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Soviet Union

Spain and Portugal

Soviet contacts with Spain and Portugal were almost nonexistent in the post-World War II period until the 1970s, when changes in leadership of both countries paved the way for the establishment of diplomatic relations. Portugal established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union in June 1974, and Spain reestablished diplomatic ties in February 1977, broken in 1939 after the Nationalists defeated the Soviet-backed Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Both countries have relatively large, long-established pro-Soviet communist parties, with the Portuguese Communist Party during the 1980s enjoying more electoral support and seats in the legislature. In March 1982, Spain joined NATO (Portugal was a founding member), a move opposed by the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of Spain. Soviet relations with Spain during the 1980s were businesslike, with King Juan Carlos visiting Moscow in May 1984 and Prime Minister Felipe González visiting in May 1986. Relations with Portugal in the early 1980s were relatively poor, with Portugal criticizing the invasion of Afghanistan and other Soviet policies. Relations improved during the late 1980s, when President Mário Soares visited Moscow in November 1987 and signed trade and other cooperation agreements; Shevardnadze paid a return visit to Lisbon in March 1988.

Data as of May 1989