After nearly 30 years of patient striving, the Soviet Union has finally achieved a major geopolitical dream - the formal recognition of the Eastern European empire it acquired in the aftermath of World War II. By putting their signatures to the mammoth 100-page, 30,000-word East-West charter at the European summit in Helsinki earlier this month, the United States and its North Atlantic allies effectively ratified Moscow's control over Eastern Europe and guaranteed the inviolability of the post-World War II European frontiers. Soviet domination over the eastern half of the divided European continent is now a formalized fact - though the Western powers were not likely to change the status quo anyway.
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