The Treaty of Rapallo was Soviet diplomacy’s first big success. At a stroke, it ended the international isolation imposed on the new Soviet state by the anti-Bolshevik coalition that attempted to overthrow Lenin’s regime during the Russian Civil War. It brought together the two outcasts of Europe, Germany and Russia, who saw themselves as victims of the Treaty of Versailles.
Signed in Rapallo, a suburb of Genoa, on 16 April 1922, the treaty established diplomatic relations between Soviet Russia and Weimar Germany. The two sides renounced all past financial claims against each other and agreed to develop trade relations. The ensuing years saw extensive military and political cooperation between the two states as well as exponential growth in economic relations. By the end of the 1920s, Germany was the Soviet Union’s most important trading partner and accounted for a quarter of all Soviet imports and exports.
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