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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 30, 1968

REPORT ADDRESSED BY MINISTER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ROMANIA TO ION GHEORGHE MAURER, CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLICOF ROMANIA

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    This report by Romanian Minister of Armed Forces Ion Ionita to the chairman of the Romanian Council of Ministers, Georghe Maurer, refers to the latter's participation in the Conference of the Warsaw Pact Defense Ministers. The conference resolved outstanding problems concerning draft statutes. The observations of the delegation of the Ministry of Armed Forces approved by the party and state leadership have all been included, with the exception of article 12, item A, regarding the stationing of troops of the United Armed Forces on territories of member countries, on which the Romanian party reserved the right to reflect.
    "Report addressed by Minister of the Armed Forces of the Socialist Republic of Romania to Ion Gheorghe Maurer, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Socialist Republicof Romania," October 30, 1968, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, A.M.R., fund V2, vol. 3, file No. 15/29, ff. 71-75. Translated by Delia Razdolescu https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110463
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With regards to The Minister's participation to the summit of the defence ministers of the Warsaw Treaty member states

THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ROMANIA
MINISTRY OF THE ARMED FORCES
CABINET OF THE MINISTER

Secret
Second copy
No. O.K. 00557

October 30, 1968
Bucharest
To Comrade
ION GHEORGHE MAURER
CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ROMANIA

In conformity with the approval of the Party and State leadership, on October 29-30, 1968, I participated together with a group of generals and officers of the army at the conference of the ministers of defense of the Warsaw Treaty member-states, held in Moscow.

The Conference aimed at examining and harmonizing the draft statutes of the Committee of Defense Ministers of the Warsaw Treaty member-states, of the United Armed Forces and the United Command of the Warsaw Treaty member-states, the Military Council of the United Armed Forces, the Single System of Air Defense of the Warsaw Treaty member-states, the strength and the principled organization chart of the General Command and the Technical Committee of the United Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty member-states.

On the day before the Conference, together with the delegation, we had talks with Marshal Iakubovski and General of the army Stemenko, and then Colonel-General Ion Gheorghe had a talk with General of the army Stemenko in order to elucidate some problems that were to be discussed at the conference and which were still pending an agreement.

The proceedings of the conference were opened by the Minister of Defense of the USSR, Marshal of the Soviet Union A. Grechko, who, in his capacity of host, delivered a brief address; then with the agreement of all the ministers of defense, he was assigned to chair the proceedings.


The General Commander of the United Armed Forces, Marshal I. Iakubovski, who was first to be given the floor, gave a short briefing on the international political situation, pointing out the need to strengthen the Warsaw Treaty. He then presented briefly the various stages crossed in the drafting of documents submitted for debate, concluding that major progress had been made and that numerous problems had been overcome. He considered that the conference of the defense ministers would be able to finalize these documents so that they could be submitted for approval to the Consultative Political Committee.

Then, the defense ministers were given the floor, in alphabetical order.

In their speeches, all of them referred to the need to finalize the documents submitted for debate, expressing at the same time, their agreement with the draft statutes drawn up by the United Command. Only the defense ministers of the Hungarian People's Republic and the Polish Republic made some suggestions concerning the documents submitted for debate. Worthy of note, the Defense Minister of the Hungarian People's Republic proposed initially to eliminate from the statutes the provisions of article 12, items "a" and "b", referring to the right of the Supreme Commander to station the troops of the United Armed Forces on the territory of the Treaty member-states and to give directions regarding the transition of the United Armed Forces to high or full fighting capacity, which should be mentioned in the special wartime statutes. Later, he reconsidered his proposal and agreed with their maintenance in the peacetime statutes.
I explained in my address that the Ministry of Armed Forces had made sustained efforts and contributed to the elimination of dissimilar viewpoints and that, at present, there were only a few pending issues, which might be harmonized during the proceedings.

I then presented and supported with arguments the observations on the documents (referring to the formulation of article 12, item "a" concerning the dislodgment of the United Armed Forces from the territory of the Warsaw Treaty member-states, proposing the formulation approved by the Party and State leadership, as well as the way of adopting the recommendations and proposals in the Military Council with a 2/3 majority and the elimination of paragraph 3 from the draft statutes of the United Armed Forces and the United Command, chapter "General Principles").

After the speeches of the defense ministers, a drafting commission was formed in order to make the necessary amendments to the documents to be submitted to the defense ministers.
Following the discussions in the drafting commission, the provisions not approved by the Ministry of Armed Forces (2/3 and paragraph 3) were removed from the draft statutes.

As for article 12, item "a", it was drafted as follows: "In accordance with the operational plans approved in keeping with article 5 of the present statutes, by the governments of the Warsaw Treaty member-states, and when governments appreciate in consensus that there is a state of danger, directions (recommendations) shall be given for the stationing of the troops of the United Armed Forces on the territory of the Warsaw Treaty member-states. The way troops are stationed, the conditions of their stationing on the territory of other states and other related problems shall be established by a special statute, according to article 3 of the present statutes".


The delegation of the Ministry of Armed Forces did not accept this formulation and reserved the right to reflect on these provisions, an observation annexed to the agreed protocol.

The protocol of the conference mentioned that its results would be reported to the respective Party and State leaders in order to apply to the Consultative Political Committee (to the governments of the Warsaw Treaty member-states) for approval for the creation of the Defense Ministers Committee, of the executive bodies of the United Armed Forces - the General Staff and the Technical Committee - and for the draft projects.

At the same time, the governments of the Warsaw Treaty member-states should ask the Government of the USSR to station the General Staff of the United Armed Force and the Technical Committee in Soviet Union and provide the leading bodies of the United Armed Forces the necessary means for the carrying out of their activity, at the charge of United Command budget (the Conference Protocol is attached).

In conclusion, the Defense Ministers Conference finalized and harmonized all the problems concerning draft statutes; the observations of the delegation of the Ministry of Armed Forces approved by the Party and State leadership have been all included with the exception of article 12, item "a" (stationing) on which the Romanian party reserved the right to reflect.
See attached:


- Protocol of the Defense Ministers Conference, No. O.K. 0559/68 and the different view of the delegation of the Ministry of Armed Forces of the Socialist Republic of Romania;
- Draft Resolution of the Consultative Political Committee, No. O.K. o561/68;
- Draft statutes of the Committee of Defense Ministers of the Warsaw Treaty member-states (in peacetime), No. O.K. 0563/68;
- Draft statutes of the United Armed Forces and the United Command of the Warsaw Treaty member-states (in peacetime), No. O.K. 0565/68;
- Draft statutes of the Military Council of the United Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty member-states (in peacetime), No. O.K. 0567/68;
- Draft statutes of the Unique Air Defense System of the Warsaw Treaty member-states (in peacetime), No. O.K. 0569/68;
- Organization chart of the executive bodies of the Supreme Command of the United Armed Forces of the Warsaw Treaty member-states.

MINISTER OF THE ARMED FORCES OF
THE SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF ROMANIA
(ss)Colonel-general Ion Ionita