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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 18, 1989


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    Letter by People’s Representative and Candidate BCP CC Politburo Member Andrey Lukanov to Stanko Todorov, Chairman of the People’s Assembly countering Doynov’s statements concerning him
    "Letter by People’s Representative and Candidate BCP CC Politburo Member Andrey Lukanov to Stanko Todorov, Chairman of the People’s Assembly," December 18, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the Bulgarian Parliament, Sofia. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group.
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Comrade Chairman,

I would like to share several comments in connection with the accusations which the People's Representative Ognyan Doynov directed at me in his speech during the last session of the People's Assembly.

Before I dwell on these accusations, I would like to emphasize that I reject the principal thesis which Ognyan Doynov developed at the end of his speech concerning the equal guilt and culpability of all who worked under Todor Zhivkov—“both good and bad.” This thesis could benefit only people with guilty consciences who would want to hide their own concrete guilt and concrete deeds behind collective responsibility.

I am also dismayed at Ognyan Doynov's statement that he has never been in Todor Zhivkov's retinue.

Lately, many of those who Todor Zhivkov promoted and set against the honest people in the leadership of the party, and later removed according to his own reasons, present themselves as his victims and even as fighters against his personal dictatorship. Such is the case with the people's representative Ognyan Doynov.

And now, about Ognyan Doynov's accusations.

The first concerns my culpability for the increase of our foreign debt. Obviously, all of us who were in the government carry such responsibility to some extent. I do not believe Ognyan Doynov has forgotten that at the time when I was entrusted with the duties of Secretary of the Politburo's currency commission, together with all the respective rights and authority, Bulgaria's foreign debt was reduced from $4 billion in 1978 to $2.923 billion in 1984.

Of course, no one should take personal credit for this because the sharp decrease in debt was the result of a truly nationwide mobilization.

Grisha Philipov announced in 1984 on instructions from Todor Zhivkov that I was not to deal with capitalist countries and currency problems any longer so that I could concentrate my attention on relations with the member-countries of the COMECON.

Regardless of this, during the past few years as a member of the government, I have opposed many times, with varying success, requests for an increase in the country's currency expenses and a respective increase in the interest on debt. Such requests were made very often in connection with propositions for additional currency expenses by Ognyan Doynov or other individuals whom he managed. My colleagues in the government during these years can confirm this.

If we truly desire to be objective, we should also take into account that the reasons for the increase in the foreign debt during the last few years are connected not only to the deformations in economic policy, but also due to outside factors and domestic and international conditions. [...]

Analyzing Ognyan Doynov's accusations and his whole speech, I ask myself what motivated him to utter so many untruths at once. Knowing him well, I am convinced that this is not accidental and is not due to a lack of knowledge about the true state of affairs. I come to the conclusion that in this case he is trying to place himself ahead of truthful revelation in order to present himself as a victim once again—this time a victim of the present party and state leadership. I am confident that this tactic will not hinder the clarification of actual facts, provided the requirements for objectivity and impartiality are fully adhered to.

As for me, I understand very well that I am one rather “inconvenient” witness to Ognyan Doynov because I am very well familiar with many of his risky projects and concrete actions due to the authority of the duties I performed.

He expressed doubts about my impartiality by voting against my appointment as chairman of the parliamentary commission for investigations and for resolving urgent issues related to deformation and violation of the law. Taking this into account, I have already asked the commis-sion to relieve me of the obligation to deal with the cases concerning Ognyan Doynov. This will be performed by other members of the commission against whom he has not expressed reservations.

I will be grateful, esteemed Comrade Chairman, if you bring this letter of mine to the attention of the people's representatives.

18 December 1989

With respect,

Andrey Lukanov,

People's Representative from the 248 th Electoral Region of Sliven

[Source: Archive of the Bulgarian Parliament, Sofia. Document obtained by Jordan Baev.]

Dr. Jordan Baev, a senior fellow at the Institute of Military History and Associate Professor at the University of National and World Economy (Sofia), is Vice President of the Bulgarian Association of Military History.