How accurate is it to talk about a 'thaw' in the Cold War in the years after 1953?

There are some incidents that happened after 1953, we can say that there was thaw in cold war. But it was short lived and the tensions started building again when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961. The following are the incidents when there was thaw:

  • The death of Stalin:

The death of Stalin brought new Russian leaders in forefront who wanted to establish and improve relations with the US. This was because both the powers were finely balanced and developed hydrogen bomb, to avoid any disastrous conflict improvement in relations was the only way.

  • The declaration of President Eisenhower that American people wants to be friendly with Soviet people.
  • The Korean War ended with the signing of peace agreement between the two.
  • Following this peace agreement war in Indo-China ended.
  • Russians gave up the bases in Finland.
  • Introduction of 16 new members into UN when Russia lifted their veto.
  • The abandoning of Cominform by Russia.
  • The signing of Austrian State Treaty in 1955 in which the divided Austria became independent when the four powers withdrew their troops and it became neutral.

The following incidents put the thaw in background and Cold War tensions returned:

  • Russia crushed the rising against communist in Budapest, Hungary.
  • The Signing of Warsaw Pact 1955 between Russia and its satellite communist states, a mutual defence agreement after West Germany was added to NATO.
  • Russia continued to build nuclear infrastructure.
  • The Russian non-recognition of the rights of western powers on west Berlin and suggesting the west to withdrew from west Berlin. This situation got worse and the Berlin wall was erected in 1961 to block the refugees escape route from east to west.
  • The installation of Russian missiles in Cuba in 1962.
Question for UPSC Mains:
How accurate is it to talk about a 'thaw' in the Cold War in the years after 1953?

Published: March 19, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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