The collapse of the Balkan security system
The Greek foreign policy could not defend the understandings and agreements concluded among the Balkan states in various phases during the 1930s. As a result, the deterioration of the relations among the European states and the escalation of ideological and political polarisation led to the gradual weakening of the inter-Balkan cooperation.
Since 1937 Yugoslavia had signed treaties of friendship with Italy and Bulgaria, which underscored the shift of the Yugoslav policy from the collective character of the Balkan Treaty to bilateral agreements.
For her part, Rumania sought to achieve a diplomatic rapprochement with Germany, realising the potential danger of further Nazi expansion in the Balkans after the annexation of Austria in the German Reich. This rapprochement, accompanied by economic agreements in March 1939, was intended to act as a bulwark to the expansionist aspirations of the Soviet Union in the region of Bessarabia. At the same time, however, it contributed to the weakening of the inter-Balkan cooperation and presaged the future incorporation of Rumania into the sphere of the Axis influence under the Antonescu regime.