Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact

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The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, colloquially named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union[1] and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939.[2] It was a non-aggression pact under which the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany each pledged to remain neutral in the event that either nation were attacked by a third party. It remained in effect until 22 June 1941, when Germany started its invasion of the Soviet Union, called Operation Barbarossa.

In addition to stipulations of non-aggression, the treaty included a secret protocol dividing Northern and Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence, anticipating potential "territorial and political rearrangements" of these countries. Thereafter, Germany and the Soviet Union invaded their respective sides of Poland, dividing the country between them. Part of eastern Finland was annexed by the Soviet Union after the Winter War. This was followed by Soviet annexations of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Bessarabia.

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