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Soviet/Vietnam relations, 1969 to 1978

Lord, Susan Margaret


Susan Margaret Lord


The SRV occupy an ambiguous position in relation to the Soviet Union, conforming neither wholly to the status of an eastern bloc state nor to that of a developing country. Furthermore, the dynamics of the relationship ensure that the client patron relationship has often been reversed. This study is structured around a loose methodological framework, in order to accommodate both Marxist-Leninist and international relations aspects of the problem.

A study of Soviet academic writing on Vietnam opens up several areas of inquiry. The course of the Paris Peace Talks, which coincided with detente and improved Soviet/United States relations, illustrates a conflict of interests for the Soviet Union. The war in Vietnam emerged as a lesser priority, in spite of the Vietnamese desire to move to a military conclusion. For the same reasons, Soviet support for Vietnam appeared muted in the period immediately following the cease fire of 1973 and amounted to an acceptance of the status quo for the foreseeable future, priority going towards economic reconstruction in the North rather than military action in the South. A Vietnamese initiative, therefore, led to the unexpected final victory of 1975. The Soviet Union were thus unprepared, immediately, to deal with the problems attendant upon reunification and continued Vietnamese hostilities with Cambodia. The Soviet/Vietnam Treaty of 1978 represents a harmonizing of Soviet and Vietnamese policy goals in which Soviet support for Vietnam in respect of full economic reunification and Cambodia as a sphere of Vietnamese influence was the political consequence.

The substantial power of leverage the Vietnamese have been able to exert at any given time, leads to a re-evaluation of the nature of the relationship and suggests an interpretation in terms of mutual advantage.


Lord, S. M. (1986). Soviet/Vietnam relations, 1969 to 1978. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 16, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Politics
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Politics, The University of Hull
Award Date May 1, 1986


Thesis (9.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 1986 Lord, Susan Margaret. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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