Why did Gorbachev say that “force no longer can…be an instrument of foreign policy”? What implications did this have for the Soviet bloc?

The Soviet Union was using close to a third of its GDP spending in military allocations to advance communism in the Eastern bloc. Consequently, the Soviet Union had lagged behind in social and economic development, and Gorbachev recognized the counterproductive nature of using force to advance foreign policy.

In addition, this approach meant that nations could not trade freely, and thus growth was limited. The Western bloc was advancing remarkably economically, especially after rebuilding efforts during the post-Second World War era. However, the Soviet bloc was not experiencing the same growth due to retrogressive foreign policy using force.

This statement implied that the Soviet bloc would restructure its foreign policy based on mutual understanding to spur economic growth and social change. In addition, the Soviet Union would start respecting the sovereignty of other countries and their right to self-determination.

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Academic.Tips. 2022. "Why did Gorbachev say that "force no longer can...be an instrument of foreign policy"? What implications did this have for the Soviet bloc?" November 23, 2022. https://academic.tips/question/why-did-gorbachev-say-that-force-no-longer-can-be-an-instrument-of-foreign-policy-what-implications-did-this-have-for-the-soviet-bloc/.

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