The Czechoslovak-Soviet alliance was revived in 1963. Since the Czechoslovak economy almost completely depended upon the Soviet Union, this made independent foreign policy almost impossible. Although no Soviet troops were stationed in Czechoslovakia until 1968, this did not encourage the Novotny-leadership to follow Albania's or Romania's example of carving out a special diplomatic niche for themselves even in the Sino-Soviet dispute. Czechoslovakia had not hesitated to associate itself with "peaceful coexistence."
Prague campaigned for Soviet proposals for the codification of the principles of peaceful coexistence with Europe and for a European security conference in which special attention would have been placed on a Central European security arrangement. In the Middle East, Prague slavishly followed Soviet policies. It broke relations with Israel in 1967, following a similar action by the Soviet Union. Relations with the Western Allies were uniformly hostile. Special hostility was reserved for West Germany and the United States. When Prague negotiated with West Germany for a possible economic agreement, Moscow stepped in, and the negotiations went nowhere.
Czechoslovakia, a charter member of the Warsaw Pact, participated in its plans against NATO. Special military alliances were concluded with Poland and East Germany to reinforce Czechoslovak adherence to the Soviet military system. Yet, realities increasingly interfered with communist rigidity. In 1967, a two-year pact was signed with West Germany and, although this was not followed up because of Prague's solidarity with the rest of the Soviet Bloc, it did open the door for better relations.
Foreign relations were in the hands of the party's Presidium. Its membership having been maintained often for decades, this body was not given to innovations and independence. During the Prague Spring (see Prague Spring, 1968), even the reformers refrained from starting new foreign policy initiatives for fear of Soviet disapproval. After the collapse of the communist system, Czechoslovakia began rebuilding its international relations with the rest of the world on a more even keel.
Remington Robert The Warsaw Pact ( Cambridge, MA., 1971); Skilling Gordon H., Czechoslovakia's Interrupted Revolution ( Princeton, NJ., 1976); Toma Peter A., "The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia," in Stephen Fischer-Galati, ed. The Communist Parties of Eastern Europe ( New York, 1979).
Invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact. After the introduction of the reform program by the government headed by Alexander Dubcek (see Dubcek, Alexander), five members of the Warsaw Pact (the Soviet Union, East Germany, Poland, Hungary and Bulgaria) issued a stern warning to Czechoslovakia. In essence they accused the Czechoslovak reformists of endangering Communist party rule in their country and opening the Czechoslovak state to the penetration of the "imperialists," meaning the Western nations. They were warning the Czechoslovak leaders that they