Between détente and differentiation : Nixon’s visit to Bucharest in August 1969
Title: Between détente and differentiation : Nixon’s visit to Bucharest in August 1969
Author: PECHLIVANIS, Paschalis
Citation: Cold War history, 2017, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 241-258
ISSN: 1743-7962; 1468-2745
President Nixon’s decision to visit Romania in the summer of 1969 demarcated a symbolic turning point in the relations of Washington with Bucharest and the Eastern European communist states in general. This article examines the policies of both sides leading to this historical event and its respective outcomes. It places the opening of Romania to the United States and the latter’s embrace of such a prospect within the broader Cold War context of the time; the policy of differentiation and the imminent détente. Just a year after the invasion in Czechoslovakia, Nixon and Kissinger sought to explore the compatibility of their policy towards the rest of the socialist states with their grand design of the superpower détente with the USSR. Ceausescu’s independent profile within the Soviet bloc constituted Romania a textbook example for such an endeavour.
First published online: 26 January 2017
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