Political map of Russia & the former Soviet Union 21 September 1955 (Warsaw Pact): After the death of Stalin (Josef Stalin) in 1953, a thaw in relations between East and West (Kruschev Thaw) allowed for the end of the occupations of Germany (Allied-occupied Germany) and Austria (Allied-occupied Austria). However when West Germany (West Germany) was accepted into NATO (NATO), the Soviets retaliated by forming their own alliance: the Warsaw Pact (Warsaw Pact).