In 1949, in response to the 1947 U.S.-backed Marshall Plan, eastern European countries established the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON)  to facilitate and coordinate economic development of the eastern European countries belonging to the Soviet bloc.

COMECON’s original members included: the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland and Romania.

Although Albania joined COMECON in 1949, it ceased taking an active part at the end of 1961. The German Democratic Republic became a member in 1950 and the Mongolian People’s Republic in 1962.