TFR 31 – Prospects for East-West Relations


East-West relations remain uncertain. They did not become as bad as many observers had feared in early 1980, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. For almost five years, however, there was a steady deterioration in relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The structure of superpower relations that had been created during the 1970s was almost completely dismantled. At first Europe was less affected, but as the crisis over the Euromissiles intensified, East-West relations in Europe also suffered from the worsening of U.S.Soviet relations. For the past two years, however, there has been some easing of tensions, and the trend toward a thaw between the two superpowers has continued through the first superpower summit meeting in over six years.

Nevertheless, the prospects for a significant improvement in EastWest relations remain unclear. The major issues dividing the two superpowers arms control and Third World conflicts have become even more complicated, and a durable improvement in East-West relations will be extraordinarily difficult to achieve and to sustain.


William G. Hyland, Editor, Foreign Affairs
Karl Kaiser, Director, The Research Institute of the German Society for Foreign Affairs; Professor of Political Science, Cologne University
Hiroshi Kimura, Professor and Director, The Slavic Research Center of Hokkaido University

Table of Contents

I. The Setting
A. The United States
B. The Balance of Relations
C. The New Soviet Leadership
D. Trilateral Relations
II. Major Issues
A. Strategic Policy and Arms Control
B. The Political Relationship
1. Eastern Europe
2. Asia
3. The Third World
C. Economic Relations
III. Summary and Conclusions

  • Topics: Economics, Trade, Security, Multilateral Cooperation
  • Region:  North America, Europe, Middle East, Pacific Asia
  • Publisher:  The Trilateral Commission
  • Publication Date:  © 1986
  • ISBN:  0-930503-00-7
  • Pages:  52
  • Complete Text: Click here to download