France, signed on Oct. 17, 1975, both countries expressed their resolve to continue the policy of agreement and cooperation and to do everything in their power to promote détente in international relations. Agreements were concluded on scientific, technical, and industrial cooperation in civil aviation and aerospace industries (Oct. 17, 1975), on cooperation in power engineering (Oct. 17, 1975), and on cooperation in tourism (Oct. 17, 1975).
L. B. ALEKSEEV