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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July, 1964

TRANSCRIPT OF CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN DELEGATIONS OF THE ROMANIAN WORKERS PARTY CENTRAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION CENTRAL COMMITTEE IN MOSCOW (EXCERPTS)

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Transcript of meetings in Moscow between Romanian and Soviet officials. They discuss disagreements and divergences that have developed between the two parties.
    "Transcript of Conversations Between Delegations of the Romanian Workers Party Central Committee and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Central Committee in Moscow (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. 7 in Buga (2012), pp. 77-80, 174-175. Translated by Larry L. Watts and published in CWIHP e-Dossier No. 42. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117992
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Transcript of Conversations Between Delegations of the RWP CC and the CPSU CC

Moscow, July 1964

(Excerpts)

Meeting of 8 July 1964

[…]

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Comrades, I’d like us to move on. We presented several considerations in regard to some of the problems raised. I would like to move on to another chapter regarding aspects of the relations between us as parties and states.

During the discussion yesterday Cde. Podgorny made, shall we say, unofficial affirmations that sounded very nice to our ears. He told us that the atmosphere among the Soviet popular masses, among the members and cadres of the CPSU, is such that they share a profound sentiment of friendship for the Romanian people, for the R.W.P. and in general for our country and its leadership, that this is a general phenomenon and that there exists not even a shadow of doubt among the Soviet masses or the CPSU regarding the position of the R.W.P. and our state.

Unfortunately, we have a series of information reports that, from our point of view, show us that this situation, which we so desire, is in reality less rosy.

I ask Cde. Răutu to explain to you from this point of view what the facts are that cause us disquiet and that are not expressions of any sentiment of appreciation and friendship between us.

Certainly, just as we have strived to cultivate in our people friendship for all of the socialist peoples and a special friendship for the peoples of the Soviet Union, for the CPSU, I am convinced that the same effort was exerted by the CPSU to instill fraternal sentiments in the Soviet people for all of the other socialist peoples and states and, therefore, for us as well. There are, however, some facts that are good to make known.

With your permission, I would ask Cde. Răutu to continue my exposition.

Cde. Răutu: I would like to continue in the same spirit of sincerity which we have agreed to have in our discussions. Cde. Podgorny, yesterday, before departing, referred to the motives for which the Soviet comrades did not consider the publication of our [April 1964] Declaration opportune.

Formulating pretentions in this regard was far from our thoughts. The task of informing and orienting the people and the party belongs exclusively to the respective leaderships. We consider this principle valid for us and for the other parties. However, as Cde Podgorny said, the Soviet people have always known relations of close friendship between our parties and states. We consider that the Soviet people have had many occasions, in conditions both better and worse, to know the attitude of our party and state towards the Soviet people, toward the Soviet Union, toward the CPSU, and thus it cannot but cause us pain when that which our party has said and done is presented to the Soviet people in an entirely distorted manner.

I would like to refer in this order of ideas to the following situation. We have a number of students and doctoral candidates in the Soviet Union. For some time now they have brought to our attention numerous facts with regard to a similarly distorted presentation of our positions. And when I say for some time now, I refer to a longer period; the phenomenon appeared long before the publication of the Declaration of April by our Central Committee.

We ask you to understand us. What can our students and doctoral candidates say or think when, not only their [Soviet] colleagues, but their professors, lecturers, deans, party and komsomol organization secretaries declare to them such things as:

“Romania conducts a narrow-minded policy. This is due to the fact that the current leadership is composed of persons coming from the peasantry and intellectuals, which leads them into adventurism in politics, to deviations from proletarian internationalism and to the pursuit of narrow-minded national interest in economic policy.”

This is an affirmation made by a dean at one of the Soviet institutions of higher education.

“Romania goes along the same path as China. It no longer wants assistance from the Soviet Union, it seeks other sources of aid, like the United States of America, China, and it refuses collaboration with the socialist states. Romania manifests petit bourgeois conceptions, specific to poorly developed countries, which evince the tendency to go along the path of a closed economy.”  

Cde. Kosygin: Cde. President, may I ask a question? Who are you citing?

Cde. Răutu: I am citing the professors, deans, and lecturers. Of course, the discussions did not have stenographers present and I am citing on the basis of the words of our students, in the manner in which they have related these discussions.

Cde. Kosygin: If you know precisely the identity of those who said these things, please tell us their names in order to verify them.

Cde. Răutu: The first quotation belongs to Gusakov, the dean of the Naval Construction Institute in Leningrad. I repeat, we have no transcript of the discussion, but our students on their own initiative came, with great sadness and greatly confused, to report this to our Embassy.

Similar affirmations were made by a Cde. Kozlov from the party committee at the Iron Institute, by Lecturer Cherkassov at the University of Leningrad, Lecturer Kutuzova of the Institute of International Relations, who says that “some socialist countries lock themselves inside their national borders, calculating that if they have petroleum up to their noses they have resolved their economic problems.”

Many students of ours were asked: “Why doesn’t Gheorghiu Dej want to sell petroleum to the socialist countries?”

The secretary of the party committee at the Poligraphic Institute declared to one of our students: “I have heard that the RPR wants to leave the CMEA” – I hope that Cde. Lesechiko has not heard this – “because it no longer needs the assistance of other states. This is a manifestation of national narrow-mindedness. We have prepared you as reliable cadres, as friends; it seems that we have deluded ourselves.”

I could cite such affirmations to infinity. Thus, it must be said with regret that appreciations of this sort are known to us from other sources as well. We read various press organs and, even if Romania is not named, it is very clear that they are referring to it.

Our students bring to our attention that recently at some institutions separate meetings are organized with the foreign students, to which Romanians are not invited, but in which the position of Romania is discussed. Such information had been brought to us by the students from the [Soviet] Railroad Institute, the Poligraphic Institute and other institutions of higher learning.

It is, of course, the mission of the Soviet organs to verify this information. We cannot have complete certainty in regard to the complete accuracy of each of these affirmations. If it was two, three, four or five then we could attribute them to happenstance. But when there are so many, we are compelled to draw the conclusion that a particular atmosphere is being created, and it is an atmosphere that evidently does not contribute to the strengthening of mutual friendship.

This is an aspect that, and I say this with complete sincerity, especially worries us, even more so as we see in our students and doctoral candidates active factors [in the USSR] of friendship between our peoples.

It was said that the Romanian press does not react to the rumors launched by the capitalist press. Cde. Maurer explained with sufficient clarity that it would be completely senseless to repeat all of the lying rumors launched by the Western press and to amplify them with denunciations. Thus, we do not engage in such denunciations.

Nevertheless, for the information of the Soviet comrades, I would like to say that we have made such a denunciation in another form. When rumors about so-called anti-Soviet actions in Romania began to be launched with very great insistence, our press agency was asked by the correspondent for the Associated Press Agency from Vienna about these rumors reaching them “from diplomatic sources” – as you can see these diplomatic sources appear rather frequently – regarding the anti-Soviet behavior of the Romanians.

Our agency transmitted that they were empowered to declare the following (I will give a short synopsis of this denunciation):

These rumors are completely invented with provocative aim. Between the Soviet Union and the RPR there is a relationship of friendship, collaboration and mutual assistance. A recent expression of this friendship was the conferring of the highest order of the RPR upon the first secretary of the CPSU and the president of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, N. S. Khrushchev.

This was our denunciation that, it is true, was not widely reported by the Western press, because that press is more interested to spread the news of “diplomatic circles” and of other circles about the anti-Soviet position of Romania.

Cde. Podgorny: How do you explain that?

Cde. Răutu: Cde. Podgorny you ask me to explain the interest represented by the Western press and press agencies in the spreading of rumors directed against the socialist countries. Personally, I believe that we are all clear on the motives of that interest.

It was also said here that the Soviet press did not publish denunciations either and we do not make any reproach to them in this regard, but I do not want to conceal that there are in the attitudes of the Soviet press some things that surprise us.

For example, recently, when the newspapers in the USSR reflect echoes from the various socialist countries with regard to all kinds of international events, more and more frequently Romania is missing, even in cases where Romania expressly pronounced its support of some actions of the USSR.

I do not know what interpretation the reading public of the USSR give this fact. I will give only one example. The Soviet Union made a declaration with regard to the obstacles which the P.R.China places to the participation of the USSR in the Second Afro-Asiatic Conference. Scînteia published an article supporting the participation of the Soviet Union to this conference. The Western press reprinted this article; the Soviet press did not. And similar cases, unfortunately, are many.

Another example. We are neighbors with the Ukraine and because Cde. Podgorny is here, I want to say that we preserve a very warm memory of the visit which our delegation made to the Ukraine and about the manner in which we were received. What can I say, however, when the central organ of the Ukrainian Communist Party, Ukrayinska Pravda, which on communist press day publishes an article entitled “The Press That Tells The Truth” and enumerates all of the newspapers of the communist and workers parties of the European socialist countries, as well as other newspapers of fraternal parties, with the exception of the journal Scînteia; and to ensure that one is not left to believe this an [accidental] omission, it also publishes a facsimile with the banners of 20 newspapers from which only Scînteia is missing. Scînteia is no longer a newspaper that tells the truth? What can Ukrainian readers of this newspaper believe about the position of Romania and about the relationship of friendship between our countries?

Cde. Podgorny: (Returning to Cde. Răutu the newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda) There, among others, Poland is not.

Cde. Răutu: But yes, it is. Not noted in the article, that’s true, but it is in the facsimile, the banner of the newspaper Trybuna Ludu.

I must say, comrades, that as one who works in this domain, that this thing, which some might account a small detail, caused us the deepest pain. It was related to me by a comrade of ours who participated with our delegation to the international meeting of journalists – I am speaking of Cde. Al. Cîmpeanu – that while on the train to the place where the ship embarked, he met with a member of the delegation of Soviet journalists, who allowed himself to say: What are you doing here, did the Chinese send you? Go to the Chinese.

Thus an atmosphere in which one cannot speak about friendship, about correct relations of trust and friendship. In this order of ideas I want to say a few words regarding the position of Soviet radio transmissions. The considered it opportune to blame the beginning of polemics directly upon the official positions and actions of our state. Cde. Chivu Stoica has spoken about this question, you are familiar with the content of the respective broadcasts and there is no need to recapitulate these things any further. In a broadcast in the Romania language, destined exclusively for Romanian listeners, they polemicize against the theory of relying on your own forces with some anonymous persons who “paint in the darkest colors the economic collaboration within the world socialist system” and who “pronouncing themselves against collaboration between socialist countries, request the technical assistance of the capitalist states and pay for it with great sums of hard currency.”

This broadcast took place exactly during the time when our delegation was conducting negotiations in the U.S.A. Our radio remained silent for several days. In this time all of the Western press point with fingers identifying Romania as the target. After that [our radio] responded, certainly though, without saying that the broadcast originated with a radio station in Moscow.

They said it was not about us, it was about the Chinese.

Cde. Podgorny: You know for yourselves.

Cde. Răutu: If it was about the Chinese they would have been named directly, because in all other broadcasts this radio station speaks openly about the Chinese. Here, however, an intentional anonymity was preserved in a Romanian language broadcast destined for listeners in Romania. And on the other hand, one could raise the question: what purpose is there in addressing to us criticisms that are addressed to the Chinese? I have explained our point of view with regard to the spreading of our Declaration in the USSR, but I would put the following question: Does the radio station in Moscow have the mission of orienting the public in Romania regarding the problems of the international communist and workers movement?

This broadcast in the Romanian language has a permanent program “The Tribune of the Marxist-Leninist Parties” in which it transmits various bits of material of the various fraternal parties. But isn’t that an exclusive attribution of ours, of our press, our radio broadcasting? Because, and I again underscore this, we are speaking of a broadcast destined for Romania, for the Romanian people.

And, finally, I want to say a few words in connection with the inscriptions at the Romanian-Soviet frontier. I do not want to engage in comparisons. I do not want to compare the degree to which our country is known in the Soviet Union and the degree to which the USSR is known in Romania. Between comrades I tell you that extremely little is known of our realities, our history, our culture in the USSR. A first secretary of a regional party committee here told me the following: very many Soviet tourists come to us. They speak warmly about our realizations and all of them express a great amazement, a great surprise: “it was for us completely unexpected,” “it is a real discovery.” And this comrade asked: We are now twenty years past the liberation. How long will it take for them to discover us?

Incontestably, if what Cde. Andropov said here happened [the disappearance of a border sign proclaiming “Long Live Soviet-Romanian Friendship] then it is a great stupidity, one that saddens us. I have never counted how many signs about Romanian-Soviet friendship there are on the other side of the border, but independently of that, such a fact is regrettable. But I believe that Cde. Andropov will also agree with me that this case cannot be taken as an indication of our position towards Romanian-Soviet relations.

I understand that, as we discussed amongst ourselves in the break, there is a certain heightened sensitivity, Cde. Podgorny spoke here about the changing of names, of streets carrying Russian names.

Cde. Podgorny: Within the framework of the liquidation of the cult of personality, of course.

Cde. Răutu: I first want to say the following: I live on Turgheniev Street, and Cde. Maurer [lives] on Kalinin Street.

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: It is not my fault; that’s where they gave me a house.

Cde. Răutu: And we also have a Pushkin Street.

Cde. Podgorny: There was. It has been modified.

Cde. Răutu: And if there would not be a Pushkin Street that still would not mean that we no longer nurture friendship toward the Soviet people. There were numerous modifications of street names, of enterprises and institutions which carried the names of personalities from this country and from abroad.

We brought a series of improvements in this regard, among which were a series of streets with Russian names. But the distance from [these modifications] to saying, as Cde. Podgorny expressed it, that everything Russian has been wiped away is very far indeed. Comrades, in 1963 we translated 225 Soviet books, in a printing run of 4 million copies; in 1964 we have a plan of the same dimensions; this represents 40% of the total printing of all translations; we import 1 million copies of Soviet books, dozens of Soviet films. This year in our theatres 51 Soviet plays have been produced, 9 of which in premier. The list of such examples could be much lengthened. I believe that this weighs more heavily on the scale than even the inscription to which Cde. Andropov referred.

It is true that we are obligated to remove certain anomalies. Look, we translate technical literature almost exclusively from the Russian language. Is this right? Is it useful? If we take measures to redress this, and they will be taken, will that mean anti-Sovietism?

Certainly, there is a question: why just now? I confess, it is a question which is difficult to give a response. If we had taken the measures in 1959-1960, in a moment of the tension and the intensification of the Cold War, would not the same question have been asked? And I am convinced that also after 4 years the same question would be asked.

Because we are having a comradely discussion, we ask that the problems of our relations not be viewed in the light of accidental elements, not in the light of information furnished by suspect elements hostile to our friendship, but in the light of realities.

For me as for the other comrades it is not at all easy to listen to accusations of anti-Sovietism. The overwhelming majority of the members of our party leadership have been in prisons and camps and one of the principal accusations formulated against them was the struggle for friendship with the USSR, and in regard to the struggle for intensifying relations of friendship with the USSR after 23 August [1944], our party has no need of a certificate.

I want to add something. Maybe I am mistaken, but I have had the impression also from the information of Comrade Chivu Stoica and at some moments of our discussion, that that this is a tendency among our Soviet comrades of making a certain categorization among the ranks of our party’s leaders – that there are some more internationalist and others less internationalist. If such a tendency or opinion exists that it must be said, in the first place, that it does not correspond to reality [and], in the second place, it is unacceptable as method. We have a united leadership, with a position elaborated in a collective and solidary manner and what each of us says or declares represents our common point of view, representing the position of our party.

Cde. Alex. Bîrlădeanu: I would like, if I can, just one minute. Cde. Podgorny in several lines referred to my interview with regard to the changing of street names. I do not know what they wrote, but I know what I said; everything that Cde. Răutu has said, adding one phrase: We considered it necessary to remove the remains of the practices generated by Stalin’s cult of personality. At the same time we established that no factory, street, or region [raion] should carry the name of persons still living, including the leaders of our party and state.

Likewise, as was shown, we also brought correctives in regard to all sorts of exaggerations.

On the occasion of the changes, some Russian names were changed as well.

Cde. Podgorny: When you change the names of the regions that are named for Comrades Gheorghiu Dej and Gheorghe Apostol that is a just measure. However, what connection do Pushkin and Gorky have with the cult of personality?

Aside from the discussion with Cde. Chivu Stoica, I have not had any discussion with anyone, however after that I found out that this was known also in other countries, which means that they found this out from somewhere.

Tomorrow morning will probably also be at your disposition, the last meeting?

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I haven’t finished. Maybe the day after tomorrow.

The meeting ended at 1315 hrs.

Meeting of 9 July 1964

The discussion began at 1000 hrs.

Cde. Podgorny: Now it is our turn to preside. Allow me to continue the discussion of our problems.

Will we also work up to lunch today?  Or after the meal as well?

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I would like to make a proposal. We would like to reserve a special meeting for the problems of the international communist and workers movement and for international problems so as not to mix them up [with other problems.] They are delicate problems and they would come at the end of our exposition.

We should seek today to present the other problems and tomorrow morning to do this meeting regarding the problems of the communist and workers movements and international problems. Maybe will arrive at clarification using this method.

Cde. Podgorny: I did not refer to the problems which we are to discuss, I asked only about whether today we would work until lunchtime, or also after lunch as well?

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: I do not believe that we can finish this morning, so that we could be free after lunch. I would like the chance to think more on this, so that we can approach things in the best way possible regarding the problems of the workers and communist movements. We could eventually prolong the meeting by an hour if we do not finish our exposition by two o’clock, but I think will have time to recover today.

Cde. Podgorny: It is not important if we prolong the meeting even by two hours. Why raise that problem? Saturday we will have a Central Committee plenum, a short plenum, and Monday a session of the Supreme Soviet. Because of that I wanted to orient ourselves properly. Saturday, of course, we will work, the plenum will not last more than an hour.

Let’s continue working, and we’ll see [how things work out] as we go along.

Please, we are ready to listen to you.

Cde. Podgorny: I would like to dwell a little on the problems you raised in connection with certain changes in street names, so you’ll see the precise sense of our thinking in the moment when we moved ahead with that measure. I’d like to tell you of one incident as well.

A few months prior a trial was held in Berne of the assassin of one of our people in Berne. On that occasion and armed attack had been mounted against our Legation in Switzerland, by Legionnaires, and one of our people was killed.[1]

Cde. Kosygin: What year was that?

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: In 1955 or 1956.

We also presented a list of witnesses at the trial. As luck would have it, the witnesses only lived on streets that carried Russian names. This was remarked upon and we were asked by journalists: Are there no streets in Bucharest with Romanian names?

Cde. E. Bodnăraş: Cde. Maurer participated in that trial.

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: Thus, one of the considerations that persuaded us to change the Russian names of some streets was also the fact that there were too many of the same name.

But we did not only do that, Comrades. We transformed the Maxim Gorky Institute into an institute for foreign languages, because we considered it necessary that our people should learn languages other than Russian as well. We have urgent need for fulfilling activities along state lines for persons who know the French, German, English and Spanish languages. Must we have two institutions? One for the Russian language and another for the other languages? Why? So that it will be more expensive, that we should pay for two administrations? Thus we made a single institute.

We also took other measures. We removed the obligatory character of teaching Russian in schools. We said that, aside from the Romanian language, which is the only obligatory one, the children should also study one of the following languages: Russian, French, German or English – according to their choice. Why did we do that? Because the absorption capacity of a child has certain limits. We cannot ask the child to study two obligatory languages and a third one of their choice. This is a clearly a pedagogical issue. No one does otherwise, not even you.

And this gave birth to the question: all of these measures designed to improve our work, either must not have been undertaken because they give birth to suspicions of anti-Sovietism or must be taken because they are required for the development and improvement of our work. But then you must not seek here anything other intention than to do something better. It is very curious, because if each of the similar measures which we are taking or will take in the future will create such problems in Romanian-Soviet friendship, then the situation will truly become one without exit.

We have told you, comrades, that Romanian-Soviet friendship is a cardinal point of our policies, we feel this not only with the soul, but before all else with the mind. Give us credit for an ability to judge what serves and what does not serve this friendship.

In connection with this the problem of Soviet women married to Romanian citizens was raised. I would be very happy if things stood as Cde. Podgorny presented them, that, on a whim, we suddenly started off against Soviet women and began to persecute them. It would be very good if that was actually the situation, because in that case the resolution of the problem would be very simple. We would only have to wait before a new whim occurs to us for the problem to be resolved. In reality the problem is much more complicated. Nor did it appear to us to be so complicated at first; we also thought it seemed very simple. There should be no problem whatsoever for a Romanian to marry a Soviet woman, or vice versa. But then an entire series of issues began to emerge.

In general, the men who married Soviet citizens are persons who have studied in the Soviet Union. They were sent there in order to raise their level of preparation. On returning, these men occupy functions of greater or lesser responsibility. In this situation, they are sometimes sent abroad, sometimes with a permanent character. They went, for example, into diplomacy: the man with a Romanian passport [and] the woman with a Soviet passport. This created a somewhat delicate situation and not only in a single case. This is not something that can be overlooked abroad. They know what passport the diplomats accredited to their respective countries carry.

And there is another aspect. They have children. Some have registered their children with the office of Romanian civil administration; other Soviet women, married with Romanians, returned to the Soviet Union, gave birth in the Soviet Union and registered their children in the Soviet Union, saying that they also want their children to have Soviet citizenship. This creates several problems. These children are at the same time also the children of Romanian citizens. According to our laws they are Romania citizens but, being born in the Soviet Union, they are registered in the Soviet Union as Soviet citizens, so that they are simultaneously Soviet citizens.

And so persons appear with dual citizenship. You know that this problem of dual citizenship is one of the most difficult to resolve within the framework of international law and interstate relations.

And there are other situations. I have given these several examples in order to explain why we must think very seriously about this problem and find a solution to it. Certainly, one solution could be that both spouses should have a single citizenship. We have asked ourselves: what inconvenience could arise from that? A woman marries a Romanian, comes to live in Romania, to have children, to establish a home and a family. And she has come to a socialist country, not to a country with another social system than that of the Soviet Union; it is not an enemy country. What problems could arise from the adoption of Romanian citizenship? It has one advantage in that it resolves a series of inconveniences and creates no inconvenience whatsoever.

More than that, this woman, not being Romanian cannot have a normal socio-political life in Romania, she cannot be received into the party, even though she works, because I must tell you that most of them work, they have worked, [and] they will work if they want. There are some that only keep house and raise their children, but there are others who work.

But we have been confronted with another problem. Why are these children registered in the Soviet Union as Soviet citizens? And here, truly, we have raised the problem: one should speak with these people, in order to find a solution. Very many were disposed to [adopt Romanian citizenship]. Some were disposed to adopt Romanian citizenship and then backed out because they were told that it would mean treason. Why treason? What are they betraying?

More than that, it has been said that we have taken measures to exclude these comrades from working. This is partly true, but is partly false; both with us and with you there are certain forms of labor for which only citizens of the respective state are engaged. If we had some of the women with other citizenships in these posts, then we said to them: take another job, they were given other work.

You should ask, but why have you done this now? We have done this when we saw that the problem of citizenship is another problem. We excluded, it is true, some spouses from certain positions of responsibility. We could not understand why a Romanian who has a child wants so insistently that this child should have Soviet citizenship rather than Romanian citizenship. When we have encountered such a Romanian occupying a certain position of responsibility, we said: you are probably more apt for other work, other than a post of high responsibility. I, for example, may err, my calculations may possible be viewed as backward, as retrograde, but I could not conceive that my child should be other than I, other than Romanian. That is the problem.

It is much more complicated than a momentary caprice that we have suddenly taken up against Soviet women, a caprice that could be unjustified. All the more so since we know that these women are good spouses and good mothers. How can one see anti-Sovietism in this?

It can certainly happen that a part of these women find themselves dissatisfied, and that they have manifested this dissatisfaction in some way. They have also manifested it to us and they surprised us with this. And they manifested it to you as well. But for you to focus on such a problem it is good to know all of its details, to consider it from all perspectives.

We have shown you some of these circumstances.

I could ask you: Do you have diplomatic officers stationed abroad where the husband has a Soviet passport and the wife another passport?

Cde. Podgorny: Probably there are, probably there are.

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: If there are and if you consider this as normal, that is your domestic affair; I can make no sort of imputation regarding it. Regarding us, however, let us judge things as we see them, according to our interest. Do you consider it acceptable for a man in a position of responsibility to register his children with another nationality? Probably you have? We do not consider this a good thing. We consider that this could sooner or later create problems, and not only individual problems, but also general problems that could grow under certain circumstances into problems of relations between states. And we do not want to have problems between us due to the Soviet wives on our territory. We want relations to be normal.

That is what we have to say about this problem.

I referred in my exposition to the problem of espionage networks, of informants which you have on the territory of our country. About these problems I request you listen to cde. Bodnăraş.

Before that, however, my comrades have reminded me of yet another problem. We also have Romanian men and women who have married Soviet citizens and are in the Soviet Union. We have nothing against these people taking Soviet citizenship. And some have done so and there were no problems.

Aside from that, that which we have done, does not have any obligatory character whatsoever nor could it possibly have; the problem was discussed, and the difficulties were explained to the respective persons, to some of them, not to all of them, in order for them to think about these things and then to do what they believe, what they desire.

Cde. Podgorny: What is there to be desired if they are being fired? They have families, they have husbands and they are fired from work. The do not have any alternatives.

Cde. I. Gh. Maurer: The problem was never raised the way you describe it, nor was it so in practice. There are even today Soviet citizens who have not taken Romanian citizenship and who continued to work [in Romania.] There are also all of those who also worked before that. No one was thrown out of work. Anyone who wanted to work found a place to work. That is the reality.

Cde. E. Bodnăraş: The problem of the existence of some informers, and respectively of intelligence networks whose activity is not to the benefit of our friendship, was raised in the Bucharest meeting before cde. Khrushchev and of the other comrades who are here. I have the transcript of those discussions here. …

[…]

13 July 1964

[…]

Cde. I. Andropov: … Recently, in an unjustified manner, cultural relations between our countries were reduced in many domains. For example, at the proposal of the Romanian comrades, from February of this year the number of broadcasts retransmitted by Romanian Radio was reduced from 7 to 3. The request from the Romanian side for Soviet periodic literature was cut back by more than half this year. Likewise, the number of Romanian tourists that come to the Soviet Union was reduced by half, thus in many domains an evident reduction of our relations has taken place.

Comrade Podgorny referred to the activity of the Romanian-Soviet Friendship Association, which up until 1963 developed a large and useful activity. At present, our relations with this association are very minimal and the fault is not ours.

That behind the face of friendship with the Soviet Union there is another attitude in Romania is shown by other facts as well. In the second part of 1963, the Ukrainian Committee for the Defense of Peace prepared a friendship train to come to Romania, a train in which more than 300 of our people came as tourists. These were among the best people in the Ukraine, activists, [communist] leaders, activists in the Association for Soviet-Romanian Friendship. As was agreed, their program of visits in the People’s Republic of Romania was arranged with the Committee for the Defense of Peace in the RPR and foresaw the visiting of enterprises, of kolkhozes, meetings with working people, etc. While on the way to Bucharest, it was communicated to them that they could not be received in Bucharest and they were directed toward the Mamaia beach resort, and this train, decorated with the flags and slogans of Romanian-Soviet friendship, arriving in Mamaia, was met by a single person, by a translator-guide. No sort of [working] visit was made, which amazed everyone. The participants in this excursion, returning to the Ukraine, said that they do not understand why they were received in that manner, that the change towards Soviet-Romanian friendship was observable.

There’s your agent network, there is no kind of network, people just came and told us.

A similar reduction in relations takes place in the domain of film acquisition, in the exchange of publications and in other directions.

We consider that in parallel with our discussions measures must be undertaken not to permit the reduction of these relations and to reestablish these relations in the volume they had previously. This is a necessary thing for friendship.

Permit me to say some words about the Soviet citizens in Romania. I think that the Romanian comrades did not exactly understand when Cde. Podgorny said that we consider the line of the Romanian authorities towards Soviet women in Romania as a manifestation of your capriciousness. We believe that it is not a question of caprice. We believe that it is a question of that line of unfriendliness towards the Soviet Union which has been manifested recently in Romania. Cde. Maurer and the other comrades have explained here several of the bases on which the Romanian government has been compelled to undertake measures either for Soviet citizens to receive Romanian citizenship,  or to be dismissed from the positions of responsibility which they hold. Reference was made to the fact that if the Soviet women do not accept Romanian citizenship, that would create, from a number of perspectives, a series of inconveniences of a legal nature for the RPR government, impeding their husbands from being sent into diplomatic work, abroad, and complicates the citizenship problem for their children. We also consider all of these problems important, only we are amazed by the fact that these problems must be resolved through brutal pressure, when unanimously recognized international norms exist, within the framework of which these problems can be resolved without complications. The right of women to preserve their citizenship is an internationally-recognized democratic principle. This right is inscribed both in Soviet law and in Romanian law. Both of our countries have signed the convention of 29 January 1957 regarding the citizenship of women and this convention establishes their rights.[2] It seems to me that the laws of the RPR and the obligations which the RPR incurred through this convention towards the Soviet Union, and vice-versa, permits the resolution of the citizenship problem of the Soviet women who live in Romania, without administrative measures.

Certainly, complications always appear in such marriages, however there sufficient laws for regulating these problems without difficulty and, if the framework of the current laws these difficulties cannot be regulated in the normal manner then they can be well resolved by manifesting good-will on the part of both countries, just as they were resolved up until now between us. But these problems become difficult when they are transformed into a political problem, as they have been at present. This is another problem. We believe that if the Romanian comrades, in the spirit of traditional friendship that exists between our peoples, would have desired to resolve this problem in consultation with us, as we would have resolved it, we could have found a painless solution.

[…]

We ask you to reexamine the problem of reactivating our relations along party lines. We do not have to invent something new, pure and simple we have forms that are good enough. The problem is only to activate them.

I will end here. Comrade Maurer said in his exposition that he has the impression that the Soviet comrades have a certain fear for Romania. Certainly, we have no such fear, however, we are afraid for our friendship, for our cohesion. And that is precisely why our Central Committee accords such an importance to the factions about which Cdes Podgorny and Kosygin have spoken. You have told us that our worries are without cause. However I want to draw you attention to the fact that even if we start off from what has been acknowledged by you, in our meeting, thus the explanations given by you, nevertheless there remain similar facts regarding the worsening attitude towards Soviet citizens, the closure of institutions that were previously occupied with propaganda in favor of our countries, the discussion within the framework of party meetings of some problems that do not contribute to the strengthening of our friendship. I do not believe that even if we start off only from the facts that were in some way acknowledged… I believe that this is sufficient to draw the conclusion that in our relations there are things that are far from normal.

[…]

[1] In mid-February 1955 a group of Romanian émigrés from West Germany invaded the Romanian Legation in Berne, killing one person and briefly taking prisoner the Legation staff. After two years in Swiss prison the leader of the group was kidnapped by Romanian intelligence brought back for summary trial to Romania and executed.

[2] Andropov seems to be referring to the Convention on the Nationality of Married Women (New York, 1958). It is noteworthy that he does not reference the equally appropriate Convention on Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality and Military Obligations in Cases of Multiple Nationality (Strasbourg, 6 May 1963) at http://conventions.coe.int/Treaty/en/Treaties/Html/043.htm.