The Warsaw Pact was essentially the eastern European answer to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), organised to deal with this apparent threat from the USA and its allied countries.

It was formed in 1949, with the treaty drafted in 1955 and signed that same year. Its members were:

Rather unsurprisingly, the Warsaw Pact was "ruled" by the USSR, and although Hungary tried to leave (they wished to be neutral in the Cold War, so as not to be nuked into oblivion) they were put down by Warsaw Pact/USSR forces. Czechoslovakia tried for democracy and they also were neutralised by the Warsaw Pact collective. Albania withdrew from the pact after this incident, just as Russia's Brezhnev Doctrine was revealed. The gist of this document was that an affront to one Socialist country was an affront to them all (which, all told, is not too different from the similar NATO policy, which states that if one NATO country is attacked, the others will rush to their aid.).

Happily for those that do not like nuclear armageddon (i.e everyone), the only conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact countries was the 35 year Cold War (though how that is a reassurance is anyones guess, everybody was scared witless anyway). In 1988, Mikhail Gorbachev announced the Sinatra Doctrine, which effectively scrubbed the first "You're Communists-if you don't like it, you can kiss the Soviet Union's proverbial" and put in place "You're Communists, but hey, it's your country, we're not going to bomb you if you try to ditch Socialism". Following this, many countries announced their intentions to remove themselves from the Pact and it was formally disbanded on 1st July 1991. The Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland joined NATO in 1999.

The full text of the treaty

Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation And Mutual Assistance

Between the People's Republic of Albania, the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Polish People's Republic, the Rumanian People's Republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Czechoslovak Republic, May 1, 1955

The contracting parties,

Reaffirming their desire for the organisation of a system of collective security in Europe, with the participation of all the European states, irrespective of their social and state systems, which would make it possible to combine their efforts in the interests of securing peace in Europe,

Taking into consideration at the same tirne the situation obtaining in Europe as the result of ratification of the Paris agreements, which provide for the formation of a new military grouping in the shape of the "Western European Union" together with a remilitarised Western Germany, and for the integration of Western Germany in the North Atlantic bloc, which increases the threat of another war and creates a menace to the national security of the peaceloving states,

Convinced that, under these circumstances, the peaccloving states of Europe should take the necessary measures for safeguarding their security, and in the interests of maintaining peace in Europe,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter,

In the interests of further strengthening and promoting friendship, co-opcration and mutual assistance, in accordance with the principles of respect for the independence and sovereignty of states, and also with the principle of noninterference in their internal affairs,

Have resolved to conclude this Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance, . . .

Article 1. The contracting parties undertake, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations Organisation, to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force, and to settle their international disputes by peaceful means so as not to endanger international peace and security.

Article 2. The contracting parties declare their readiness to take part, in the spirit of sincere co-operation, in all international undertakings intended to safeguard international peace and security and they shall use all their energies for the realisation of these aims.

Moreover, the contracting parties shall work for the adoption, in agreement with other states desiring to co-operate in this matter, of effective measures towards a general reduction of armaments and prohibition of atomic, hydrogen and other weapons of mass destruction.

Article 3. The contracting parties shall take council among themselves on all important international questions relating to their common interests, guided by the interests of strengthening international peace and security.

They shall take council among themselves immediately, whenever, in the opinion of any of them, there has arisen the threat of an armed attack on one or several states that are signatories of the treaty, in the interests of organising their joint defence and of upholding peace and security.

Article 4. In the event of an armed attack in Europe on one or several states that are signatories of the treaty by any state or group of states, each state that is a party to this treaty shall, in the exercise of the right to individual or collective self-defence in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations Organisation, render the state or states so attacked immediate assistance, individually and in agreement with other states that are parties to this treaty, by all the means it may consider necessary, including the use of armed force. The states that are parties to this treaty shall immediately take council among themselves concerning the necessary joint measures to be adopted for the purpose of restoring and upholding international peace and security.

In accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations Organisation, the Security Council shall be advised of the measures taken on the basis of the present article. These measures shall be stopped as soon as the Security Council has taken the necessary measures for restoring and upholding international peace and security-.

Article 5. The contracting parties have agreed on the establishment of a joint command for their armed forces, which shall be placed, by agreement among these parties, under this command, which shall function on the basis of jointly defined principles. They shall also take other concerted measures necessary for strengthening their defence capacity, in order to safeguard the peaceful labour of their peoples, to guarantee the inviolability of their frontiers and territories and to provide safeguards against possible aggression.

Article 6. For the purpose of holding the consultations provided for in the present treaty among the states that are parties to the treaty, and for the purpose of considering problems arising in connection with the implementation of this treaty, a political consultative committee shall be formed in which each state that is a party to this treaty shall be represented by a member of the government, or any other specially appointed representative.

The committee may, form the auxiliary organs for which the need may arise.

Article 7. The contracting parties undertake not to participate in any coalitions and alliances, and not to conclude any agreements the purposes of which would be at variance with those of the present treaty.

The contracting parties declare that their obligations under existing international treaties are not at variance with the provisions of this treaty.

Article 8. The contracting parties declare that they will act in the spirit of friendship and co-operation with the object of furthering the development of, and strengthening the economic and cultural relations between them, adliering to the principles of mutual respect for their independence and sovereignty, and of non-interference in their internal affairs.

Article 9. The present treaty is open to be acceded to by other states-irrespective of their social and state systems-which may express their readiness to assist, through participation in the present treaty, in combining the efforts of the peaccloving states for the purpose of safeguarding the peace and security, of nations. This act of acceding to the treaty shall become effective, with the consent of the states that are parties to this treaty, after the instrument of accedence has been deposited with the government of the Polish People's Republic.

Article 10. The present treaty is subject to ratification, and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the government of the Polish People's Republic.

The treaty shall take effect on the date on which the last ratification instrument is deposited. The government of the Polish People's Republic shall advise the other states that are parties to the treaty of each ratification instrument deposited with it.

Article 11. The present treaty shall remain in force for 20 years. For the contracting parties which will not have submitted to the government of the Polish People's Republic a statement denouncing the treaty a year before the expiration of its term, it shall remain in force throughout the following ten years.

In the event of the organisation of a system of collective security in Europe and the conclusion of a general European treaty of collective security to that end, which the contracting parties shall unceasingly seek to bring about, the present treaty shall cease to be effective on the date the general European treaty comes into force.

Done in Warsaw, on May 1, 1955, in one copy each in the Russian, Polish, Czech, and German languages, all the texts being equally authentic. Certified copies of the present treaty shall be transmitted by the government of the Polish People's Republic to all the parties to this treaty.
Source: n/su_appnc.html (Library of Congress), Modern History Sourcebook ( - according to this page the text of the treaty is in the public domain-CST Approved)

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