Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement
The Anglo-soviet trade agreement was signed to facilitate trade between the Russian Socialist Federal Soviet Republic and the United Kingdom. The agreement was signed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Robert Horne and the People’s Commissioner of Foreign Trade, Leonid Krasin, in 1921, March 16th.
Before the signing of Anglo-soviet trade agreement, trade was restricted to the Russian people. This was done through All Russian Union of Consumer Co-operative Societies. However, towards the end of May in 1920, terms of agreement had already been shifted but Leonid Krasin in London.
The French also declined an allied proposal to participate in the agreement but Italians participated only in one session. The negotiations for the trade agreement were also carried out with Co-operatives Union.
The first phase of Anglo-Soviet Trade Agreement
The first phase of the agreement was held at the 10 Downing Street where the British cabinet discussed on the proposed deal. This was done in May 28 and Lord Curzon had already briefed relevant parties on the meeting.
Four meetings were also held during the first phase of the agreement on the 31st of May, 7th June, 16th June and on 29th June 1920. The first two meetings of the agreement were formal. The 3rd meeting involved Sir Robert Horne, Fridtjof Nansen, Phillip Kerr and Lloyd Joy among others.
During the meeting, there were two major issues agreed by the parties, the pre 1917 debts to British creditors and the Hostile propaganda and subversion.
Lloyd George drew up a plan for the impending meeting with the British allies. The four point plan included
- An armistice and end to a hostile propaganda
- Exchange of trade mission
- Mutual recognition of all outstanding debts on all products and services and
- Exchange of prisoners
The plan was handed over to Krasin and he had a week to reply and provide a passage on board. In July 7th, Georgy Chicherin responded agreeing to all the terms in principle.
Second phase of the Anglo-Soviet trade agreement
During the 2nd phase of Anglo-Soviet trade agreement, Lev Kamenev was appointed to head the negotiations.
Third phase of Anglo-Soviet trade agreement
Negotiations for Anglo-Soviet trade agreements took a long time. According to Lenin, one of the attendants, the negotiations were also protracted. The agreement with Britain is however not signed because the British government had only handed in a draft of the negotiations.
The British government dragged its feet over the Anglo-Soviet trade agreement because of a reactionary war between the parties. Additionally, it has had the upper hand and could easily hinder negotiations and conclusions of a
possible trade agreement.
Anglo-Soviet trade agreement was an important diplomatic document and holds an historic significance. Even though it is modest in scope, it is more of a trade treaty that aims at regulating different commercial operations between the involved countries. The agreement was more of a politico-commercial character.
The agreement gave defacto recognition to RSFSR by the capitalist power in Europe. This is a power in which, the United States of America strongly contested in those days because, it played the biggest role as a top capitalist across the globe.
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