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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 08, 1978

SPEECH BY L.I. BREZHNEV TO CPSU CC POLITBURO, 08 JUNE 1978

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    Concerns US-Soviet relations, including involvement in Africa, NATO, China, and SALT.
    "Speech by L.I. Brezhnev to CPSU CC Politburo, 08 June 1978," June 08, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Center for Storage of Contemporary Documentation (TsKhSD), Moscow, fond 89, per. 34, dok. 1. Obtained by David Wolff and translated by M. Doctoroff. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111257
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Proletariats of all countries, unite!
Communist Party of the Soviet Union. CENTRALCOMMITTEE
TOP SECRET

No. P107/III

To Comrades Brezhnev, Andropov, Grishin, Gromyko, Kirilenko, Kosygin, Kulakov, Kunaev, Mazurov, Pel'she, Romanov, Sluslov, Ustinov, Shcherbitskii, Aliev, Demichev, Kuznetsov, Masherov, Ponomarev, Rashidov, Solomentsev, Chernenko, Dolgikh, Zimianin, Kapitonov, Rusakov, Riabov, Zamiatin

Extract from protocol No. 107 of the session of the Politburo of the CC CPSU of 8 June 1978

Several issues of the international situation

1. To approve the proposal concerning this question, as stated in comrade L.I.Brezhnev's speech at the Politburo session of the CC (text of the speech affixed) .

2. To charge the MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] of the USSR, the KGB of the USSR, the International Department of the CC CPSU, the Department of Propaganda for Foreign Affairs of the CC CPSU to prepare the corresponding materials and projects of documents, with regard for the exchange of opinions, which took place at the Politburo session, and to submit them to the CC CPSU.
Politburo CC CPSU

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Re: item III protocol No. 107

SPEECH OF Com. L.I. BREZHNEV
AT THE POLITBURO SESSION OF THE CC CPSU CONCERNING
SEVERAL ISSUES OF THE INTERNATIONAL SITUATION

Comrades, it is apparent from what Andrei Andreevich [Gromyko] has now told us, that Com. Gromyko has performed considerable and useful work during his time in America both in terms of participation in the special session of the General Assembly of the UN, as well as in the course of his negotiations with Carter and Vance, and also at the time of bilateral meetings and discussions with representatives of many countries. I think that it is fitting to approve this work and to record this in our resolution.

But it would be, probably, incorrect to limit ourselves only to this. From the report of com. Gromyko, and likewise from the extensive information which has reached us recently through various channels, it is completely clearly apparent that we are experiencing a very complicated period in the development of international relations. A serious deterioration and exacerbation of the situation has occurred. And the primary source of this deterioration is the growing aggression of the foreign policy of the Carter government, the continually more sharply anti-Soviet character of the statements of the President himself and of his closest colleagues--in the first instance those of Brzezinski.

Judging from appearances, Carter is not simply falling under the usual influence of the most shameless anti-Soviet types and ringleaders of the military-industrial complex of the USA, but is intent upon struggling for his election to a new term as President of the USA under the banner of anti-Soviet policy and a return to the "cold war."

This line of the government of the USA is putting its stamp on the policy of the Western powers both in the NATO bloc, and in Africa, and in relation to China.

The question arises, how are we to react to all of this?

I think, that passivity here is inadmissible. We must fight actively and persistently for peace and detente. We must do all that is possible in order to hinder the policy, which is fraught with the threat of a new world war. Here we need energetic steps, noticeable for the whole world.

Concretely, if we are speaking of the immediate period, it would be possible, it seems to me, to do the following.

First. We should come forward in our press (simultaneously in all of the main newspapers) with a large and serious declaration, calling it, let's say, "Concerning the policy of the Carter government." We should publish this declaration without any sort of signature--this will even attract more attention to it. In it we should say directly, that in the policy of the USA changes are taking place which are dangerous for the affairs of peace. Under the curtain of lies and slander on the USSR and other socialist countries, concrete matters are being perpetrated, directed against peace and detente. The course of negotiations with the Soviet Union on the limitations of strategic arms is intentionally being retarded. Attempts at clumsy interference in our internal affairs are being perpetrated, in fact, the ties between both countries are being curtailed. New extensive plans for the arms race are being made, and for decades in advance, at the very time when the peoples hoped for disarmament. The current creators of American policy, it seems, have already found a common language with the aggressive anti-Soviet rulers of China, who, as it is known, declare peace and detente to be a fraud, and war to be the single realistic prospect.

The government of the USA has become the inspiration for a new colonialism in Africa -- the policy of armed intervention and open interference in the affairs of African governments, the merciless suppression of revolutionary liberation processes.

It is all of these current tendencies in the foreign policy of the Carter government which have lent the central color to the work of the last session of the Council of NATO in Washington. Encouraging its adherents, dragging after itself those who waver and doubt, putting pressure on the dissenting participants of this bloc, the USA is attempting once again to push it onto the road of the "cold war" and of active preparation for a hot war.

So all of these dangerous sides of the current policies of Carter should be [described], without excessive dramatization, but clearly shown in such a document. It is necessary to show both to other countries and to communities in the USA itself, just how dangerous a game Carter, Brzezinski, and their likes are starting.

We should conclude this text with a calm and clear confirmation of our course towards detente and towards the development of good, mutually beneficial relations with the United States.

Second. We should come forward with a collective declaration of governments--participants in the Warsaw Pact regarding the results of the session of the Council of NATO. This document, taking into consideration the necessity of its approval, among others by the Romanians, should be made less sharp, with emphasis on the constructive elements of our policy.

We should note with regret, that the work of the session of the Council of NATO and its resolutions do not serve detente or the consolidation of peace, but the exacerbation of the international situation and the intensification of military preparations, the arms race. Urgent calls for the increase of allotments, the agitation of the NATO representatives for neutron, chemical, bacteriological arms, the forcing through of long-term programs for the production of arms of all types--this is the real meaning of this session and of that which follows after it.

The countries of the Warsaw Pact condemn this policy and are certain that the peoples of other countries will condemn it. There is an attempt to impose on us a continually broader competition in arms. But we decisively come forward for keeping in check the arms race, for concrete agreements on these questions in all forums. The Soviet Union is doing all that is dependent on it for the successful completion of negotiations with the USA concerning SALT. The socialist countries occupy a flexible position and are developing concrete constructive initiatives at the Vienna talks. The countries of the Warsaw Pact are coming forward for the strict observance of the principles of peaceful coexistence, against interference in the internal affairs of other countries -- whether in the form of armed intervention or subversive activities of another sort.

And we should conclude this document with a persistent call to return to the path of detente, to the path of mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, which is clearly indicated in the document of the Helsinki Summit, in Soviet-American and other bilateral documents, and in numerous resolutions of the UN.

Third. We should come forward with a special Declaration of the Soviet government on African affairs. In this document we should categorically refute and expose the imperialist intentions with regard to the policy of the Soviet Union and other socialist countries in Africa, among them the region of the Horn of Africa, in Zaire, etc. Briefly and in calm tones we should say how it is in reality. At the same time with all sharpness we should condemn the policy of armed intervention, subversive activity and other forms of interference in African affairs by the governments of NATO headed by the USA. We should show how the contemporary colonizers, operating with the hypocritical slogan, "African solidarity," enlist accomplices for themselves in Africa from the numbers of reactionary, anti-popular regimes, for carrying out their own policy. We should express our conviction that genuine African solidarity will take hold--the single will of independent countries and the free peoples of Africa, their resoluteness to assert the independence of their countries and the freedom of their internal development.

These are the three documents, it seems to me, that it would be possible to prepare in the immediate future and come forth with them. Of course, this is not to be done in one day, but somehow intelligently distributed over time.

Simultaneously it would be possible to prepare instructions for our ambassadors in progressive and other more or less independent governments in Africa for carrying out the corresponding work with their guidance.

In the spirit of the documents, about which I just spoke, it would be necessary, of course, to develop work through other channels as well--along the lines of connections with fraternal parties, in the framework of international social organizations, etc.

As far as the work of the special session of the General Assembly of the UN for disarmament is concerned, evidently, it is necessary to continue to illuminate this theme in our media of mass information from the point of view of the proposal of the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, we should likewise support all that is healthy and constructive, which has appeared and should appear in the work of the Assembly, and should expose the maneuvers of the opponents to disarmament.

If the comrades are in agreement, then, probably, we could charge the preparation of the material, to which I referred, to the MFA and to the corresponding departments of the CC (International Department, Department of the CC and the Department of Propaganda for Foreign Affairs).