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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 07, 1980

MEETING BETWEEN COMRADES LEONID ILYICH BREZHNEV AND TODOR ZHIVKOV

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    This memorandum provides an overview of the meeting between Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov and Leonid Brezhnev. The two discussed international affairs, specifically escalating tensions with the U.S. and NATO, and Soviet interest in maintaining and strengthening detente. In response, a new international summit of the communist parties is proposed.
    "Meeting between Comrades Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Todor Zhivkov ," August 07, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111727
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PROTOCOL “A” No. 387

AT THE MEETING OF THE POLITBUREAU OF CC OF BCP ON 9 AUGUST 1980

Present were comrades:

Todor Zhivkov, Aleksander Lilov, Grisha Filipov, Dobri Dzhurov, Liudmila Zhivkova, Oginan Doinov, Petko Takov, Pencho Kupadinski, Petur Mladenov, Stanko Todorov, Todor Bozhinov, Tsola Dragoicheva, Andrei Lukanov, Todor Stoichev, Dimitur Stanishev, Georgi Atanasov, Petur Diulgerov, Stoian Mihailov and Milko Balev.


ISSUES ON THE AGENDA:

I. Information of Comrade TODOR ZHIVKOV's visit to the Soviet Union and his talks with Comrade Leonid Brezhnev.

DECISIONS:

Accepts the information of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of BCP and Chairman of the State Council of People's Republic of Bulgaria Comrade Todor Zhivkov regarding his friendly meeting with the Secretary General of the Central Committee of the CPSU and Chairman of the Presidium of the High Council of the USSR Comrade Leonid Brezhnev, which has taken place on 7 August 1980 in Crimea.

Approves entirely and gives an extremely high evaluation of the results of the meeting and the conversations between the first party and states' leaders of the People's Republic of Bulgaria and the Soviet Union, and expresses deepest gratitude to comrades Todor Zhivkov and Leonid Brezhnev for their latest tremendous contribution for further fostering the fraternal cooperation and multifaceted rapprochement between our two countries.

A press release is to be published in the print media.

[Signature]

MEETING Between comrades LEONID ILYICH BREZHNEV and TODOR ZHIVKOV
Crimea, 7 August 1980

- 10 -

Leonid Brezhnev:
[…..]

Now about international affairs.

At the Warsaw summit of the Political Consultative Committee we already discussed that the current escalation of tensions in the international arena is not some fleeting trend in U.S. and NATO's politics. It is a serious battle that Imperialism has decided to start, by taking advantage, not in the last place, of the Chinese shifting to the other side of the barricade.

-11-

Of course the election campaign in the United States adds some “salt” to the current situation. Something will die down after the elections are over. But we are preparing for a continuous and not easy struggle for maintaining a balanced international system and for preserving and supporting the process of Détente.

And here, of course, the unity of the fraternal socialist countries is of particular importance, as well as our mutual, active and purposeful work.

Inarguably, the international Communist movement for strengthening Détente could play greater role than it does now. Of course, the communists are doing a lot not to allow for the revival of the “Cold War.” This, by the way, refers also to the parties, which otherwise speak of Euro-communism.

And yet, their inconsistency, especially when it comes to the approach towards some very important and difficult campaigns in our foreign policy, has been used to harm the interests of the socialist community.

It was mentioned to me, Todor, that in your opinion the time has arrived to start preparing for a new international summit of the communist parties. I think that as we develop our cooperation with the fraternal parties, we have to, as they say, consider this idea.

-12-

We do not need propaganda triumphs. What we need are tangible coordinated actions in favor of peace and disarmament. With common efforts we are going to entice our comrades-in-class across the border to do exactly that. The forms of activity with regard to that could be different, but from a tactical point of view, it may be early to put forth the issue right now.

We informed you, Todor, about all significant international campaigns, undertaken by us after the summit in Warsaw.

Neither the French President, nor the Chancellor of West Germany have become friends of the socialist community. But we have no doubt that Giscard d'Estaing and Schmidt do not want further deterioration of the international situation. They are very critical of the Carter Administration. We have collaborated and will collaborate with them in the interest of ameliorating the European and the world climate.

You are acquainted with the current situation about the negotiations regarding the mid-range nuclear missiles in Europe. We would be ready to start these negotiations, and will organically incorporate the question on the U.S. forward-based systems.

-13-

You have been thoroughly informed on matters concerning the Viennese negotiations. The West has gone on the defensive on the political front. I would not make a judgment whether that's a mock defense or not. But the public can realistically assess who stands for disarmament and who is against it.

The Americans hint that their response may be ready by mid-September. We will live to see what that response will be. Although, one could tell from now that they have a tough bargain in mind. On the whole, something more or less clear may be expected from them probably after the elections.

I repeat – we take an active stance. We actually brought constructive propositions. This platform allows for the defense of our common interests.

The meeting in Madrid, anticipated to take place in the fall, should become a major political event. It is clear that its nature will depend not solely on us. If no one else, the Americans will, naturally, attempt to raise noise about “human rights” and the Afghanistan issue.

We have to do our best not to let the summit digress down the well-known anti-Soviet, anti-socialist path. Our positive ideas regarding all parts of the Helsinki Final Act, along with the development of our proposal for a European conference on matters concerning military détente and disarmament should exert greatest influence at the summit.
-14-

If an agreement to hold the [abovementioned] conference is reached, this result alone will suffice to justify the Madrid summit.

[…..]

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