When Honecker came to power in 1971 East Germany reverted to being Moscow’s most dependable ally. This is reflected in the constitutions of 1968 and 1974. While Ulbricht did no more than assert ‘all-round co-operation and friendship’ with the USSR, Honecker declared the GDR ‘forever and irrevocably allied’ with the Soviet Union [84: 183]. During the 1970s, the ‘Workers’ and Peasants’ Power’ achieved full international recognition, joining the United Nations as its ‘133rd member’ on 18 September 1973 [220: 319]. The two Germany’s recognized each other on 21 December 1972 when they signed the Basic Treaty. Before that month, the GDR enjoyed formal diplomatic relations with only 38 countries. By 1978, the number had risen to 123 [221: 432–3]. To quote Jonathan Steele, this was ‘the state that came in from the cold’ .
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