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The German-Soviet Pact, signed in August 1939, paved the way for the joint invasion and occupation of Poland that September. By signing the agreement, Hitler avoided the threat of a major two-front war. Stalin was permitted subsequently to expand Soviet rule over the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia) and parts of Romania and Finland. The pact was an agreement of convenience between the two bitter ideological enemies. It permitted Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union to carve up spheres of influence in eastern Europe, while pledging not to attack each other for 10 years. Less than two years later, however, Hitler launched an invasion of the Soviet Union.