Civnet: A website of Civitas International. (2003). “The Helsinki Accords”. For a brief moment, the détente seemed to have been revived, but the CSCE quickly became the occasion for heated debates between the United States and the Soviet Union, particularly on the issue of human rights in Russia. After the signing of the Helsinki Final Act, dissidents and reformers in the Soviet Union formed the so-called Helsinki Group, a monitoring organization tasked with monitoring the Russian government`s compliance with human rights protections. The Soviets crushed the Helsinki Group and arrested many of its main leaders. Human rights groups in the United States and elsewhere vehemently protested against Soviet actions. The U.S. government has criticized the Russians for not adhering to the spirit of the Helsinki Agreement. The Soviets did not appreciate what they called interference in their internal affairs. In mid-1978, the CSCE ceased to function in a significant sense.
It was revived in the 1980s by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and served as the basis for his policy of closer and friendlier relations with the United States. Critics were quick to point out that these agreements lacked enforcement mechanisms. In addition, they gave the communist governments of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe a legitimate reputation on an equal footing with the democratic regimes of the West. But the Helsinki Agreement also legitimized human rights in the most repressive regions of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Dissidents, such as the founders of “Charter 77” in Czechoslovakia, used the language of the Helsinki Agreement to justify their criticism of communist governments. Many dissidents inspired by the Helsinki Accords led the anti-communist revolutions of 1989. In addition, many “new thinkers” in the Soviet Union who came to power after 1985 – including Mikhail Gorbachev – said they hoped to build a more humane European civilization as provided for in the Helsinki Accords. In search of stability, Soviet leaders signed the Final Act in 1975; In doing so, they unleashed inner forces they could not control. Each side considered itself “responsible,” but the more nuclear capabilities countries had, the less the superpowers could control events. Added to this was the fear of nuclear accidents.
During the détente phase, a number of political agreements were reached. The Helsinki Final Act was an agreement signed by 35 countries that concluded the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Helsinki, Finland. The multifaceted law addressed a number of important global issues and had a significant impact on the Cold War and U.S.-Soviet relations. According to Cold War scholar John Lewis Gaddis in his book The Cold War: A New History (2005), “Leonid Brezhnev had looked to the future,” Anatoly Dobrynin remembers the “audience he wanted to attract. When the Soviet public learned of the final colonization of the post-war borders, for which they had sacrificed so much. “[Instead, the Helsinki Accords] gradually became a manifesto of the dissident and liberal movement. This meant that people living under these systems – at least the bravest ones – could ask for official permission to say what they thought.  The United States had requested a provision prohibiting radio interference, but did not reach consensus due to Soviet resistance. The Helsinki Final Act was an agreement signed by 35 countries that concluded the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe in Helsinki, Finland.
The multifaceted law dealt with a number of important global issues and had far-reaching implications for the Cold War and U.S.-Soviet relations. The Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe is a politically binding agreement containing four sections, or “baskets” as they are commonly known. The first basket contains a statement of principles guiding relations between the States participating in the Agreement. This includes respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The second basket deals with economic, scientific and ecological cooperation. The third basket deals with issues such as the free movement of peoples and freedom of information. Taken together, basket three and principle 7 of basket one are known as the “human dimension” of the Helsinki Accords. The fourth basket deals with the follow-up process after the conference. The main tasks of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) were conflict prevention, early warning and post-conflict reconstruction.
Each side considered itself “responsible,” but the more nuclear capabilities the countries had, the less the superpowers would be able to control events. .