NOTE FROM N. KHRUSHCHEV TO THE CPSU CC PRESIDIUM REGARDING CONVERSATIONS WITH YUGOSLAV LEADERS IN THE CRIMEACITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationKhrushchev describes his conversations with Josip Broz Tito regarding Soviet-Yugoslav relations. The leaders discussed Yugoslavia's need for economic and technological assistance from the Soviet Union; socialist methods and ideology; alignment on international issues; and amnesty for Communist fugitives returning to Yugoslavia. Khrushchev expresses concern about the behavior of Yugoslav diplomats and the Yugoslav press. He recommends to the CPSU CC that increasing contact with Yugoslav leaders will facilitate rapprochement between the Parties."Note from N. Khrushchev to the CPSU CC Presidium regarding conversations with Yugoslav leaders in the Crimea," October 08, 1956, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, APRF, Fond 52, Opis 1, Delo 349, List 64-113. Published in "Istochnik" no earlier than 24 September 1956. Translated by Gary Goldberg. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112230
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8 October 1956
TO THE CPSU CC PRESIDIUM
In addition to the information sent earlier, I am reporting about the visit of Com. Tito and other Yugoslav leaders to the Crimea and the most important aspects of the conversations with them.
On 29 September missile equipment was shown to the Yugoslav guests in the area of Sevastopol. One missile was launched from a shore installation and a missile was fired from a ship. Both missiles were launched at surface targets. The tests were successful and excellent accuracy on target was achieved.
The tests made an enormous, one might say, staggering impression on Tito and, at the same time, on the other Yugoslav officials present. They were delighted at the missile equipment shown them and the accuracy of fire. Tito told me after the tests that he was very happy that science and technology were so highly developed in the Soviet Union. Such a weapon strengthens the socialist countries, Tito said, and it is good that the USSR has this modern weapon; it is needed for the defense of the countries of socialism.
Some time after the demonstration of the missiles, Com. Tito asked: Can we (the Yugoslavs) count on receiving such missiles from the USSR to strengthen our coastline in order to make our borders impregnable? This is a very powerful weapon, said Tito, and it would have great importance for us to have it in organizing our defense.
I declined to answer this question directly, saying that the missile which we had demonstrated was designed several years ago and was already obsolete, that now there are new achievements in the development of missile equipment, and that we are improving this type of weapon further. I thus limited myself to a general discussion about the development of missile technology and gave no specific reply. The question was raised unexpectedly and I could not answer it right away since there had been no exchange of opinions in the CPSU CC Presidium and I have no right to decide such questions myself. I think there was no need to answer this question; otherwise the Yugoslavs could have gotten the impression that we were ready to give them the missile equipment. I think that Com. Tito understood me correctly.
The Yugoslavs were shown films of the tests of atomic and hydrogen bombs and a film about the operation of missiles against ships from aircraft. Com. Tito had seen these films when he was in Moscow. We decided to show them in the Crimea so that Rankovic, Pucar, and Veljko Micunovic could see these films. The film made an exceptionally strong impression on the Yugoslavs. They made individual remarks during the showing of the films and also in conversations after viewing the films. In a conversation with Com. Firyubin, Coms. Rankovic and Micunovic also said that viewing the films made the strongest impression on them. Rankovic told Pucar that the operation of the hydrogen bomb was so powerful that if it were dropped over Belgrade, Zagreb would not survive either.
On Sunday, 30 September, a lunch was organized in the Aleksandrovsky Palace. A walk was organized before the lunch and the guests climbed a hill and looked at the vicinity. They said that they very much enjoyed the open view of Yalta and the sea.
A friendly conversation on general subjects was held during lunch. Toasts were made to the further strengthening of the friendship between the USSR and Yugoslavia and to mutual understanding between the Parties.
Giving a toast, Djuro Pucar, Chairman of the People's Assembly of the People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: I am one of the old members of the Communist Party. Together with my comrades, including those who are sitting at this table with Cdes. Tito, Rankovic, and others, I have taken an active part in winning power for the working class in Yugoslavia. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union has always served as the banner for us in this struggle, the feats of the Soviet people in the struggle against [their] enemies have inspired us, and all of us, believe me, have loved and do love the Soviet people. Years of severe struggle have passed, Pucar continued, and we have sacrificed much in fighting to expel enemies from our country. We Yugoslav Communists have done much in our own country. It is not difficult now to see with whom your comrades have had an opportunity to become acquainted. Com. Stalin didn't see this. He didn't live to [see] this. If he had looked closely then he would have seen and been convinced that we have not relaxed our efforts in socialist construction. After the break with you it was very difficult, so difficult (and he squeezed [his] throat with the fingers of both hands). We are glad that this is past and we are together again. I want to raise [my] glass, Pucar said in conclusion, to the strong friendship between our Parties, between the leaders of both countries, and to the friendship of the Yugoslav and Soviet peoples.
During the lunch Tito also gave a toast to friendship between the USSR and Yugoslavia, to the CPSU and its Central Committee.
At the end of the lunch Com. Tito again took the floor and gave a quite detailed speech. In his speech Tito said that he was very glad for the meeting with Soviet comrades and Com. Gerö. He declared: We have a common goal: the building of socialism. During the time that has passed since Coms. Khrushchev, Bulganin, and Anastas Mikoyan came to us, said Tito, much has been done to normalize our relations and develop our friendship. In a short period more has been done than we expected. This is very good. We would like to do even more, Tito declared, but the wishes of individual leaders are not enough; we need to prepare the masses and receive their support. We cannot get ahead of the opinion of the masses; rather [we] should listen to their voices. It is, of course, necessary to educate them appropriately. If not everything goes the way we would like, then this is because we still need time and need to work a lot with people.
Working in the underground, Tito continued, we Yugoslav Communists educated the masses in the spirit of devotion to the Soviet Union and the CPSU for more than 20 years. After the break with you in 1948 the situation changed, as everyone knows. We know that this break caused great harm not only to our country but to the countries of the people's democracies, which before this had maintained friendly relations with us. The break caused us not only political damage but also created certain economic difficulties. You know all this. It was very difficult for us. Now after the normalization of relations not all people correctly understand our shift toward friendship with you. We need to reckon with the real situation, Tito said. Many still have doubts that our current relations are so strong.
After the conflict with the Soviet Union, Tito then said, we were forced to establish economic ties with Western countries, including the US. But no matter how much they tried to dictate political conditions to us we maintained our independence. Could we really have betrayed our ideals? Of course not. For I and my friends, Cdes. Rankovic, Pucar, and those who have remained in Belgrade, fought to overthrow the exploiters and for the victory of socialism. And we have achieved much. What unites us is that we and you have fought and continue to fight against imperialism, colonialism, and fight for socialism. This is the main thing.
It seems to us, said Tito, that you had doubts about the sincerity of our words and our intentions. We feel that the leaders of the CPSU, and the Communist and the workers' parties of the countries of the people's democracies still do not have sufficient trust in us. But I hope, Tito declared, that this trust will be restored. We want this.
Sometimes we are reproached, Tito continued, for dealing with socialists. Actually, after the break with you we began to have more contacts with social democrats and we maintain these contacts now. Tito again repeated what he had said in a conversation in Belgrade about the social democratic leaders, that the conversation with them started to make him sick. Tito repeated that, in his opinion, in the interests of the struggle for socialism, ties with socialists need to be maintained in order to influence ordinary social democrats.
Tito further said: They often say to us that we are using an incorrect method of building socialism. You call this a “path,” and we call it a “method.” But I think this is almost one and the same. Various conditions need to be taken into account. We have certain conditions in Yugoslavia, Hungary has other [conditions], and the USSR yet a third [set]. We don't want to say that our method is a model for everyone, but we think that it is more suitable for our conditions. All these methods represent paths that form one wide road that leads to socialism.
At this point Com. Tito obviously recalled my speech at the lunch in the city of Pula and said that it is impossible to divide socialism into some kinds of brands. I remember, he said, that it is impossible, like in a shop, to get a kilogram of Yugoslav or a kilogram of Soviet socialism. Socialism, Tito continued, is a single revolutionary teaching to which we Communists must adhere. Tito said, I think that we have no fundamental differences with you; it seems to me that there are nuances and shadings.
Tito again repeated that in international policy we have a complete coincidence of points of view regarding all of the most important issues.
You think that we have differences on ideological issues. Please talk to us about this, Tito said. We don't think that everything is well with you; we, of course, have shortcomings and so do the other Parties. But, Tito declared, I think that you have no great differences of principle with us.
At the conclusion of his speech Tito gave a toast to the friendship between our peoples, to mutual understanding between the Parties, to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and to the members of the CPSU CC Presidium.
After Tito's speech I spoke and said that I agreed with what Com. Tito had said.
These days, I said, they chatter much in the bourgeois press about Khrushchev's trip to Yugoslavia and Com. Tito's trip to the USSR, they make all sorts of guesses, and make up various stories. We upset their applecart with our unofficial visits. Tito noted in reply: Let them try to unravel [it]. During the conversation in Belgrade and here in Crimea, I continued, we have talked openly about many issues with Com. Tito and the other Yugoslav comrades. These conversations took place not in diplomatic style but were conducted in open Party language. We and the Yugoslav comrades have had and still have issues we should discuss if we want to develop our friendship further. We already talked to the Yugoslav comrades about these issues in detail when we were in Belgrade. (Then I repeated some questions that I raised at the dinner in Belgrade).
Why have so many unhealthy extraneous features [nasloyeniya] occurred around our relations, I asked, what explains this? In my view, I said, one of the reasons is that the great power of inertia is still operating. We have people who have been steeped in the old musty smell, and who do not agree that we have developed friendly relations and have complete mutual understanding between our Parties. We still have such people.
Tito replied: It is true that there are such people.
Micunovic noted: These are people who stink.
I said that this is not entirely accurate. They don't stink so much, but carry a musty smell from them. I said that our individual differences and the incorrect behavior of some officials are being used by our enemies.
Whether you like it or not, I declared again, we call the countries of socialism the socialist camp.
Tito said: All the same, it is better to say the socialist world and the capitalist world.
I replied that we do not agree with such a definition, for the concept of “world” gives an entirely different idea and somewhat softens the existing contradictions between socialism and capitalism. We talk about the socialist camp, I continued, and this camp needs to be strengthened in every way and all the countries of socialism united. The strength of the camp of socialism is in unity and in the unity of actions. This is the basic foundation. A camp of capitalism exists. And between us are the countries which can arbitrarily be called transitional, on which the socialist camp should exert its influence. This is the alignment of forces. All the socialist countries (here I listed almost all the countries of the people's democracies except Yugoslavia) should unite toward a common goal in the struggle against imperialism and for the victory of Communism.
Tito then declared: And including us.
I said: We will welcome this. If this is said because of the many abnormalities that have occurred in our relations, I continued, then this is primarily because of the incorrect behavior of some Yugoslav diplomats and individual officials of your press. (I repeated some instances I had mentioned in Belgrade about the incorrect activities of Yugoslav diplomats in countries of the people's democracies.)
Your individual diplomats, I said, continue to call the countries of the people's democracies “satellites.” We understand when our enemies say this, but when a representative of a country with which we have friendly relations says this, this cannot fail to concern us and our friends.
As an example I referred to conversations that Koca Popovic, the Yugoslav ambassador to China, had en route to China. I said that such statements could not on any account be considered the statements of a friend. I continued, when I talked about such instances in Belgrade, Com. Popovic protested these comments of mine energetically, but I commented to him that we have irrefutable documents confirming the incorrect behavior of your individual diplomats.
Tito said: Please give us these documents.
I said: the time will come when we lay them on the table for you. Com. Gerö is here, I continued, and he also can cite many such instances. Talk with him. I talked further about the incorrect position of the Yugoslav press and, in particular, about the support for Imre Nagy and about statements in the press directed against the CC of the Hungarian Workers' Party.
Tito asked: Who stated this and when?
I replied that the Yugoslav newspapers have written about this.
Tito said: There was one article in a newspaper and we punished the guilty parties.
I then said that when we were talking in Belgrade, Com. Svetozar Vukmanovic said that the Bulgarian generals were supposedly expelled from the Party only because they spoke in opposition to the development of a friendship with Yugoslavia, although this did not correspond to reality. By this comment Com. Vukmanovic indirectly confirmed that your people were behaving incorrectly.
Tito noted that Vukmanovic was giving his own opinion.
I said that I understood this. I continued, when we were talking in Belgrade, I didn't tell you that the speech I gave at the meeting at the Dinamo Stadium in Moscow had been abridged in Yugoslav newspapers. The principal statements in it were discarded. But you should understand that the main statements of this speech were not my personal opinion but the opinion of our leadership on the questions of the development of Soviet-Yugoslav relations.
Tito replied: Not only your speech, but mine, too, was abridged.
Micunovic added: This actually occurred and was an outrage.
I said that we had stated openly that this concerns us.
Tito declared: We will overcome all this.
I also expressed the hope that all the abnormalities and differences will be eliminated and complete mutual understanding will be established between our Parties.
I then said that the forms and methods of economic construction in Yugoslavia do not concern us in the least. Naturally, the forms can be different in various countries. Even we might have various methods and forms of economic construction in individual republics. The methods and forms might be varied, I said, in order for there to be a single principled policy.
Tito said: We agree with you. It seems to us that we have no great differences. We will correct what needs correcting.
We can note with satisfaction, I said, that the Yugoslav comrades are striving to take a correct position on ideological questions where we have small differences. I pointed out that in my opinion, the recent articles of Edvard Kardelj that I have read in the main describe the issues correctly. We didn't talk about this in Belgrade, I continued, in order not to think that I was sort of being flattering and thus wanted to evoke the sympathies of the Yugoslav comrades, but here I think it's possible to talk about this.
We need to meet, I said, and discuss questions of interest to us; then we can surmount the differences which we still have more quickly.
Tito agreed with this and expressed confidence that this will be achieved.
At the end of the speech I made a toast to the further strengthening of the friendship between our countries and the achievement of complete mutual understanding between the Parties, and to the health of the Yugoslav friends.
When I ended my speech, Tito, turning to me, said confidentially: I ask you again to advise us, whether it is worth it for us to sharply cut off our ties with the West. Yugoslavia, he continued, has some importance in the international arena and the position of Yugoslavia, as it has now evolved, might be well used in the interests of the countries of socialism. We talked about this with you in Moscow.
To this I replied that I remembered that we actually had such a conversation. But we need to know what you have in mind and in what form this should be expressed and then agree between ourselves, as they say, tête-à-tête.
Tito said: We need to think.
On this the lunch concluded.
During the walks and during the hunt we returned several times to the issue of our relations. But they were individual phrases and responses. No more extended conversations resulted on fundamental issues after the talks after dinner in Belgrade and at the lunch in Yalta. And, yes, I think there was no need for this. Everything that needed to be said was said, and it was hardly advisable to go over the same issues again. The Yugoslavs might have formed the opinion that we were tiresome and such persistence would have been interpreted incorrectly.
The following from individual conversations merits attention.
The Yugoslav leaders are evidently very alarmed by the question of whether we will call them Marxist-Leninists. I have already reported that Com. Tito talked about this during the conversation at dinner in Belgrade. Com. Aleksandar Rankovic's behavior is also characteristic in this respect. Rankovic is a likeable person, is able to win people over, and makes a good impression. Evidently without Tito's knowledge, Rankovic told me several times: Com. Khrushchev, all the same says at the CPSU CC Plenum that our Party (that is, the SKYu) is Marxist-Leninist. He also spoke on this subject with Com. Firyubin. It follows from this that Tito and the other Yugoslav leaders are very concerned about this question. I didn't give a direct reply, limiting myself to what I had said in Belgrade since I did not consider it necessary to give new explanations.
I talked with Com. Tito about Popovic's statement in New York on the Suez question. I said frankly that we were surprised by this statement, which was very vague and would not do Egypt any good and might be used against Egypt. Such a position, I declared, might make the Arabs suspicious about Yugoslavia.
Tito said that he hadn't read this statement. If there was such a statement, he said, then it does not correctly describe the position of the Yugoslav government and is not in agreement with my statement of August 12. Tito talked about this without special indignation and said nothing specific about Yugoslavia's position on the Suez question. After this conversation I formed the opinion that Yugoslavia evidently wants to take some sort of middle line on the Suez question.
I also told Com. Tito about a telegram of Com. Sobolev in which he reported that Yugoslavia supposedly intends to support the candidacy of the Philippines in the next elections for a non-permanent member of the Security Council. I declared to Com. Tito that if you actually have such an agreement and such intentions then this is incorrect since this place in the Security Council should be occupied by one of the Eastern European countries.
Tito replied that no promises had been given to the Philippines and that it would be incorrect to deprive the countries of Eastern Europe of this place. Right there he asked: Whom do you intend to nominate to the Security Council? Poland?
I said that we still had not exchanged opinions on this question and we would like to agree with you in principle.
Tito replied: We will be together on this question, of course.
In one of the conversations with Cdes. Tito, Rankovic, and Djuro Pucar I read them a report of Com. Krylov, our Ambassador in Tirana, about the incorrect behavior of the Yugoslav minister in Albania. This report mentioned that in a conversation with one of the Albanian Labor Party CC secretaries, the Yugoslav minister said that he would continue meetings and conversations with representatives of those sectors of the population who want friendship with Yugoslavia.
Tito said: why does he need to talk with the population of Tirana?
It is not hard to note that Tito declined to talk about this topic in substance. It was awkward for him after the conversation in Belgrade, for this report again confirmed the incorrect behavior of Yugoslav diplomats.
During the visit in Crimea, Com. Tito [several times] raised the question of our selling Yugoslavia licenses to produce jet engines. I again stated that we were ready to consider this question and expressed the hope that it could be decided favorably. The main thing that worries us in this matter, I said, is that the drawings and production technology not become known to the enemy, which would inflict serious damage on the USSR and all the socialist countries. We have transferred licenses for jet engines, I said, to a number of socialist countries - the PRC, Czechoslovakia, and Poland - but it was stipulated in the agreement that they will take the necessary measures to ensure that secrecy is preserved.
Tito said that he understood the importance of preserving secrecy. They have a stricter selection of personnel in military factories and I think, Tito declared, that we can ensure the secrecy of the documentation given us.
In one of the conversations Rankovic asked me: could you not sell the [Tupolev] Tu-104 aircraft to Yugoslavia? We need it, said Rankovic, for long-range flights in order to transport governmental and other delegations to distant countries. Com. Tito, who was present at the conversation, confirmed this request and added: we wanted to buy an aircraft from the Americans for this purpose but when we saw the Tu-104 aircraft, after we were in Kubinka and saw your technology, we decided to ask you to sell [us] this aircraft. [Translator's note: Kubinka, an air base near Moscow, was the site of demonstrations of aviation equipment beginning in 1954].
I replied that we could sell you this aircraft. Although this is a good plane, I said, we advise you not to buy it. We already have a second model of jet passenger aircraft. It will be a four-engine [plane] and accordingly more reliable for passenger transport. This aircraft is already finished and flight tests will begin soon. I said, I recommend that you wait awhile while we organize series production of this aircraft and buy the four-engine jet passenger aircraft from us. Tito and Rankovic agreed.
Having read in TASS summaries a report that the FNRYu and FRG had concluded an agreement to liquidate mutual financial claims, I asked Tito whether the bourgeois press was writing correctly that during the talks with Adenauer the Yugoslav delegation had promised that Yugoslavia would not recognize the GDR. Tito reacted to this very sharply. Tito said that nothing like this could have happened and it did not happen. The Yugoslavs gave no promises, this was an invention of bourgeois journalists. I want to tell you, declared Tito, that this agreement gives us little - after the liquidation of mutual claims the difference turns out to be only $3,000,000 in our favor. After a short pause, Tito said: Yugoslavia will likely recognize the German Democratic Republic in the autumn of this year.
In one of the conversations with Com. Tito, we exchanged opinions about a conference of Asian socialist countries. Tito himself started the conversation about this issue. He said that the SKYu CC has received an invitation from the organizers of this conference and that the Yugoslavs had decided to send their delegation. We think that it will be useful, Tito declared; possibly they will manage to exert some influence on the socialist parties of the Asian countries.
When Tito was in the Crimea the conversation somehow turned again to convicting Communists who are returning to Yugoslavia. I said that I had received another letter from a group of Yugoslav Communist officers; they asked whether they will be put on trial when they return to Yugoslavia.
Tito said: you can tell them that whoever wants to return to Yugoslavia will not be put on trial. Let them come. I have talked about this question with the prosecutor, Tito said, and consulted with other comrades, and we decided that we won't put any more on trial. We intend to issue an amnesty and free those who were convicted previously. Obviously, after our conversation in Belgrade, they had exchanged opinions on this question and decided not to subject those who were returning from the USSR and the countries of the people's democracies to repression.
It ought to be noted that there were the most friendly relations between us and the Yugoslav comrades during the walks, lunches, dinners, and the hunt. No differences were noted while exchanging opinions about political issues, and not the slightest hint of unfriendliness. We felt like one family, with common ambitions and hopes. Com. Tito and the rest of the Yugoslav guests repeatedly declared that they felt at home.
It should be said that Tito and Rankovic reminisced about Mikoyan's visits to Yugoslavia several times and spoke about him warmly.
Tito and the other Yugoslav guests talked very much about the Crimea, exclaiming over its beauty and good climate. In a conversation with me, Tito said that he suffers from rheumatism and he often has pains in his joints and his pains bother him even in Brioni. Here in the Crimea, he said, he doesn't feel these pains at all. And he does not attribute this to the favorable climate of the southern shore of the Crimea. Without any prompting at all from our side Tito himself declared that he would like to go hunting here next year. I invited Tito, Rankovic, Pucar, and the other comrades to come next year not just to hunt but also to relax with [their] families. I said that we would be happy to meet them, help them organize a good rest, and hunt. This was greeted with satisfaction.
The Yugoslav guests who came to hunt complimented the Crimean forests and praised them. They are actually very beautiful. I mention this because evidently not everyone who reads this has been in the forests of Crimea and does not imagine the totality of the charm of these places.
As regards the hunt, it was very interesting and with good results. Tito killed one deer, Rankovic three, and I and Com. Aleksei Kirichenko, one each. There are very many deer in the Crimean forests. According to a statement of the Yugoslav hunt managers who were invited here, there are no less than 5-6,000 deer in the Crimea. The Yugoslavs said that hunting for deer in the Crimea is more interesting than in Yugoslavia but, of course, it's completely unorganized at our place. From the point of view of hunting management, the preserve is in a neglected condition.
On 4 October the Yugoslav guests visited the Massandra enterprise where a wine tasting was held. The Yugoslavs were clearly surprised at the high quality of the production and the scientific research work they saw at Massandra. They had thought that our wine production was set up primitively, thinking that they had a certain superiority in this field since Yugoslavia has an ancient tradition. They were convinced that Crimea in fact is a significant center of winemaking.
Tito very flatteringly recalled the level of wine production at Massandra, the quality of these wines, and gave credit to the workers of this enterprise. He proposed exchanging experiences and sending Yugoslav specialists to the Crimea for this purpose and sending our delegation from the Crimea to Yugoslavia. I replied to this with agreement. I think that this will be useful.
When the topic came to Com. Tito's departure for Yugoslavia, he told me that he intended to leave on 5 October since he wanted to find the Bulgarian parliamentary delegation in Belgrade, receive it, and talk with Com. Todor Zhivkov. Tito also said that he had arranged for a Hungarian Workers' Party delegation to come to them. He noted in passing that he was happy to meet with the leaders of this Party. We see no difficulty in establishing normal relations with Hungary, said Tito.
It seems to me that Com. Gerö's conversation with Com. Tito in Yalta has played its own positive role. It will now be easier for Com. Gerö to hold talks with Com. Tito in Belgrade.
I told Com. Tito that there was a request from Com. Enver Hoxha that I come to Albania and there is an agreement between the members of the CPSU CC Presidium about my trip to Tirana in November. I stated that we want to further strengthen the Albanian state and support the leadership of the Albanian Labor Party headed by Enver Hoxha. When I said this, Tito and Rankovic responded with several negative comments about the Albanian leaders, in particular about Mehmet Shehu, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Albania.
Com. Tito invited Coms. Kirichenko and Demyan Serhiyovych Korotchenko to come to Yugoslavia next year. I consider it advisable for a Ukrainian delegation to go to Yugoslavia next year on an unofficial visit.
Marshal Andrei Grechko told me that General Branko Zezelj (the Chief Military Adjutant and Commander of the Presidential Guard) had persistently invited him (Com. Grechko) several times to come to Yugoslavia. General Zezelj is a close confidant of Com. Tito not only from their common military experience but from family ties with him (Zezelj and Tito are married to sisters). Undoubtedly, Zezelj could not have invited Com. Grechko without coordinating this question with Tito, without considering the question or without having received instructions from Tito. Evidently Tito considered it awkward to give an invitation directly to our Marshal himself. Com. Grechko thanked [him] for the invitation but declined to agree to a visit to Yugoslavia.
[Translator's note: at this time Marshal of the Soviet Union A. A. Grechko was Commander-in-Chief of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany].
This is all I consider necessary to report to CPSU CC Presidium members concerning the conversations with Com. Tito and other Yugoslav leaders.
I think that my trip to Yugoslavia and the arrival of Coms. Tito, Rankovic, and Pucar to the USSR were quite useful. Although it was associated with a lot of fuss I think it was necessary in the interest of our Party.
Several conclusions should be drawn from the conversations with Com. Tito during my visit to Yugoslavia and Com. Tito's visit to the Crimea.
Obviously, the Yugoslavs had a desire to exchange opinions with us on a number of the problems of our relations. Undoubtedly, they had some hesitation and some suspicions about the sincerity of our attitude toward them. These doubts arose as a consequence of the disinformation they have received, chiefly from their own diplomats, and also as a result of the great confusion they still have on questions of ideology. I received the impression that the Yugoslav leaders hesitated about whether it was worth it for them to directly raise questions to us, evidently fearing that this could lead to new complications in our relations.
From conversations with Com. Tito and other Yugoslav comrades, it is obvious that the majority of the core Yugoslav leadership is genuinely trying for a further development of our friendship and a rapprochement between our Parties. It is also clear that many Yugoslav comrades are expressing readiness to examine ideological and other issues together with us and in the process they express confidence that our points of view on unresolved issues will consistently grow closer.
Observation shows that some struggle of opinions is occurring on questions of relations between the SKYu, on the one hand, and the CPSU and other Communist and worker's parties, on the other. At the same time, as I managed to note, Cdes. Tito, Rankovic, and partially Kardelj take a more consistent and active position in advocating the need to achieve mutual understanding between our Parties. Such comrades as Vukmanovic, Veljko Vlahovic, Stambolic, and Mose Pijade take a certain middle course and behave with more restraint. Evidently some of them have some hesitation. Such comrades as K. Popovic and M. Todorovic most often display doubt and, this needs to be said frankly, unhealthy tendencies. In conversations they often gave replies in which they expressed not only doubt and disagreement with our statements but also a certain measure of hostility. It needs to be noted that in the course of the conversation in Belgrade, Com. Tito straighten out Popovic and Todorovic several times when they tried to actively contradict me and not agree with me.
It seems to me that we ought to meet more often with the Yugoslav leaders and maintain constant contact with them in order to exert our influence on them and dispel the doubts that arise. I think that such contacts are necessary because in so doing there seems to be an opportunity to gradually correct the erroneous views on questions of ideology that the Yugoslavs still have.
For these same purposes, we ought to think about the gradual establishment of an exchange of information between the CPSU CC and the SKYu CC that would undoubtedly facilitate rapprochement and better mutual understanding.
As regards the issue of economic relations, if a request is put to us officially by the Yugoslavs to conclude a long-term agreement for the delivery of grain and transfer licenses for the production of jet engines, it ought to be considered, and [we should] also think about the question of closer cooperation in the field of industry, intending particularly to acquire new technology items from foreign capitalist countries through the Yugoslavs. We also need to help the Yugoslavs in the matter of improving agriculture and organize an exchange of experience. The question of coordinating the agricultural industry production of Yugoslavia and the countries of the people's democracies ought to be considered, keeping in mind what Com. Tito said about the desirability of this.
We need to examine more closely the requests of the Yugoslav government concerning economic issues they present us with, considering that recently capitalist countries, mainly the US, Britain, and France, are trying to exert pressure on Yugoslavia and they are threatening to use economic sanctions (the Americans' threat to halt deliveries of wheat, cotton, etc.). Chances are that this pressure on Yugoslavia will intensify as our relations improve.
The main conclusion from all that was said is that the decision the CPSU Central Committee made about Yugoslavia is correct and that this decision is beginning to bear fruit.
In spite of the information we are receiving - from which it is evident that the Yugoslav leadership has people who are playing a double game (and some of this information deserves credence) - we all the same have great results in the matter of pulling Yugoslavia away from the West. We should not draw the conclusion from the fact that some Yugoslav officials behave incorrectly with regard to the USSR and our Party that we need to reexamine our policy with respect to the further development of friendship with Yugoslavia. On the contrary, we should display even more forbearance and persistence, seeking a correction of the incorrect views of individual Yugoslav comrades in order to achieve complete mutual understanding between our Parties.
It is clear that this cannot be achieved without a struggle. In the interests of our common cause we do not have the right and should not diminish our efforts in this direction, but should try to see that Yugoslavia finally joins the socialist camp.
8 October 1956