Diplomatic relations were established between the USSR and Poland on Apr. 27, 1921. Negotiations initiated by the Soviet government in January 1926 resulted in a treaty of nonaggression, signed July 25, 1932. Diplomatic relations were broken off Sept. 17, 1939, after Germany’s invasion of Poland, and were restored on July 30, 1941, through an agreement with the Polish government-in-exile. A military agreement (Aug. 14, 1941) and a declaration of friendship and mutual assistance (Dec. 4, 1941) followed. The Polish government-in-exile broke these agreements in 1942 by transferring the Polish army, which had been formed in the Soviet Union, to the Middle East.
After breaking off diplomatic relations with the government-in-exile on Apr. 25, 1943, the USSR recognized the Kra-jowa Rada Narodowa (KRN) on May 22, 1944, and the Polish Committee of National Liberation (PCNL), created by the KRN, on July 26, 1944. According to an agreement on relations between the Soviet High Command and the Polish administration after the entrance of Soviet troops into Poland on July 26, 1944, the PCNL retained complete authority over civil administration in Poland. After the PCNL was reorganized as the Provisional Government of the Polish Republic, the Soviet government established diplomatic relations with the new government between Jan. 2 and Jan. 5, 1945, and concluded an agreement granting it an interest-free loan on Apr. 9, 1945.
Relations between the USSR and Poland developed in accordance with the principle of socialist internationalism. A 20-year treaty of peace, mutual assistance, and postwar cooperation, signed on Apr. 21, 1945, played an important role in strengthening the new Polish state. The countries concluded an agreement on the resolution of border issues, specifically on population exchange (July 6, 1945), a treaty on the Soviet-Polish border (Aug. 16, 1945); and a trade treaty (July 7, 1945). They also concluded an agreement on the restitution of losses incurred by Poland as a result of the German occupation (Aug. 16, 1945), by which the USSR abandoned all claims on German property within Poland and ceded to Poland part of its reparations from Germany. Agreements were concluded on scientific and technical cooperation (Mar. 5, 1947), on the delivery by the USSR of 300,000 tons of grain (Aug. 29, 1947), on the delivery of industrial equipment to Poland on credit (Jan. 26, 1948, and June 29, 1950), and on the delivery of 200,000 tons of grain by the USSR (Jan. 26, 1948).
In 1949, the USSR, the Polish People’s Republic (PPR), and other socialist countries created the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), and on May 14, 1955, they signed the Warsaw Pact. The USSR and the PPR concluded agreements on the construction of the multistory Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw with Soviet labor and materials (Apr. 5, 1952) and on the assistance to the PPR in the development of nuclear research and the use of nuclear energy for economic purposes (Apr. 23, 1955). Agreements were also signed on cultural cooperation (June 30, 1956), on technical assistance in expanding the V. I. Lenin Metallurgical Combine (July 11, 1956), and on cooperation in the construction of plants for the production of porous concrete in the USSR (Oct. 11, 1956). A joint declaration of Oct. 18, 1956, noted that the Soviet-Polish alliance is the mainstay of Polish independence and of the inviolability of the Oder-Neisse border.
The USSR and Poland signed a treaty on the legal status of Soviet troops temporarily stationed in the PPR (Dec. 17, 1956) and an agreement on the exchange of undergraduate and graduate students at civilian institutions of higher education and scientific specialists (Aug. 23, 1957). Other agreements dealt with technical assistance to the PPR; these include agreements on the construction of an oil refinery (Aug. 23, 1958), on the development of the oil, natural gas, and copper-ore industries (Mar. 3, 1959), and on the development of metallurgy and other branches of industry (June 20, 1962). The countries also signed agreements on the creation of an intergovernmental commission for economic, scientific, and technical cooperation (Apr. 15, 1964), on the delivery of equipment for the chemical industry to the USSR (Oct. 2, 1964), and on cooperation in radio and television broadcasting (Jan. 13, 1965). The 20-year treaty of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance concluded Apr. 8, 1965, confirmed the goals and principles of the treaty of 1945. In a joint declaration of Oct. 15, 1966, the USSR and the PPR agreed upon measures for furthering mutual economic assistance by promoting cooperation in industrial production, including specialization of industry, as well as scientific and technical cooperation.
The two countries signed agreements on furthering cooperation in the development of nuclear energy for peaceful goals (June 20, 1967) and on cooperation in the construction of plants in the PPR for the production of prestressed-concrete structural members and large-panel structures for prefabricated housing, as well as a plant for the production of keramzit, an artificial porous filler for concrete (Feb. 2, 1968). Other agreements were concerned with air transportation (Apr. 24, 1968), the elimination of visa requirements for nationals of both countries (Feb. 5, 1970), economic and technical cooperation in the construction of the Centrum Metallurgical Plant in the PPR (Mar. 6, 1972), and cooperation in the construction of the Intersputnik satellite communications station in the PPR (Jan. 23, 1973) and of a gas pipeline (July 6, 1973).
A joint communique of Aug. 12, 1975, expressed the desire of both parties to expand bilateral trade, economic, scientific, and technical cooperation, and the specialization and coordination of the industrial production of both countries. On Dec. 16, 1975, an agreement was signed for the period 1976–80 concerning the delivery of industrial complexes and equipment to the PPR, as well as on assistance from Soviet specialists.
G. S. GREBTSOV