What Agreements Were Made Between The West And The Soviet Union At The Yalta Conference

Each of the three heads of state and government had their own agenda for post-war Germany and liberated Europe. Roosevelt wanted Soviet support in the American Pacific War against Japan, particularly for the planned invasion of Japan (Operation August Storm) and Soviet participation in the United Nations; Churchill insisted on free elections and democratic governments in Central and Eastern Europe (particularly Poland); Stalin called for a Soviet sphere of political influence in Central and Eastern Europe as an essential aspect of the USSR`s national security strategy. Stalin`s position at the conference was one he believed to be so strong that he could dictate conditions. According to the member of the American delegation and future Secretary of State, James F. Byrnes, “it was not a question of what we would leave to the Russians, but what we could do to the Russians” [9] The aim of the conference was to build a post-war peace that was not only a collective security order, but also a plan to give self-determination to the liberated peoples of post-Nazi Europe. The meeting should focus on the restoration of the nations of war-torn Europe. But within a few years, as the Cold War divided the continent, Yalta became the subject of intense controversy. The Yalta conference took place from 4 to 11 February 1945, during the Second World War, at a Russian resort in Crimea. In Yalta, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Prime Minister Joseph Stalin made important decisions on the future progress of the war and the post-war world. Many Americans criticized Roosevelt, who was seriously ill during the Yalta Conference and died only two months later, in April 1945, for his concessions to Yalta regarding Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and Northeast Asia.

President Harry Truman, Roosevelt`s successor, would be much more suspicious of Stalin in July, when the leaders of the three Allied powers met again at the Potsdam conference in Germany to determine the final conditions for the end of World War II in Europe. When the Cold War became a reality in the years following Yalta`s conference, many critics of Roosevelt`s foreign policy accused him of having “exhausted” himself at the meeting and of naively letting Stalin naively follow his path. It seems doubtful, however, that Roosevelt had much choice. He secured Russian participation in the war against Japan (Russia declared war on Japan on August 8, 1945), established the fundamental principles of the United Nations and did as much as possible to resolve the question of Poland. When the Second World War was still raging, his main interest was the maintenance of the Great Alliance. He thought that boring political issues could be postponed and resolved after the war. Unfortunately, Roosevelt never had that chance – almost exactly two months after the end of the conference, Roosevelt had a stroke and died. President Roosevelt said: “If we try to avoid the fact that we have put a little more emphasis on Lublin`s Poland than on the other two groups from which the new government is to be drawn, we will expose ourselves to accusations that we will try to reverse the decision in Crimea.” Roosevelt recognized him in the words of Admiral William D.