ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA AND THE EASTERN PACT PROJECT; pp. 69–120Full article in PDF format | 10.3176/hist.2006.1.05
The Locarno spirit did not survive the revival of right-wing German nationalism from 1930. Proposals in 1934 for an “eastern Locarno” pact securing Germany’s eastern frontiers foundered on German opposition and on Poland’s insistence that her 1920 territorial gains from the Soviets should be covered by any western guarantee of her borders. After concluding a trade agreement with Russia on January 11, 1934, as a first step, the French Foreign Minister, Louis Barthou, suggested a so-called Eastern Locarno, a pact of mutual guaranty in which the Soviet Union and Germany, as well as the smaller nations of East Central Europe would participate. When this plan, too, rejected by Germany, regarded with suspicion by Poland and never clearly defined, had to be abandoned, on May 2, 1935, France did indeed sign a mutual assistance treaty with Russia after sponsoring her admission into the League. But she delayed its ratification and her example was followed only by Czechoslovakia which also allied herself with the Soviet Union on May 16 of the same year.
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