Primary Sources

The Warsaw Pact


Following the final approval of the Paris Peace Treaties that ended World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) planned to incorporate the new state of West Germany into their military alliance in the spring of 1955. From the Soviet perspective, this was another aggressive military maneuver. In response to NATO's German decision, the Soviet Union and its East European allies signed the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance" in Warsaw, Poland on 15 May 1955, creating a new organization for coordinated military action against the West. Soon called the "Warsaw Pact," the Soviet Union and its allies agreed to clear goals of peace and cooperation, which suggested a major difference from the aggressive actions of NATO. This Treaty was distributed by Soviet embassies throughout the world in support of Soviet propaganda, which portrayed the United States and its allies as the villains of the Cold War.


"Treaty of Friendship, Co-operation and Mutual Assistance," May 16, 1955, Soviet News, No. 3165.

Primary Source—Excerpt

In the interests of further strengthening and promoting friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance, in accordance with the principles of respect for the independence and sovereignty of states, and also with the principle of noninterference in their internal affairs,...

Article 1. The contracting parties undertake, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations Organization, to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force, and to settle their international disputes by peaceful means so as not to endanger international peace and security.

Article 2. The contracting parties declare their readiness to take part, in the spirit of sincere co-operation, in all international undertakings intended to safeguard international peace and security and they shall use all their energies for the realization of these aims.

Moreover, the contracting parties shall work for the adoption, in agreement with other states desiring to co-operate in this matter, of effective measures towards a general reduction of armaments and prohibition of atomic, hydrogen and other weapons of mass destruction.

Article 3. The contracting parties shall take council among themselves on all important international questions relating to their common interests, guided by the interests of strengthening international peace and security.

They shall take council among themselves immediately, whenever, in the opinion of any of them, there has arisen the threat of an armed attack on one or several states that are signatories of the treaty, in the interests of organizing their joint defense and of upholding peace and security.

How to Cite this Source

The Warsaw Pact, "The Warsaw Pact," Making the History of 1989, Item #317, (accessed May 28 2021, 3:23 pm).

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