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Soviet Union Table of Contents

Soviet Union


The Soviet Union had at least four regional objectives in Asia: defense of the Soviet Union's eastern borders, including border areas claimed by Japan, China, and Mongolia; maintenance of Soviet alliances, as embodied in treaties of friendship and cooperation with India, Mongolia, North Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan; establishment of better relations with the Western-oriented, more economically advanced states in order to obtain technology and assistance in the economic development of Siberia; and, related to the other objectives, establishment of a pro-Soviet orientation among the states of the region that would have the effect of isolating China, South Korea, and the United States. The main instrument used in pursuit of these objectives has been the large Soviet military presence in Asia. Stressing that the Soviet Union is an Asian power, Gorbachev has attempted to establish or consolidate better relations with several states in the region, mainly China, Japan, and India. In 1988 Gorbachev had also attempted to remove Afghanistan as an issue blocking the establishment or consolidation of better relations with Asian states by negotiating a timetable for the withdrawal of Soviet combat forces.

Data as of May 1989