Soviet-Nazi Relations in the 1930s
It is interesting to note, that prior to the Nazi rise to power, that the Stalinist Regime was in the process of trying to increase trade to pay off existing debts to foreign powers. When Hitler first took power, this took a step backwards. National Socialist idealogy demanded that communism was evil, and that the Slavs, being an sub-class of humanity, were incapable of forming their own nation-state. As a result, the official party line, was that the Slavs were ruled by Jewish Bolshevik masters.
Still, by the end of the 30s, Germany was starved of natural resources, and recognized that an impending conflict with the Western Powers was coming. As a result, there were several trade and credit agreements between both nations, whereby the Russians would recieve credit to purchase refined good ands capital resources from the Germans, they would repay, at 3% interest, every year with Raw Materials from Russia. The last Credit Agreement signed would not start repayment until 1946.
These initial trade agreements would eventually lead to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, which was, principally, a non-aggression pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. In this, both countries promised not to attack each other, or interfere in domestic situations. However, despite these assurances, we do know that both sides expected there to be a war at some point, the debate was primarily when such a conflict would take place.
However, the current foreign minister of the Soviet Union, Litinov, was a main point of contention. Litinov had Jewish ancestry, and was convinced to attempt a mutual security pact between Russia, France, and Britain, against the Fascists. While the progress on such an agreement was slow, it was progressing, until Stalin replaced Litinov with Molotov, and ordered that the foreign ministry be temporarily cleansed of Jews, so that negotiations with Berlin could take place.
In addition to establishing a non-aggression pact, the pact also divided Europe into spheres of Influence. Germany claimed a sphere over Eastern Poland and into the Balkins. While, Russia claimed Western Poland, and into the Baltic. We can easily see this policy carried through with subsequent wars like the Finnish Winter War and the occupation of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
While the pact may have been a temporary stop-gap, ultimately, it was just that, temporary. On May 21st, 1941, Nazi German began Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union.