ference and supported the Chinese position. The Albanians departed from Moscow a week before the conclusion of the meeting. They refused to sign the joint declaration of the participants.
In 1961, all negotiations between Moscow and Tirana were broken off. The Soviet economic and technical advisers were withdrawn from Albania. In March, Czechoslovakia informed the Albanian leadership that all Soviet Bloc economic aid had been terminated. In, response, Hoxha staged another show trial of the supporters of the Soviet Union in May 1961. The Soviet naval base was being dismantled, but the Albanians intervened in force. Four Soviet submarines and two submarine tenders were left behind as a consequence. All radar and other military equipment was also abandoned by the Soviet Union. In retaliation, two Albanian merchant ships were seized by Soviet naval forces.
Most East European communist regimes followed the example set by the Soviet Union in their dealings with Albania. They reduced the number of their embassies' staff and sent the Albanian diplomatic representatives packing. Albanian students, who were being educated in East Europe, were now sent home.
The Albanian Communist party was not invited to the twenty-second congress of the Soviet Communist party. At this meeting, Khrushchev denounced Albania while the Chinese derided their Soviet colleagues for making their dispute public. In December 1963, the Chinese foreign minister, Chu-En-lai, paid a visit to Tirana. Following the visit, anti-Soviet polemics were raised by several decibels by Albania.
With the fall of Khrushchev in 1964, Hoxha hoped for a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, but this did not happen. In July 1966, Alexandar Rankovic, the dreaded secret police chief of Yugoslavia, was ousted. Then, Yugoslavia approached Tirana for possible reconciliation. When the Greek junta overthrew the legitimate Greek government, Tirana felt relieved. A fellow dictatorship was less threatening than a neighboring democracy, or so Hoxha reasoned. When Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia in August 1968, however, Albanian fears of a Soviet-sponsored invasion were renewed. As a result, Albania withdrew from the Warsaw Pact alliance on September 1, 1968. It was the first communist country to do so. Hoxha declared, and rightly so, that the pact had become an instrument of aggression against socialist countries, and it was no longer a defensive alliance against imperialist intervention.
During the last phase of the existence of the Soviet Union, Soviet-Albanian relations did not improve. Although open polemics were more muted in the 1970s and the first half of the 1980s, Albania's mistrust of its socialist neighbors continued.
When Mikhail Gorbachev assumed the helm of the Soviet government in 1985, the Albanian communist leaders were absorbed in their own transition. Hoxha had died in the same year, and Ramiz Alia (see Alia, Ramiz), his successor, was not established well enough to initiate foreign policy changes at the time.
Hoxha Enver, Albania Challenges Khrushchev Revisionism ( New York, 1976); Pipa Arshi, Albanian Stalinism: Ideo-Political Aspects ( Boulder, CO, 1990).