Abstract

This article draws on recently declassified documents from the Belgian archives to assess the division within the Belgian diplomatic service about Soviet intentions at the start of the Cold War. The diplomatic corps was divided between those who viewed the Soviet Union favorably and believed that continued close cooperation after the war was both feasible and essential, and those who were wary of Soviet intentions in Eastern Europe and believed that Western democracies would have to be united in opposing Soviet encroachments. Paul-Henri Spaak, the long-time Belgian foreign minister, was initially in the former camp, but events at the close of the war and soon thereafter brought him and Belgian foreign policy much closer to the latter's position.

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