Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls

The Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls (CoCom) with its seat in Paris was a body responsible for the creation of lists of strategic products and technologies which the Western countries denied the Communist states. The main criteria for the labelling of a country Communist and for placing an embargo on it was the existence of a ruling Communist party and state-owned economy. The CoCom was founded in 1949 and the USA played a key role in it. Other member states were: United Kingdom, Turkey, Portugal, Norway, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Italy, Greece, France, Federal Republic of Germany, Denmark, Canada and Japan.

The science and technology unit of the Communist foreign intelligence worked on obtaining these Western technologies and circumventing the embargos. National companies directed their demands for the “purchase“ of technologies to the Ministry of interior which delegated the task to the 1st Directorate of the Ministry. After the June 1990 session of the CoCom member states in Paris, the embargo for Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland was cancelled.

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