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FOREIGN OFFICE FILES FOR THE SOVIET UNION
(Public Record Office Classes FO 371 and FCO 28)

Part 1: Complete Files for 1960
(PRO Class FO 371/151908-152050)

Key events in the deterioriation of East-West relations covered in these British files on the Soviet Union include:

  • The shooting down of an American U-2 spy plane over Russian territory.
  • The disintegration of the Paris Summit meeting and assessments on the future direction of Soviet foreign policy.
  • Khrushchev’s threats against US military bases in Europe and Turkey.
  • The Soviet withdrawal from the disarmament conference at Geneva.
  • Khrushchev’s visit to Rumania and his belligerent pronouncements at the Bucharest Congress.

There is much expert analysis by the staff of the British Embassy in Moscow and their counterparts in London. Many files reflect Soviet attempts to exploit any hint of differences in American, British, French and German policy statements. Close attention is paid to all speeches by Khrushchev and Gromyko.

There are strong files on NATO policy and the Warsaw Pact and on statements at the UN General Assembly.

There are also significant documents on Khrushchev’s visits to India, Burma and Indonesia as well as on Sino-Soviet relations. These allow scholars to study:

  • The bitter recriminations between China and the Soviet Union over international policy issues and the Sino-Indian border dispute.
  • Revised British assessments in the light of the Bucharest gathering of Communist Party leaders.

Files on social, economic, political and cultural policy in the Soviet Union include notes on resistance to Khrushchev’s policies in the USSR, material on the police and KGB, a discussion of the problems of agriculture, heavy industry and the Seven Year Plan, reforms in education and continuing efforts at "de-Stalinisation".



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