CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN DELEGATIONS OF THE ROMANIAN WORKERS PARTY AND THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION IN MOSCOW, JULY 1964 (EXCERPTS)
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get citationDelegates from Romania discuss the strained Soviet-Romanian relationship with Soviet officials. Issues raised include the organizational structure of the Warsaw Pact’s military forces, the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA or Comecon), and the existence of Soviet spies and espionage networks in Romania, the Soviet insistence that all Communist countries should support their proposals in international bodies and vote as a block, and other unilateral Soviet decisions such as placing missiles in Cuba in 1962."Conversations Between Delegations of the Romanian Workers Party and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in Moscow, July 1964 (excerpts)," July, 1964, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 35/1964, vol. II, filele 1-237; Document No. 4 in Vasile Buga, O vară fierbinte în relaţiile româno-sovietice: Convorbirile de la Moscova din iulie 1964 [A Hot Summer in Romanian-Soviet Relations: Conversations in Moscow during July 1964], Bucharest, Romanian Academy, National Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism, 2012, pp. 4-197. Translated for CWIHP by Larry L. Watts. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/116569
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Transcript of Conversations Between Delegations of the RWP CC and the CPSU CC
Moscow, July 1964
Meeting of 7 July 1964
Cde. Podgorny: We were greatly disturbed by the speech of Cde. Draghici at the 23 August factory, where he spoke in connection with the conclusions of the [RWP] Plenum and threw out such a statement as “we must be very clear regarding the problem of Soviet citizens, because there are many among the Soviet citizens who are engaged in [hostile] espionage.”
Now I will complete my presentation and raise the issues concerning which we should exchange views. It must be said that we are disturbed by the fact that RWP representatives in international forums have recently – perhaps what I am saying is too daring – come with proposals different than those commonly-agreed by the socialist countries.
Why do I want to say this? Because Cde. Ceausescu, on the occasion of his visit in Hungary, justified all of these issues on the basis of national sovereignty.
In connection with the proposal debated in the UN about the creation of nuclear-free zones in the countries of Latin America, all of the socialist countries, having a moral responsibility to Cuba, agreed to support Cuba and to abstain from the vote. But the Romanian delegate voted together with the other countries. I do not believe that was internationalist behavior or that it was support accorded by a socialist country to Cuba.
Cde. Podgorny: I want you to understand me correctly, we have no pretentions but with friends it is good to keep each other mutually informed. I am saying purely and simply that between friends we are interested in certain measures that regard us. What we want to do is to inform ourselves.
Another problem which has a great importance for us is the strengthening of our friendship. The strengthening of this friendship also depends upon a common opinion regarding the Warsaw Pact. On all issues connected with the conclusion of the Pact, of its tasks, we were in full accord. We did not even have problems regarding its command, the PRR [People’s Republic of Romania] is fulfilling all of the obligations incurred upon it within the framework of this Pact. However, recently such discussions have taken place as: (again please understand me correctly that I have not heard these with my own ears, however what we have heard I will tell you because if they do not correspond with reality that needs to be clarified) it is said by your people that the Warsaw Pact is only necessary for the Soviet Union, just like the CMEA is necessary for the Soviet Union in order to enslave the other socialist countries, that, in any case, you can maintain yourselves with the forces that you have even with this Pact.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: With the missiles we have?
Cde. Podgorny: With missiles, with machine guns, with automatic weapons. It is said that it is no longer the case that someone would attack us; that we can live also without the Warsaw Pact. It is said, in every way possible, that it is only an extra burden.
It is said, that there was a crisis in the Caribbean Sea and that the Soviet Union stuck its nose in the problem and that we were on the brink of war; and that we need Cuba like a cart needs a fifth wheel; it is well that it ended the way it did, because it could have ended much worse; in conformity with the Pact with us, the Romanians would have had to fight; but why would we have needed this war?
I am telling you what has reached our ears, although I do not exclude that this is a fabrication and if these statements do not exist, all the better for you and for us. I want to say that I have never heard such things myself.
Now these issues are raised because there are probably forces in Romania that are interested in sowing discord and suspicion between us, however, neither we nor you are interested in such suspicions. Of all of these issues which we raise, some can be confirmed, others could be invented. It is well that we explain that in this circus about which both you and we are aware, where is the danger that threatens the continued strengthening of our friendship. The fact that these could poison our friendship; this provokes disquiet among us. Good relations can be easily ruined within the course of two weeks; however, creating the basis for good relations is much more difficult. We also consider that the friendship between our peoples, between our parties, has deep roots, and now our task consists of removing those impediments that stand in the path of the strengthening of our friendship.
Cde. Andropov: You can imagine how deformed something that is said in Bucharest becomes when it arrives at the periphery.
Cde. Emil Bodnaras: Especially when it passes though both Budapest and Warsaw.
Cde. Andropov: That has no connection with this.
At the Soviet-Romanian frontier there was a slogan sign on the Romanian side that said “Long-Live the Romanian-Soviet Friendship.” Our border guards sadly communicated to us that they wiped out “Romanian-Soviet Friendship” and only “Long-Live the Friendship between Peoples” remains.
Cde. Emil Bodnaras: The Propaganda [representative] is here with us (Cde. Rautu).
Cde. Leonte Rautu: I didn’t wipe it off.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Is that all?
Cde. Podgorny: No it is not, you wait, there will be more. We are keeping a reserve.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I can tell you that I think it good that at least a part of the sack as been emptied. We shall do the same thing.
Meeting of 8 July 1964
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I owe you an explanation. Yesterday the problem was raised of our sending a Bulletin from our Foreign Relations Section [International Department] comprising the [23 April 1964] Declaration of the RWP CC to exactly 440 addresses, among them also the regional party committees [in the bordering Moldavian SSR and the Ukrainian SSR]. I now have the exact information on how this happened. This Bulletin was sent through the Foreign Relations Section of the CPSU CC when a delegation of activists from our Foreign Relations Section had an exchange of experience with the CPSU CC Foreign Relations Section. At that time, Cde. Andropov requested our comrades to expedite the bulletin directly to the respective addresses. This understanding was made in 1957, thus 7 years before the meeting that adopted the well-known [April 1964] Declaration.
We committed an error in not again asking our Soviet comrades regarding the expedition of this Bulletin, when it consisted of a document that the Soviet Union had not published. It is true that the error was committed by the Foreign Relations Section of our Central Committee. It does not represent a way of resolving such problems of the Party leadership, because we have protested when the same thing was attempted with us. This was something attempted by the Chinese and we protested against this practice.
Given that, when we heard that the Bulletin was sent, we asked: find, but what happened with the Declaration? Either I did not understand the explanation given then or the explanation was not very good, but I recall the fact that the Bulletin left with the agreement of the CPSU CC Foreign Relations Section, an agreement that in fact did not exist. Under these circumstances this deed was our mistake.
Now we can move, if you have no objections, to dealing with several perspectives in connection with the issues discussed yesterday.
The issue that drew all of our attention at the beginning was the suspicion of an anti-Soviet orientation in the policies of our party and government, a problem to which we are especially sensitive, because – as we said yesterday – the friendship with socialist states, the very close friendship with the Soviet Union is a cardinal point of our policies.
Given that, I will address the deeds that have been cited here as justifying the concerns of the Soviet comrades.
The Soviet comrades, and Cde. Podgorny principally, said here that during the work with the party active on the RWP CC Declaration, this process was given a character other than it should have had, the point of the working group process being directed against the Soviet Union. It was said that in the framework of the working groups that it was shown that the Soviet Union exploited Romania, that the equipment that we receive from the USSR is of poor quality; that the problem of the SOVROMs was recalled and debated widely, that the Soviet Union requests in exchange for goods of poor quality the hard currency-producing goods of Romania, that the prices that we pay to buy goods from the Soviet Union is excessive. The question was raised, why it was necessary to introduce this problem into the Declaration and in the working groups of the CMEA, where theretofore there existed no divergences between us; it was said that Cde. A. Draghici, in front of the working group constituted at the “23 August” Factory, affirmed that Soviet citizens in Romania are spies.
Cde. Podgorny: Not that they are spies but that they are engaged in espionage.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: It is one and the same thing.
Cde. Podgorny: It is not one and the same thing. It is one thing to say that all Soviet citizens in Romania are spies and another to affirm that among them are some who are engaged in espionage.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: There are some things that are precisely true while several others, however, are completely untrue.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: In Comrade Podgorny’s exposition he gave the sources of such information. He told us that these things appeared in the capitalist press, they were discussed by diplomats – it is true that we do not know if the diplomats were accredited to the Romanian government or to the Soviet government – but these were the sources upon which the affirmations we heard yesterday were based.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: We believe that the Soviet comrades, in order to accord the amount of attention which has been accorded to these things, should draw this information from sources other than the capitalist press and we believe – and we said this before, also when we held discussions with Comrade Khrushchev in Bucharest [on 24-25 June 1963] – that these affirmations are the work of the agent networks that you maintain in Romania. We must discuss this problem.
Cde. Lesechiko: What? Are you claiming that we, the Soviets, maintain agent networks in Romania?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Yes, we are affirming this to you now and we are affirming it not for the first time. We affirmed the exact same thing during the discussions that we had in Bucharest with Cde. Khrushchev, in which you also participated (addressing Comrade Podgorny).
Cde. Podgorny: This problem was not raised there; we do not have agent networks in Romania.
Cde. Kosygin: I have never heard of such a thing either.
Cde. L. Rautu: At the meeting attended by Cde. Podgorny and by Cde. Kosygin and by Cde. Andoropov, Cde Ceausescu raised this question.
Cde. Podgorny: We have never maintained an agent network in Romania and even if 20 Ceausescus affirmed we did, we would not agree [that we had].
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: We will show you why we believe you have an agent network. We have here the transcript of the discussion in Bucharest [of 24-25 June 1963]. This transcript testifies to the fact that the problem was raised, and that it was not raised incidentally, in the course of other discussion, but as a special point of the discussions.
For now, I will not address this problem specifically. Certainly, it will be a special point in our discussion. The fact is that the existence of such affirmations that we contest are considered by us as the work of these agent networks and, please remember this, a very gratuitous proof of the fact that their activity does only harm and no good.
Don’t be angry, comrades, that I speak to you with such sincerity. I said, and I repeat, that the most beautiful homage that one can bring to our friendship is that of the sincere expression of their thoughts to us.
Let’s take another affirmation that is entirely incorrect; namely, that while working on the [April 1964] Declaration of the RWP CC at the “23 August” Factory, Cde. Alex. Draghici had claimed that some Soviet citizens also engage in espionage. I happen to know clearly that Draghici never held a working session on anything at the “23 August” Factory.
Cde. Podgorny: Maybe he spoke somewhere else about it.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: One fact that I would like to present to you is that the Political Bureau members held no working sessions regarding the Declaration except at the regional level.
Secondly, Cde. Draghici never made such an affirmation within a working session on the Declaration or in any other working session, because he is very well informed about these people in Romania who, in our opinion, make up the agent network of which we spoke.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Now, if you will allow me to proceed.
Cde. Podgorny recalled the declaration made by Cde. Ceausescu in Budapest regarding the problem of the cult of personality, underscoring that Ceausescu allegedly had claimed that the cult of personality is being revivified in the Soviet Union and that against this affirmation the Soviet side protests decisively.
In parentheses, allow me to admire the rapidity with which the information from Budapest was transmitted to you. I cannot, however, also admire the exactness of that information.
I would request Cde. Rautu, who was at Budapest [with Ceausescu] – I have not had the chance to speak with Ceausescu about this – to say something about this.
Cde. L. Rautu: I associate myself with the surprise of Comrade Maurer that the operational efficiency of our Hungarian comrades was not reinforced with precision in the information which they furnished to you. I would like to underscore that some of those affirmations do not correspond to reality.
In the first place, regarding methods that constitute left-over practices more appropriate to the period of the cult of personality Cde Ceausescu did not speak at all, although all other delegation members did; we were seeking to prevent the danger of a return of such methods and practices from the period of the cult of personality.
In this problem neither Cde. Ceausescu nor anyone else referred to the CPSU or to the situation in the USSR, except to underscore the high appreciation that we accord to the attitudes taken towards the problem of the cult of personality at the CPSU XXth Congress.
We have explained that we consider as totally inadmissible, on the part of anyone whoever it might be, the qualification and derogatory labeling of any party or state, regarding so-called “national narrow-mindedness,” “nationalism,” “autarchy,” “neutralism,” etc. We evaluated such qualifications as a form of pressure, which truly does remind us of the methods used during the period of the cult of personality.
The fact that the impersonal form is often used in order to throw around such qualifications changes nothing.
We do not desire to discuss the problems regarding the fraternal Hungarian party or our relations with it here, but since the information with regard to our visit in Hungary has been brought into the discussion, we can tell you that we have had in our view, among others, the recent public declarations of Cde. Kallay with regard to certain tendencies of “neutralism,” with regard to the fact that “our adversaries – I quote – seek to “stimulate a so-called ‘independent’ policy, through which they understand to turn against the Soviet Union” and that “we must not listen to these siren voices.”
It must be said that, returning home, we received the newspaper “Unita,” which published this speech of Cde Kallay and said the following: “Cde Kallay was evidently referring to the positions recently taken by the Romanian comrades.” That is not the capitalist press saying this; this is how Cde Kallay’s speech was understood by a communist newspaper.
This is an example of the methods against which we have risen, and against which we continue to rise, regardless of from which quarter they come. The treatment of a party through such means, the throwing around of qualifications that insult the respective party and the presentation in a deformed manner of the policies of the respective parties, is a means of exerting pressure on that party and taking an unfriendly attitude towards it. The faster and more radically such direct and indirect forms of pressure and of misrepresenting the positions of other parties are removed, the better it will be for the relations within the communist movement.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Comrades, do not doubt that the point of view expressed by Cde Ceausescu and also by our delegation is also our point of view, of all of us, it is contained in the RWP CC Declaration; and we also agree with the point of view expressed by Comrade Rautu; and what Cde. Rautu showed was that the information that was transmitted to you by the Hungarian comrades was incorrect.
Certainly, we raise the question, why was it incorrect? The responses could be many. I have no intention of wasting your time with all of the possible responses to such a question. I assure you, however, that the response to such a question will be a topic of our preoccupation.
Meeting of 9 July 1964
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: …I have referred to the problem of agent networks, of the informers which you have on our territory. Regarding this problem I ask you to listen to Cde. Bodnaras.
Cde. E. Bodnaras: The problem of the existence of informers and, respectively, of an intelligence agent network that is not acting to the benefit of our friendship, was put at the meeting in Bucharest to Cde. Khrushchev and to the other comrades who are here. I have the transcript of those discussions before me. I don’t know if you have consulted the transcript [and] those discussions that we had with you. From it you can see that Cde. Ceausescu raised this issue in the name of our Political Bureau and explained that we could not agree that the information which is used in order to characterize our position should figure significantly in your evaluations when it comes from persons who are informers, regardless of whether those informers are occasional, permanent, or sought out for specific purposes.
Cde. Khrushchev, in his response to this question, demonstrated that: “I am in agreement with much of what you have said, Cde. Ceausescu. I want to explain, however, also the manner in which I understand the problem, the gathering of this material. This phenomenon appeared after your Plenum [of 5-8 March 1963] – Cde. Khrushchev said – up to then there was nothing, we heard nothing.” In another passage he referred to the fact that the informers that existed were good informers, accentuating in continuation: “We do not have any sort of agent of ours in the socialist countries, however, when good relations are compromised, informers appear by themselves, said Cde. Khrushchev. There are also informers who are not your representatives and who try to sow discord between us.”
And during the pause the theme was broached again by Cde. Salajan, who brought to the attention of Cde. Khrushchev several things about which we will speak later.
This problem has preoccupied us and continues to preoccupy us especially. It is a principal question of relations between socialist states and between communist parties; it derives from the necessity of having full clarity regarding reciprocal trust, an unconditional trust between communist parties and socialist states, without which a good friendship cannot be conceived in any sort of condition, if this fundamental condition – reciprocal trust – does not exist.
We do not understand such practices. If Cde. Podgorny, Cde. Kosygin, Cde. Andropov or Cde. Lesechiko, as members of the C.C., members of the C.C. Presidium or C.C. secretaries, affirm to us that this is not so, we are obligated to believe them and we do not have the right to take recourse to any sort of other means to find out if what they tell us in the names of the organs of which they are part is indeed the case.
An intelligence agent network of the corresponding Soviet organs in Romania existed and it was normal that it existed in a certain period. I also led an intelligence service in Romania immediately after 23 August 1944, a service organized before 23 August, and I collaborated on the order of the party with the corresponding military organs of the Soviet state. It was a mutual assistance necessary in order to assure ourselves of a good intelligence base, both for the necessary military cover as well as for the concealing the necessities of good political orientations under conditions in which an enemy, our common class enemy – the Romanian bourgeoisie, the Romanian King, the Anglo-American mission with its ramifications and influence – stood before us. We considered such activity as perfectly normal and we favored the development of these agent networks through mutual understandings, for internal need and many times for foreign needs.
After the overthrow of the King, after nationalization, after the removal from our government of the bourgeois remains, after the winning of political power by the working class, this necessity certainly disappeared, the conditions were changed. With somewhat of a delay, in 1949, through a disposition of the higher organs of the Soviet state, of which we were also informed, this activity was to be ended. Some of the residents of the Soviet intelligence apparatus who acted with our knowledge received indications from the Soviet side and from our side that this activity was to stop.
Our party was not then in an easy situation. Among us there were still Ana Pauker and Vasile Luca [and] Chisinevsky, all of whom had other orientations, as the events demonstrated. We discovered very soon after 1949 that, nonetheless, the intelligence activity of the Soviet organs on our territory had not stopped. On the contrary, this activity intensified, concentrating more and more towards the surveillance of the vital areas of leadership – party, government – with the approval, as become clear to us later, of Ana Pauker, of Vasile Luca and, continually, of Chisinevsky. And this activity continued still a goodly time after Stalin died. It is certain that up until 1956 due to functional inertia this apparat continued to exist.
We know many people who today view things otherwise. Enlightened by the conclusions of the XXth Congress of the CPSU and of what followed, as a result of the clarifying work by our party organs and organizations, they recognized that this activity continued. Certainly, knowing who had the interest to conduct an activity of sabotaging the unity of the parties, of our party and of other parties, in the period of the cult of personality, we could not believe that this intelligence activity could contribute to the consolidation of correct relations of friendship between our parties and countries. We could not believe that.
For that reason we were alarmed when during the work on the plenary documents in March 1963 we were confronted by the leadership of the Soviet Union with misrepresentations and twisted interpretations of our point of view, to which we had understood to communicate our point of view in an organized manner and not just when we the mood struck us, but in an organized and complete manner. We did this, naturally, after a prior consultation with our party on a vital issue: the CMEA problem. The issue of a single plan, of a single common planning organ for all countries had been raised then, and approved at a series of party congresses – the congress of the Bulgarians, of the Czechoslovaks and of the Hungarians. We were in the possession of a Polish project for the economic integration of the socialist states, you will recall. We considered that after the consultation our party had on these fundamental problems it was well to inform the Soviet leadership.
Certainly, we acknowledge that we came here also as a result of the manifest desire of the Soviet Union to be informed. Cde. Andropov came to us and was received by the leadership of our party, by Cde. Gheorghiu-Dej, and a number of our comrades participated. Then Cde. Podgorny came at the head of a party delegation with a letter of the CPSU CC and he was received by the entire Political Bureau. After that Cde Ceausescu was sent to Moscow with a letter containing our point of view on the basis of our party discussions. We calculated that this point of view would be understood as expressing the point of view of the responsible leadership and that no one would seek another source for ascertaining that point of view than on the basis of the document offered by us, and that in case of confusion our leadership would be addressed.
We were very surprised when, on the occasion of our meetings with Cde. Khrushchev, we noted that the Soviet side, the Soviet comrades, disposed of a lot of information that, along with the truth that we discussed the issue of relations with the CMEA in our party, also presented completely distorted details making up that truth. If we just take what Cde. Maurer said at Cluj in March of last year, something to which Cde. Khrushchev referred. We know what Cde. Maurer said. Cde. Maurer has a position of great responsibility in our party. What he said in Cluj, he also told Cde. Khrushchev to his face here in Bucharest and he is ready to repeat it any time, because our point of view has not changed. It is very clearly expressed in the letter as well. This was the motivation behind the Political Bureau’s decision to entrust Cde. Ceausescu with the task of speaking about the informers that cannot serve the cause of our friendship
Even now, comrades, in our discussions, we find ourselves confronted with misunderstandings due to the existence of distorted facts. This is what drove the opinion expressed by Cde. Maurer regarding informer agents and intelligence networks. We know dozens of persons who have continued this intelligence work, when they should not have done so since it conforms to no norms of principled relations between socialist parties and states whatsoever. If information comes to us from such sources, we throw it in the garbage can. What we have brought you here as appreciations and opinions, will stand as an open book that you can verify for yourselves.
Cde. Rautu brought up a series of data and evaluations yesterday. We can place the data regarding who made them, when they did, and under what conditions at your disposal. Of course, we do not have transcripts, but you can still verify them. Naturally, we do not orient ourselves on the basis of such intelligence, even when it is certain and of good faith. We want to clarify things through discussion with a delegation authorized by the leadership, which is a legitimate spokesman of the Soviet party leadership. That is what we believe, what is said here by it and not what is said by someone else. What you tell us here, that is what we will believe and upon which we will orient our judgment. And we request that you do the same with us. We are responsible leaders, we fulfill a mandate received by our leadership; we express the point of view of our leadership, indifferent of whether our delegation is composed of Cde. Maurer, Bîrladeanu, Rautu or Bodnaras. If tomorrow another delegation came with the empowerment to discuss with you, it would present the same point of view.
We are very much disturbed and very much concerned about the appreciations made in your discussion with Cde. Chivu Stoica. We have expressed this in a letter of the Political Bureau and we underscore this here as well. One cannot set the foundations of long-lasting relations on the basis of complete and reciprocal trust between our parties and states, if we do not eliminate from our documentation the rumors and the “well wishing” intelligence from informers who appear after plenums or after working groups and, as Cde. Khrushchev has also recognized, “can be not from your representatives, but from persons who are interested in sowing discord between us.”
And now a last detail and I will conclude. When we met with you in Bucharest, at the pause, after Cde. Ceausescu expressed our opinion regarding the value of such informers and their intelligence, Cde. Salajan brought to the attention of Comrade Khrushchev two cases of which one did not occur until after the Plenum – it is true that one did take place after the Plenum, which illustrates just how far things can go if the trust between party and state leaderships is undermined by the “authority” of dubious intelligence.
We changed our military attaché in Moscow in 1962. Cde. Salajan informed Cde. Khrushchev that here in Moscow an officer of the Soviet security tried to recruit our military attaché as an informer. “Podlets”! (Bastard), said Cde. Khrushchev. But Cde. Salajan brought to his attention yet one more thing about which we also found out only then.
We also have a military representative here at the [Warsaw Pact] Unified Command, a general. He told us they put microphones in his apartment, microphones that he discovered. He called the Soviet [security] organs and handed [the microphones] over to them. He reported the incident also to our Ministry of Armed Forces. What does this indicate? Trust?
Cde. Podgorny: Cde. Salajan reported this?
Cde. E. Bodnaras: Yes, Comrade Salajan. On finding this out Cde. Khrushchev again said “Bastard – the interior minister must be beaten, but he should not be told why.”
You have a large [security] apparatus. There are within it persons who have not yet turned the corner as proclaimed at the XXth [De-Stalinization] Congress, who have not rid themselves of the dysfunctional habits of former times, against which we know you are fighting. Where do you need intelligence networks? Amongst friends? No! We do not need intelligence networks and informers in any socialist country. This is different from ambassadors writing reports, for which they must document themselves on the basis of the party and state organs, or from the CMEA along economic lines. It is different from documenting from the respective organs which have everything required at their disposition.
We have also had an intelligence network in a socialist state, in common agreement with you, in Yugoslavia after 1948 and until 1956. In 1956 after you visited Yugoslavia and Cde. Khrushchev visited us, and after we met with Tito, Cde. Gheorghiu-Dej told Tito – because Yugoslavia also had intelligence networks in our country during that period: “Comrade Tito, let’s liquidate the intelligence networks and the practice of spying on each other, of informing ourselves tangentially. Such activity has no legitimate function between socialist states.” And we decided to stop this activity – and the activity stopped.
Cde. L. Rautu: Irrevocably and definitively.
Cde. E. Bodnaras: And we destroyed the archive. We took verification measures, so that such things would not continue by virtue of inertia in one form or another, no matter how inoffensive such intelligence work might have been.
What purpose would it serve, I ask, for functionaries of the Soviet embassy in Romania to walk all over – because they can walk freely – in order to seek to document themselves on a certain issue from a private citizen, which could give them no more than a partial response, because it is clear that they could have no other response. Why doesn’t the functionary come to us, to the leadership or to those organs from which he can fully document himself? We will place all of the data which you require, from all sectors, at your disposition because we are certain that you will not abuse it by creating intelligence situations which have nothing to do with the common interests of the relations between our two states. Is it beneficial that the two delegations are compelled to meet here to rid ourselves of all of this mud, brought about by some information originating with some diplomats, with the capitalist press, or with who knows what other source?
We would like to announce to you, comrades, that we have warned our party organs about the danger of this intelligence activity. We cannot tolerate such agent informers, even when they work for a business firm from the Soviet Union or for the friendship [associations] with other socialist states. If we permit the functioning of such means of information, we will open the way to American and English espionage, which can also infiltrate under the cover of a business firm.
We ask that you seek documentation from us in all problems.
We are grateful that you have raised such problems with us, to which we now give response. Certainly, they are not pleasant. But you may be assured that everything we have said is the correct and honest word of our leadership. That is why we need every day, before and after our meetings, time in order to think and judge well, so that we do not express our point of view erroneously.
Regarding occasional or professional informers, we have decided to take measures against them, because they are the most dangerous agents in the service of hostility between us. We need friends. We believe in what you tell us and if we are not in agreement with a point of view, we will tell you and we will seek to find a common perspective, where it is necessary for us to find a common perspective. It is not necessary to have identical opinions on all things. It depends on the specific issue. But solutions must be found. Because of that we have come here, and because of that we have related these problems.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I will give you another fact, which you can judge for yourselves. The military attachés stationed with us made an excursion through the country. They were received in Bacau, where a dinner was prepared for them; they drank, they ate, they discussed together with party and state activists from the respective region. At a certain moment, the Soviet military attaché (he was dressed in civilian attire) addresses one of the activists and says: I am the Yugoslav military attaché, what is your opinion about Gheorghiu-Dej?
Cde. Podgorny: Who did he ask?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: A party activist.
Cde. Kosygin: The current military attaché?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Yes, your current military attaché in Bucharest.
Cde. Kosygin: Maybe it was a provocation!
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: He was confronted, because we cannot ignore such information. We requested that the military attaché come and we put the two face-to-face to clarify the situation. We asked him: Why did you say that you were the Yugoslav military attaché? He responded: It was a joke. But you asked our comrade what his opinion was about Gheorghiu-Dej? Yes, I did ask, but he did not understand Russian well, since I asked him about the health of Gheorghiu-Dej.
These are the facts.
Cde. Andropov: Why ask something about Gheorghiu-Dej that the entire people know. This man is an idiot.
Cde. Podgorny: He is an idiot because if he were not an idiot he would not have allowed himself to ask such a stupid question.
What is the attaché’s name?
Cde. L. Rautu: Makovkin.
Cde. Podgorny: And he is there now?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: He is.
Cde. Podgorny: Have you communicated this to us before now? Such things must be communicated.
Cde. E. Bodnaras: This happened on the eve of our departure to here.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: And now another aspect, not to say problem.
Cde. Kosygin: The Ambassador has not communicated this to us.
Cde. E. Bodnaras: He must have informed you because it was something out of the ordinary.
Cde. Podgorny: The RWP CC should have communicated it to the CPSU CC. [This should be done] when it concerns informers; as a general rule. But this is a concrete case, an official person of our country. Certainly, such things demand an immediate reaction.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: We know well that such things are not commanded by the Central Committee, but if it had been commanded by the CC it would have been very stupid. If it were so, and it is not, since we are speaking of the party of Lenin, but I do not know of what party we are speaking, if a party at the periphery organized this, that would be very stupid. But these are things that remain in the [security] apparatus and that apparatus can bring you the information.
Meeting of 10 July 1964
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Comrade Podgorny told us in his exposition that: “It worries us that the representatives of the PRR make proposals in international meetings different from the proposals coordinated by the other socialist countries, although the issues were agreed beforehand.”
I hold to our affirmation that there does not exist a single case in which Romania has agreed to a certain attitude and has not honored it; if the Romanian delegate said he would vote a certain way, then that is the way he voted. To our knowledge there does not exist a single case in which Romania broke her engagement in such problems. If the Soviet comrades know of such cases, they should tell us.
Cde. Podgorny: For example, with Cuba; more specifically, I am speaking of the issue of Cuba when at the UN the resolution with regard to a Latin American nuclear-free zone was voted.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Specifically.
Cde. Podgorny: Or with the Conference for Commerce and Development [UNCTAD] in Geneva.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Only neither in connection with the vote of the Romanians for the creation of a denuclearized zone in Latin America nor at the Conference for Commerce and Development had the Romanian delegate taken upon himself any obligation to vote in conformity with the socialist countries. More than that, even during the discussions he attempted to persuade the socialist countries that it was better to vote otherwise than they voted. This must be very clear. It is one problem if one votes otherwise than did the [rest of the] socialist countries, and quite another if one votes otherwise than one has agreed to vote.
In this second case the delegate would have broken an engagement which we have taken upon ourselves while, in the first case, the delegate was voting according to his conscience, with what was calculated to be the best thing to do; exercising my incontestable right, springing from my sovereignty. It is true that at Budapest Cde. Ceausescu justified this position, however that was not only the position of Comrade Ceausescu, it is the position of our entire Political Bureau, of our Central Committee.
Cde. Podgorny gave the issue of the denuclearized zone in Latin America as example. I do not believe – he continues – that it is an internationalist attitude and a support or manifestation of solidarity with Cuba. Let’s analyze the essential elements a little closer.
What essential political position was coordinated within the framework of the socialist countries on this issue? The position was coordinated in conformity with which we would support the principle of denuclearized zones, anywhere on the globe that such zones could be created. In particular, such a position was coordinated with regard to Latin America. From the perspective of supporting the creation of a denuclearized zone in Latin America there is even an official declaration made by the Soviet Union and the official declarations made by us repeatedly. Possibly supporting themselves exactly on the position of the socialist countries, a series of Latin American countries (five in number) have taken the initiative of the resolution that was presented before the UN.
What happened here? Cuba, which had reservations regarding the draft resolution at an earlier session [of the UN] and which on the basis of those reservations voted against it, was supported by all of the [other] socialist countries, which also voted against the resolution at the earlier session. And then, when the resolution was discussed subsequently, this time the authors of the resolution took into account all of the earlier reservations of Cuba and reformulated their resolution, in such a manner that satisfied all of Cuba’s previous reservations. Presented with this resolution, begun this way, Cuba declared that it could not vote against it, but that it would abstain.
The delegate from the Soviet Union declared that he would support the position of Cuba, regardless of what that position might be. However, such an engagement on the part of the Soviet Union seemed curious to us because it seems to me that no one could be supported unconditionally, no matter what he would decide. Then we asked the foreign ministry of the Soviet Union, precisely in order to clarify things, what are the bases for his position. The response that we received was the following: We have promised to support the Cuban position unconditionally no matter what it is and we will do so. Then we asked: Perhaps the foreign ministry of the Soviet Union knows why Cuba abstained? The response we received is the following: We do not know why Cuba abstained.
Cde. Podgorny: Such a thing could not have happened, because we know why Cuba abstained and we truly support Cuba unconditionally, and all of the socialist countries do so, except for Romania.
Cde. Andropov: And we argued our position in another manner, and we will read you our letter so that you can see what the arguments were.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I cannot doubt the declaration of our ambassador, who transmitted these responses to us. It may be that our ambassador did not discuss with the persons he should have, but this is the response that we received.
Now, regardless of this aspect, we sought to clarify for ourselves what is the rationale of the Cuban position and we found out that Cuba conditioned its positive vote on the resolution for liberating the base at Guantanamo. What connection exists between the Guantanamo base and the denuclearized zone in Latin America? We can see it very well when you read what that resolution contains. According to the resolution:
“The General Assembly
1. Takes note with satisfaction of the initiative regarding the denuclearization of Latin America constituted by the common Declaration of 29 April 1963.
2. Expresses the hope that the Latin American states will undertake studies – which they consider as corresponding with the principles of the United Nations Charter and regional accords, through the ways and means that they deem adequate – on the measures adopted in order to realize the objectives declared above.
3. Is convinced that at the opportune moment and when a satisfactory accord will be concluded, that all of the states and especially the nuclear powers will fully cooperate for the efficient realization of the peaceful objectives sought by the present resolution.
4. Requests the UN Secretary General to furnish the Latin American states – at their request – with the technical services which they might require in order to attain the objectives enunciated in the present resolution.
Adopted 27 November 1963.”
What does this resolution contain other than the desire that Latin America should become a denuclearized zone under circumstances that are agreeable to all of the states?
You can see why we calculated that not supporting such a resolution meant to place yourself in contradiction to your own positions, when the issue is on the verge of receiving a certain consecration by the UN. We could not consider possible the formulation of any type of reservation – logically or rationally – towards the content of the resolution.
I can tell you even more: the delegate of Cuba at the UN requested his government to vote for the resolution. And then we said: we, the Romanians, must be consequent to our own positions; we cannot take into account reservations that do not have a logical justification. We cannot agree either with Cuba or with some other countries that support it unconditionally, but only with a justified and rational support. This is even more the case as Cuba, when it considers that it is in its interest, is not at all embarrassed to refuse to sign international documents of very great importance, as is, for example, the Treaty regarding nuclear experience in the three mediums [air, land and sea], although, logically analyzing the position of Cuba, it would have been in its interest to sign this treaty. Certainly, whether it signs or not is the sovereign right of Cuba. From that, however, in my opinion, there arises no obligation incumbent upon me to vote against or abstain from voting for a resolution, when that resolution does nothing other than repeat point by point those theses for which the socialist countries have militated. Basically, therefore, it seems to me that our vote for this resolution is rational and justified. I can only speak for myself; certainly there can be appreciations other than mine on these issues. Those who have had other points of view have voted in conformity with those points of view.
Where is the harm in this? Is there an unconditional obligation for the socialist countries to vote only in one way? Is there some sort of agreed common and unique planning organ which plans the way of voting in international organs and where a majority of votes decides what positions the socialist countries adopt? In my opinion no such organ exists nor could it exist.
Cde. Podgorny: There is not even need for one, [because] there is solidarity among the socialist countries, there are unwritten laws of solidarity between them and certainly they are respected. The People’s Republic of Romania considers that these laws are not obligatory for it. We do not consider that the Romanians proceed justly; however, that is your affair.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Certainly there are obligations of solidarity among the socialist countries, but there is also the right of every country to make its own judgments – its own sovereign judgment – [the right] of each party and country to its sovereign judgment of what is compatible with this sovereignty and what is not.
Cde. Podgorny: That is exactly the way we understand it as well. Our opinion corresponds with the Romanian opinion. Although we are in accord in this regard, this is not a problem of sovereignty.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: It is not a problem of sovereignty; that is true.
Cde. Podgorny: I will respond to what you have said, what you have underscored. But you always underscore the right of sovereignty. Formally it is true and just, but aside from the formal aspect there is also the solidarity of the socialist countries. I, for example, cannot see how you have used your sovereign rights in the interests of the socialist countries, but you have used these sovereign rights in the interests of other countries.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Certainly, the appreciation of solidarity cannot be that of state sovereignty, but we are speaking of the defense of points of view conforming to which we have the right to judge freely what is and is not solidarity between socialist countries. Please, Cde. Podgorny should believe that Romania strives very much to understand its obligations that arise from the solidarity of the socialist countries, and it cannot agree to your affirmation that the obligations of solidarity for the socialist countries do not exist for Romania.
I also must respond to another affirmation made by Comrade Podgorny. He affirmed that our position on this issue did not serve the solidarity of the socialist countries, but served other interests.
We cannot agree with this affirmation. We are of the opinion that our position confirmed with consequence that of the socialist countries, or at least of one of them – Romania, in support of a principled position for which all of the countries have militated, a position whose promoter was the socialist countries.
Look at our point of view here. It is true, that for a long time Romania did not vote otherwise than did the other socialist countries, because it found itself in the position of not having another point of view. But if, drawing inspiration from the same concept of solidarity with socialist countries, as in the other socialist countries also, weighing in its own mind what are the interests to be defended on a certain issue, starting off from a principled point of view, which is unanimously accepted by the socialist countries, thus a point of view in conformity with which the creation of denuclearized zones is a necessity, if taking into account all of these considerations it has a point of view other than that of the Soviet Union, it then proceeds honestly when it votes in conformity with its own point of view. Not only does it proceed honestly, it proceeds in the interest of promoting some basic, commonly-held ideas. Now you see why we believe that our vote on this issue at the UN serves our common interests, it did not serve other interests, it showed that a socialist country – at least on such an issue – oriented itself well.
Cde. Andropov: And the others oriented themselves wrongly?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Sincerely speaking, yes, comrade. If we believed that you proceeded well, we would have voted as you did. I could not say that we voted as we believed if we knew that you had a just position. Then you could have said: you want to serve interests other than our common ones. We voted otherwise, because we believed that you were not well oriented on this issue. This was and that remains our position.
Cde. Andropov: Even in the face of the class enemy?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: In the face of anyone.
Cde. Podgorny: You should know, you go too far, Comrade Maurer!
Cde. Kosygin: This is your point of view, with which we are not in agreement, and with which all of the socialist countries disagree.
Cde. Podgorny: It is a position of great responsibility. I believe that even your own party is not in agreement with you on this issue. If you say to your people that you lick the boots of anyone, they will not support you.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Comrade Podgorny, the Romanian Worker’s Party supports its leadership.
Cde. Podgorny: However, not regarding what you have said. I am profoundly convinced of that.
Cde. Leonte Rautu: What the people support and what it does not support is known by our party and by no one else.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: And the leadership of our party does not lick the boots of anyone. Not even yours. It is well to know this.
Cde. Kosygin: What, have we asked you to do so?
Cde. Podgorny: I will respond to what Cde. Maurer has said.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: You see, comrades, we go before our party with a clean conscience, we are sure that our party will follow the line upon which we proceed. If you desire, you can use the means which you have at your disposal to sound out the opinion of our people on this point of view and convince yourselves of it.
Cde. A. Bîrladeanu: Comrade Podgorny has spoken a little here, perhaps it would be well if he explained to us now how the Soviet position regarding the abstaining from the vote for the creation of denuclearized zones in Latin America is justified? We do not even now know the motives for your position on this issue.
Cde. Podgorny: I will show you our point of view when I discuss this issue.
Speaking frankly, I thought that there were fewer points of divergence between us.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Now let’s move on to the reports about political actions regarding which you have repeatedly affirmed that in all important political actions you have consulted with us or informed us beforehand. Comrade Podgorny, unfortunately such practices are not constant. I will give you several examples.
You made a disarmament proposal in the UN. Your proposal was an act that interested all of the socialist states. We were neither consulted nor informed about this proposal, except when the rest of the world was, when the proposal was revealed at the UN.
Cde. Podgorny: That absolutely does not correspond with reality in any way. The issue of disarmament was discussed with Cde. Gh. Gheorghiu-Dej 100 times, beginning even on-board the ship Baltik,,_ftn6 where we spent 11 days and 11 nights together and we spoke of this every day. I also participated in these discussions. Thus it does not correspond with what you said. You found out even then when the issue was first raised. Then, when this problem was first raised, the Romanian friends were among the first to find out about it. I am a witness. [And you were informed] Not only about the issue as such, but even [of the discussions] about whether we should raise this issue [in the UN].
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Let’s just say that in this problem I have deceived myself, that I am mistaken.
Cde. Kosygin: You do not have the right to err in such a problem.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: If you force my hand, then I say to you that I am convinced I am not mistaken. I only said that I was in order to shorten the discussion.
Cde. Kosygin: Then where are we? Are you mistaken or are you not?
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Let’s move on. I can give you other examples that are more difficult to contest. The message of 1 January 1964, in which Cde. Khrushchev launched [his idea] regarding the [peaceful change of] borders, was not agreed with us and we received it at the same time as the entire world, maybe later than others. This is a problem that interests us as well and we might have had some things to say on the topic. Is this example well-chosen Comrade Podgorny?
Cde. Podgorny: I am not ready to respond, I will verify it. On those things I know, in the problem of disarmament, for instance, I gave an immediate response because I was a witness.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: The memorandum regarding the creation of a united UN [military] force, about which we were informed by the Soviet press during our visit here and where we saw that it concerned obligations that fall upon us. Were we consulted comrades?
And, finally, yet one more problem; the sending of missiles into Cuba, was that undertaken in consultation with us, comrades? Was that an issue that was of interest for us as well?
I have chosen several examples regarding issues of indisputable importance where we are not consulted, although there was a common interest and sometimes an extremely important common interest. I only wish to show that the practice of these consultations on political actions of common interest, in very important political actions, is not as categorical as all that. It is true that very many times were informed after the fact about the actions undertaken. Precisely from that motive, because we recognized the importance of prior consultation in the important problems of common interest, we have raised this problem.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: It is said, Comrade Podgorny, that the Romanians are claiming: [that] when there was the crisis in the Caribbean Sea, the Soviet Union provoked conflict and we found ourselves on the brink of war.
Comrades, this is true, this thing I have just told you. And to whom did we say this? To Comrade Khrushchev. Comrade Khrushchev asked me: what is your opinion? And I told him: this is my opinion. Thus, I stated it as my opinion and I stated it to Comrade Khrushchev.
[It is said] that we Romanians believe we need Cuba like we need a fifth wheel on a wagon, so why should we go to war for her?
You know that then, when the [Warsaw Pact] Unified Command ordered some measures connected to the crisis in the Caribbean Sea, these measures were executed immediately. I do not know to what degree they were fulfilled in other socialist countries, but in Romania they are fulfilled one hundred percent.
I would ask: how is it possible to make such affirmations about us?
Cde. Podgorny: No one attributes them to you, they are just rumors. You say that they are not true; I personally have not heard them. Thus, more precisely, they are not a problem. I raised them in order to clarify the issue.
Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: And we have heard rumors that Cde. Khrushchev came to Romania to remove Gheorghiu-Dej. Did we come to tell you about these rumors?
Meeting of 11 July 1964
Cde. Podgorny: First of all, regarding the domain of Soviet-Romanian relations, it strikes the eye that you have in essence revised the basic principles of the relations between us, between our countries, between our parties, both on the economic plane and on the political plane. Under the pretext of defending sovereignty – and it must be said among other things that, we have also shown in the course of the negotiations that no one and nothing threatens that sovereignty – you have in fact taken a course (sic!) of weakening friendship with the USSR.
Regarding the issues connected with the world socialist system and the relations between socialist states, your course leads to the weakening of political and economic relations with the socialist states, to the reduction of collaboration along the lines of the CMEA and the Warsaw Pact. This course will lead to the isolated development of Romania, and at the same time to the development of its economic relations with the Western capitalist countries.
In the problems of the international communist movement you try in essence to occupy a neutral position, to remain outside the struggle against the Chinese seeking schism and, pursuing this aim, you present things in such a way that it appears the fight is between the CPSU and the Chinese CP.
Cde. Podgorny: Before all else, regarding Soviet-Romanian relations. We are made uneasy especially by the fact that there are increasingly evident negative tendencies manifest in Soviet-Romanian relations. It is impossible not to underscore that there is no longer the sincerity in our relations of before, there is no longer the mutual understanding of before. Certainly, one might contest this, many facts that have prompted our concern can be verified and re-verified; we, however, cannot close our eyes to the tendencies that are concretely manifested in our relations.
Cde. Podgorny: Cde. Maurer in his exposition of yesterday said that the Soviet comrades must start off from the fact that the RWP leadership considers the Romanian-Soviet friendship a cardinal point of its policies.
From such words it emerges that the CPSU Central Committee must ignore the innumerable facts that demonstrate that in the course of recent months in Romania, an unfriendly activity is conducted on a daily basis, which undermines the bases of Soviet-Romanian friendship. We are receiving intelligence about these things, without any initiative on our part, both from Romania and from our ambassadors in other countries, and from the fraternal parties and from many Soviet citizens, members of different delegations, which in the course of the recent months were in Romania, and who saw with their own eyes these manifestations of anti-Sovietism.
Certainly we could place doubt on the exactitude and veracity of this information, as well as the information that is published in the bourgeois press, however one cannot fail to accord importance to that information from those people who are sincerely concerned by those tendencies recently manifest in Romania towards the Soviet Union and, certainly, it does not matter if these people are Soviet citizens, if they live in Romania or if they live in other countries.
Cde. Podgorny: Abnormal phenomena began appearing in Romania even from the end of 1962. This has been manifest in the first place through the limitation of contacts with Soviet institutions in Romania, something that was certainly observed by us. In November 1962 and March 1963 you held enlarged Plenums of the RWP Central Committee on the problems of economic collaboration within the CMEA, and after those, meetings with the [party] active at the regional level, at which there were unfriendly attacks made on the USSR and on the other socialist states.
Cde. Podgorny: In that same period you closed the Romanian-Soviet Scientific Institute of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, you liquidated the “M. Gorky” Pedagogical Institute of Russian Language and Literature, and you stopped publishing in the Romanian language the journal “Kommunist”, the journals “Problems of Philosophy” [and] “New Times”; you reduced the number of [Soviet] radio broadcasts transmitted for listeners in the PRR, you closed the “Russian Book” Library in Bucharest, you removed the obligatory study of the Russian language in middle schools, you closed Russian language and literature courses.
To our amazement, at the same time the activity of the Romanian-Soviet Friendship Association – A.R.L.U.S. – began to be restricted, under the unconvincing pretext that the friendship with the USSR was so strong, that such a special association was no longer necessary to make propaganda for such a friendship. At the same time, the theme of Romanian-Soviet friendship began to disappear from official propaganda.
In the course of the current negotiations, you have explained the causes of some of the steps undertaken. You have spoken, among other things, about the necessity that the children (sic!) and students should study not only in the Russian language but in other languages as well. You spoke about the fact that you reached the conclusion that it was inopportune to have an institute of Russian language and literature etc.
We do not at all exclude the fact that some of these steps were necessary and – more than that – for each of these actions one can find a rational explanation. However, if we are to look at these steps, one cannot fail to observe that all of them go in a certain direction, that of reducing cultural and scientific ties, [reducing] the efforts towards strengthening the friendship between our peoples.
These phenomena, which I would call sad, became especially evident after the April Plenum of the RWP CC and after the meetings of the party active, the mass meetings that took place after that, at which brutal and calumnious attacks were made against the CPSU and the Soviet Union. The information received from different sources give the possibility of forming an impression about the atmosphere which dominated at these meetings.
Because you referred in your exposition to certain things said by students, permit me, also – without referring to the sources – to cite some of the affirmations of the Romanian leadership in connection with us. In the interpretation given by different comrades of ours, Soviet-Romanian relations were presented as unequal, as the relations between the powerful and the weak. In the exposition of member of the RCP CC Political Bureau Cde. A. Draghici, at the meeting of the party active that took place on 12 May of the current year at the Ministry for Petroleum and Chemicals, he said that the CPSU interferes in a permanent manner in the internal affairs of the other parties, that the fraternal parties – and I quote – “should maintain their independent position and should not follow the CPSU tugboat.”
In some speeches at the meetings of the party active, the USSR was accused for speaking with Romania from on high, insulting the national dignity of the Romanian people. In the report presented to the meeting of the party active in Bucharest with the workers from the press, on 22 May of this year, it was said that after the war the CPSU permanently interfered in the internal affairs of the RWP, including attempts to change the leadership of the party.
Those who spoke at the meeting of the active brought many invented arguments with regard to the disadvantage for Romania of the relations with the Soviet Union; it was said that the USSR, in every way possible, has robbed and that it continues to exploit the Romanian people in the present moment.
At the assembly of the party active in Bucharest, Cde. Ceausescu permitted himself a series of outrageous attacks against the CPSU and against the Soviet leadership. Military personnel and civilians who have studied in the USSR and who are married with Soviet citizens were named by Cde. Ceausescu as untrustworthy elements, who have lost their national identity and from whom [Romania] must liberate themselves.
Cde. Podgorny: Several words about the so-called Soviet agent networks and about our military representatives in Romania. During our negotiations – but we are also speaking about the negotiations when Cde. Khrushchev was in Bucharest – you spoke, and you have now repeated, about some Soviet agents, about some informers in Romania, who had the mission of placing certain information at our disposal and that all that had come to our attention and that which constitutes the object of our current negotiations was placed at our disposal precisely by these informers.
In connection with this problem, I must give you the following account, which please regard as official information. In conformity with the understanding between the Soviet government and the Romanian government any activity of Soviet intelligence networks in Romania was ended in 1949. Even more than that. The data concerning persons who were connected with the Soviet intelligence services was communicated to the Security organs in Romania, for their possible use in the interest of the PRR; Cde. Bodnaras probably had some connection with this issue and, certainly, he knows all about it.
Beginning in 1963, the Romanian intelligence organs had in fact ended any sort of collaboration with our intelligence organs. This is the factual state of affairs.
We do conceal the fact that your declarations on this issue, Comrade Maurer, have very much amazed us and have made us think about the aims you seek, creating in this way artificial problems with regard to Soviet agent networks in Romania. Maybe you needed this because of the fact that you have avoided the essence of the problem in connected with the anti-Sovietism manifested in the party meetings after the April Plenum.
However, because you have raised the problem of Soviet agent networks, we officially and categorically reject your affirmations – which are at least strange – about the fact that the USSR conducts any intelligence activity in Romania.
The Romanian comrades have raised, likewise, the issue of the behavior of the Soviet military representatives in Romania. We consider it necessary to clarify this problem and to give explanations in the cases that have been raised here.
Before everything else, we want to underscore that the tendentious exposition by Cde. Bodnaras of these problems seem to us to be the consequence of the negative tendencies about which we were speaking earlier. Only by taking this into account can a just appreciation of the cases about which Cde. Bodnaras be made.
What is the situation in reality? Our military representatives that work in Bucharest could not but feel the sudden abrupt worsening of relations with them on the part of the official Romanian authorities recently. An unfriendly attitude is especially manifested towards the Warsaw Pact representatives. The Soviet comrades, who are the official representatives of the Warsaw Pact, are in fact isolated from participating in any discussions of one sort or another regarding military measures. This was pointed out to you when Rear Admiral Domnin was here in Romania. The new representative was named in 1963, Rear Admiral Alexeev, arrived in no better circumstances. Arriving in Bucharest, no one from the Command received him and the impression was created that we were dealing with a specific method for removing the Warsaw Pact representatives from Romania. This makes us think very seriously about the news regarding the fact that recently in Romania the interest in collaborating within the Warsaw Pact has seriously dropped.
Several words regarding the issue of the attitude of the official representatives of Romania towards the Soviet representatives of the Warsaw Pact, and towards the USSR’s military attaché in Romania. Beginning in January 1961 up until March 1963 the military attaché of the USSR in Romania was Maj. Gen. Vinogradov. Before leaving for Romania he was given the task by the USSR General Staff to address official Romanian authorities with the proposal of establishing working contacts with the leadership of the Romanian military intelligence service. Arriving in Bucharest, he informed Chief of the General Staff of the Romanian Army, Lt. Gen. Tutoveanu about this.
After three months, Cde. Vinogradov was invited by the PRR Minister of Armed Forces, Cde. L. Salajan, who told him quite rightly that in connection with the abovementioned task, he would report to the Political Bureau of the RWP CC and only after that would Cde. Vinogradov be given access to the activity of the Romanian [military] intelligence service. Seeing the lack of desire of the Romanian military authorities to have any contacts along the lines of the intelligence services, the General Staff of the Soviet Army told Cde. Vinogradov not to raise this problem, and to no longer concern himself with connections to the intelligence service of the Romanian Army but to limit his activity only to the function of representative. This is the true history.
Rumors have begun to circulate in Romania that, in every way possible, the Soviet military attaché is occupied with the intelligence services; that he interferes in the internal affairs of Romania etc. This forced us to recall Vinogradov from Romania and he was replaced by Col. Makovkin. In contrast with Cde. Vinogradov, Comrade Makovkin was not given the task of addressing the Romanian comrades with proposals for establishing ties with the intelligence service of the Romanian Army, and he respected this instruction to the letter. However, he is also the object of attacks from Romanian authorities.
I have listened with very great attention to what Cde. Bodnaras said here referring to our military attaché and I have instructed that it be verified. Now I would like you to listen to what we have to say on this issue. The respective organs, among others the Defense Ministry of the USSR, have closely analyzed this case and have established to the minutest detail that what was said here by Cde. Bodnaras has a completely different context.
On 11 June of the current year, Cde. Makovkin was in the city of Bîrlad, on an excursion organized by official Romanian authorities. During the meal, Cde. Makovkin had a discussion on general themes with the president of the trade union council of that city, Cde. Popescu. After the meal they invited each other to visit and said their good-byes. Two days later Cde. Makovkin was invited by the Foreign Section of the Ministry of Armed Forces, to Col. Ranga. Entering into the room, Cde. Makovkin saw the abovementioned Cde. Popescu was also there. The deputy chief of the Foreign Section of the MFA, Lt. Col. Gheorghiu, also assisted in the discussion.
In the presence of the above persons, Col. Ranga raised pretentions towards Makovkin, whom he accused, in every way possible, of misrepresenting himself as the Yugoslav military attaché, the incident about which Cde. Bodnaras has also spoken. Makovkin demonstrated with ease the absurdity of these affirmations, reminding Popescu that in the discussions with him they spoke especially about relations with the USSR, about Moscow [and] Leninigrad – where Makovkin was born. Cde. Popescu confirmed this.
Moreover, Makovkin was accused of the fact that he asked Popescu his opinion of Cde. Gheorghiu-Dej. In connection with this Cde. Makovkin said – rightly so – that the Soviet people know well the attitude of the Romanian working people towards its leadership, and such a question he, as an official representative, could not raise.
I would like to draw the attention of the Romanian comrades to a very important aspect of this problem. Such an attitude towards the Soviet military representative, the confrontation rapidly organized by the MFA of Romania, is not compatible with any sort of norm of the relations between sovereign states, and even less so when it is a question of socialist countries, allied, conforming to the Warsaw Pact. We consider this unprecedented. For an interrogation to be organized, to arrange such a confrontation and other such actions is insulting and inadmissible towards any citizen of any country, even if they were not official representatives. Comrade Maurer is a jurist by profession – and I do not believe that it is necessary to explain to him, and this is likewise understood by the other [Romanian] comrades as well.
We consider as unjust the attitude of Comrade Makovkin in allowing himself to be drawn into such a brutal [and] dirty question; probably, however, he started off with the intention of clarifying imprecision, of being concerned in the first place with the fact that this should not reflect upon the relations between our countries. We believe that such arbitrations cannot be permitted.
On 9 July, in one of our meetings, Cde. Bodnaras spoke of some espionage activity that the Soviet intelligence organs were conducting against Romanian representatives in Moscow. We have questioned the State Security Committee alongside the Council of Ministers [the KGB]. We charged them with clarifying in detail this problem and giving us the necessary information regarding it. The materials presented to us by the State Security Committee give us complete assurance in categorically rejecting your affirmations with regard to the intelligence activity against the PRR and her citizens, wherever they may be and in any way at all. We leave it on the conscience (sic!) of the Romanian comrades the declaration that the Soviet intelligence organs have installed microphones for listening in the apartment of the Romanian representative to the Warsaw Pact [in Moscow]. We affirm that this has never happened and that our intelligence organs have nothing to do with such activity whatsoever.
We would desire that the Romanian comrades should manifest much greater care towards the verification of the facts which refer to our reciprocal relations and which are directed towards worsening Soviet-Romanian relations.
Meeting of 11 July 1964
Cde. Podgorny: News and rumors regarding the diminishing interest of the Romanian comrades in the Warsaw Pact is coming in from all sides. I would like to repeat what I said at the beginning of our meetings. It is said that Romania could assure its own security and that it should not be a member of this Pact.
In the end we were unable to convoke a meeting of the Political Consultative Committee of the Warsaw Pact in the spring of this year. At the beginning, it was communicated to us that the Romanian comrades had not presented the materials that were to be debated at the meeting, and afterward, as you have told us, [it was postponed because] a session of your MAN [Ministry of National Defense] had been scheduled.
We believe that under circumstances in which the imperialists are preparing war and organizing aggressive blocs, it is important and necessary that our defense should be perfected and the military capacity of the Warsaw Pact members strengthened, and that the positions of the socialist countries in the international arena should be coordinated.
We, along with many of the fraternal parties, have been expressing our concerns in connection with the fact that there are many shortcomings in the political collaboration of the Warsaw Treaty members, there are many actions not subjected to common agreement and there are other difficulties that, unfortunately, have not be resolved by us up to now. We are of the opinion that in the immediate future the party and government leaderships of the Warsaw Pact member countries must meet to address this. Likewise, a series of organizational problems regarding collective collaboration within the Warsaw Pact must be discussed.
This is our position regarding the political collaboration of the socialist countries and especially of those participating in the Warsaw Pact. We consider the Pact as one of the forms for strengthening our unity and precisely for that reason we subordinate our activity to it. However, we do not want to impose our concepts, our opinions upon anyone, and even less to decide for them on this issue.
Meeting of 13 July 1964
Cde. Andropov: Regarding the Soviet government, you see that all of the proposals made recently go in the direction of broadening consultations and of the desire for implementing actions in common agreement with all of the socialist countries or at least with the countries participating in the Warsaw Pact. And I could bring examples of when the Soviet government intended to undertake certain actions and consulted with one country or another and took certain points of view into account and even renounced the undertaking of such actions.
You will remember that last year the issue of the request of the People’s Republic of Mongolia to be admitted into the Warsaw Pact was discussed. We had no doubt regarding the righteousness of this request. However, in the course of the consultations, the government of the PRR pronounced itself not in favor of this proposal and, as you know, the point of view of the People’s Republic of Romania was taken into consideration completely.
Meeting of 14 July 1964
Cde. Podgorny: In our opinion, the problem of the so-called Soviet agent networks in Romania has been fully clarified. We have not concealed and we have no intention of concealing from you the sources through which information about Romania reaches us. From what we have explained to you it is sufficiently clear that there are not and there could not be any of our agents of any sort [in Romania]. And if you should have any concrete data with regard to such a thing then we are ready to discuss it together with you in all seriousness and objectivity.
 Nikolai Viktorovich Podgorny was at the time the head of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the ouster of Khrushchev in October 1964 he became part of the ruling collective and then Chairman of the Presidium of Supreme Soviet during 1965-1977.
 Alexander Draghici was the Minister of Internal Affairs and head of State Security – the Securitate – in 1952 and from 1957 to 1965. Although the Soviet allegations regarding the tenor of his talks to party activists is essentially correct, he delivered his talks to activists from within the Ministry of Internal Affairs apparatus and not to any economic enterprises. By the late 1960s he was identified as a Soviet-Hungarian agent and fled to Hungary to avoid prosecution for murder after 1989.
 Mikhail Avksentievich Lesechiko was a Vice-President of the USSR Council of Ministers [deputy prime minister] and the Soviet representative to the CMEA during 1962-1980.
 Aleksei Nikolaevich Kosygin was First Deputy Vice-President of the USSR Council of Ministers at this time. after Khrushchev’s ouster in October 1964 he became President of the USSR Council of Ministers [Soviet Prime Minister] during 1964-1980.
 Gyula Kállai was Vice-President of the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Hungary [Deputy Prime Minister] in 1964. He was President [Prime Minister] during 1965-1967.
 Bodnaras is referring to the fact that Romanian representatives in the USSR were confined to a 40 km radius around Moscow unless given special permission, whereas Romania imposed no such travel restrictions on Soviet representatives.
 In September 1960 Gheorghiu-Dej and a Romanian delegation accompanied the Soviet delegation led by Khrushchev and the delegations from Hungary and Bulgaria led by Kádár and Zhivkov, respectively, on their ocean passage to New York for the UN session. A detailed account of this voyage, underscoring Khrushchev’s animosity towards the Romanians, is given by one of the Soviet diplomats who travelled with them and later defected to the US. See Arkady Shevchenko, Breaking with Moscow, Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1985, pp. 97. In the first version of his published memoirs Khrushchev denied the Romanians were ever on-board.