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Digital Archive International History Declassified

January 16, 1972

NOTE FROM THE VISIT OF THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DELEGATION IN THE USSR

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    These notes highlight some foreign relation issues facing Poland, China, and the Soviet Union. Current opinions and practices are mentioned, as well as previous actions.
    "Note from the Visit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Delegation in the USSR," January 16, 1972, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw (AMSZ), z-17/7, w-7. Obtained and translated for CWIHP by Malgorzata K. Gnoinska. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110269
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Warsaw, January 16, 1972

Secret

Urgent Note
From the visit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegation in the USSR on 12 -13 this month [January]

I. The course of the visit shows that the Soviet comrades treated it as a political reflection of especially close relations binding our parties and their leadership…Comrade Podgorny, in particular, stressed the contribution of our new leadership, and that of Comrade Edward Gierek personally, to a positive development of these relations based on the principles of permanent and joint interests, mutual understanding, and trust, as well as future great possibilities for expanding and deepening these relations in all areas.

[…]

The fact that the Soviet comrades treated this visit in such a way created conditions conducive to conduct honest exchange of views in the area of bilateral relations, as well as important international issues. This is why during my full day conversations with Comrade Gromyko, as well as a two-hour conversation with Comrade Podgorny, I focused on these issues which were important to the development and strengthening of our relations and to our active role and interests in the area of international relations. I pointed out our close cooperation with the USSR also in the area of foreign policy and that we considered this as a fundamental element of our role and effective activities in the area of international relations.

[…]

Here are particular matters I broached during our talks:

[…]

9) the issue of anti-Soviet and anti-unity course of the policy conducted by the Chinese leadership by presenting our principal assessment on this policy in a lengthy statement. I informed about our steps toward conducting an offensive ideological campaign in the area of explaining the essence of Maoism and the Chinese policy;

[…]

I particularly emphasized the need to continue to hone the mechanisms and the content of bilateral consultations for cooperation in the area of international relations, all of which would be conducive to work out a uniform position and directions in the areas of key international problems

II. In his statements, Comrade Gromyko presented the USSR position on key issues in bilateral and international relations by stating, among other things, the following:

1) the Soviet leadership attaches great importance to further strengthening and development in bilateral political, economic, science-and technology, cultural, and other relations with fraternal Poland…

[…]

In the area of international relations, our countries should take either joint, or separate steps, but which are coordinated and within the framework of a joint line defined in the resolutions of the Congresses of our Parties and Central Committees…

[…]

10) the Soviet side is pleased with our assessment of the Chinese leadership's policy and highly assesses our steps taken in the area of combating Maoism through both ideological and political means. The USSR does not see any change in the hitherto Chinese political line either in the area of bilateral relations or the international arena. The existing state of affairs and dogmatism of China's policy have been raised to the level of its principles. The USSR continues to favor maintaining good relations with the PRC and it wants to exploit the possibilities of improving them, but without any departures from its ideological and political principles.

11) The CC CPSU takes the development of its relations with Japan very seriously. It considers Japan's position very complex at the moment given China's entry to the UN and Nixon's visit in Beijing. Japan, on the one hand, is afraid of the PRC, and on the other hand, it would like to develop relations with China. The USSR is currently working on a series of steps to expand relations with Japan. Minister Gromyko's visit to Japan, beginning on January 23 this month, should be seen within this framework.


12) The Soviet Union also takes its relations with India very seriously…

[…]

III. Comrade [Nikolai] Podgorny, [the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR], concentrated primarily on the issue of bilateral Polish-Soviet relations and the China problem…He emphasized that the current relations with the new Polish leadership are much better than ever and they are extremely pleased with that…

As far as the situation in China, N. Podgorny said that the USSR doesn't exactly know what is going on over there, what changes are taking place in the Chinese society and its leadership. He thinks that Mao Zedong is still the main and influential person in China. However, the main person as far as practical policies is Zhou Enlai who is decisively against the USSR. So far, there hasn't been any willingness to improve relations with the USSR and one should not count on this in the near future.

Comrade Podgorny also informed me about the Soviet-North Vietnamese relations. They are good. The Vietnamese have to take into consideration their relations with a strong neighbor – China – but they have been at the same time showing decisiveness in this area…

At the end, Comrade N. Podgorny stressed that they are always happy to consult with the Polish friends in all matters – both international and internal. They do not see this as a waste of time, since there are more and more issues to be discussed. These consultations help in strengthening the unity and solidarity – and this is where our power is…

Brief Conclusions:

[…]

2) The Soviet Union's foreign policy is being especially focused on Asia and the Pacific region to which, as Comrade Podgorny said, the main weight of confrontation is being transferred and which is being exacerbated by the anti-Soviet and anti-unity course of China's policy.

3) The Soviet Union is gearing up for a long-term ideological and political battle with Maoism and China's policy in various regions and on various levels, while counting on the active support of this policy of the fraternal socialist countries.

[…]

5) The high assessment of the development of relations with our party and its leadership in all areas, including international matters, has been cemented in the USSR. This is confirmed by, among other things, a willing attitude of Soviet comrades toward our intended activation of our foreign policy, more frequent Polish-Soviet consultations on international matters. This creates conditions conducive both to our further development and strengthening friendly cooperation with the USSR, as well as to strengthening the international role and position of our country on the international arena.

/-/ Stefan Olszowski

Received by Comrade Gomulka (and others in the highest levels of the Polish leadership)