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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 29, 1987

SPEECH OF NICOLAE CEAUSESCU AT THE MEETING OF THE WARSAW PACT LEADERS

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    A speech by Ceausescu in which he addresses various security issues, including: the Vienna negotiations, China, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
    "Speech of Nicolae Ceausescu at the meeting of the Warsaw Pact leaders," May 29, 1987, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANIC, Political Executive Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, no.1346, 14.07. 1987. CWIHP Document Reader, "Romania and the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1989" vol.2. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112683
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S P E E C H

of comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, President of the Socialist Republic Romania, at the working meeting of the general secretaries and first secretaries of the Central Committees of the Communist and Workers' parties of the states participating in the Warsaw Treaty

29 May 1987

Esteemed comrades,

I also positively assess the proceedings of the Consultative Political Com-mittee. I told comrade Gorbachev as well that we should, however, think about improving the activity from a military point of view. The practice of listening at the end of the conference to a report about the military activity, and taking a decision that goes against the grain of the general orientation, is not the best one. For example, it was said in the Report that by 1990 we would have to double military expenditure and the armaments. We, however, discussed an altogether different orientation. In actual practice, each [socialist] country has a different policy.

Frankly speaking, this time I put my signature on the document in spite of the fact that I did not want to sign it. I did it, however, so as not to give rise to discussions on this theme, but this decision does not correspond to our general orientation. We will also have to establish policies in the field of armament development from both a qualitative and a quantitative point of view as this issue should not remain a strictly military one.

In actual fact, we do not have such a plan; we have decided to maintain expenditure at the present level – we have approved the five-year plan and we will not develop armaments further. Consequently, we signed a decision which we know – right from the outset – that we will not be able to fulfill. That is why I think that we should mobilize, we should make a number of improvements, actually to better our collaboration not only in this field, but also in all of the fields.

I agree that we have to act for the development of collaboration between the socialist countries with a view to fulfilling the economic development pro-grams, and international policy (?), in all fields of activity.

As to us, next month we will have the Plenary Session of the Central Committee, the plenary session of the Great National Assembly, other plenary sessions of the democratic bodies – the Council of Agriculture, the Council of Working People – where we will debate the issues of the general development of our country, and take a decision regarding the convening of the Party's National Conference, which will take place this fall – in the second half of November – or at the beginning of December. At the National Conference we intend to make a general assessment of the way we have carried out – over the last twenty years – the decisions regarding the improvement of the economic system, the development of socialist democracy, and the application of the new economic system, of self-management and self-leadership, as well as a number of issues relating to the ideological activity of the party. In addition, we will raise the issue of drawing up, justifying, and improving the party's Program, which expires in 1990, bearing in mind the present situation.

We deem the anniversary celebration of seventy years since the Great October Socialist Revolution to be of great significance. We expect that this cele-bration will present the great achievements obtained by the Soviet Union, by socialism in general – naturally, also including a criticism of some shortcomings and deficiencies, but presenting the superiority of socialism and giving a new perspective to socialist development and the advancement towards Communism. In this sense, I received the direct invitation, and here the invitation has been renewed, to take part in this great celebration which I look upon as a general celebration of the socialist countries, of the whole of mankind which declares for socialism and peace.

I have no intention of addressing here some of the issues in Romania because I do not have the time. Actually, I met some of the comrades; the day before yesterday I wound up my discussions with comrade Gorbachev. We are going to discuss some issues here as well. Naturally, we have both results and issues, especially those relating to the fulfillment – in the best conditions – of the programs of upgrading and fulfilling the new technical-scientific revolution, and to the issues of cooperation and specialization in production between our countries. But, nevertheless, things are going well generally, and we have good results.

As far as COMECON is concerned, I agree that the relevant session should be postponed. There are really important issues, and we have to discuss them. However, we must start from the fact that COMECON had, and still has, an important role. There were a number of shortcomings, and we have to improve it, but let us not throw away everything that is good. On the contrary, let us keep the basic principles, the aim being to extend collaboration, including some organizational forms that proved to be viable and necessary. We should of course act to improve them and to do more to fulfil the programs and plans that we have.

The issues of a financial nature or which are related to prices are very important issues that really need a very serious analysis and an appropriate solution, and we cannot set out to take measures that are not ready yet and do not correspond to the current stage of development of our countries, and I am referring to prices, the convertibility issue, and in general to economic relation-ships.

Taking all of these issues into account, I take the view that maybe it would be better to consider a certain improvement of our activity in regard to the meet-ings of the general or of the first secretaries. As a rule, we hold a meeting more on military and international issues, bearing in mind the attributions of the Consultative Political Committee, but – in my opinion – it would be better to hold a general meeting focused on the issues of socialist development, and of the general political, economic, as well as military collaboration. It is within this framework, therefore, that we have to consider certain military aspects, letting the respective authorities take action. I think that much more important is the problem of development, of general activity, much more important are the economic issues; consequently it is these issues that we are to be concerned with, and not only with the military and international issues as we are now. In a short meeting, of two to three hours, we cannot discuss anything seriously. We must be realistic, we now discuss only very general issues, we cannot say that now we are discussing and considering certain issues in depth.

That is why I am raising the issue of drawing a conclusion relating to the necessity of holding annual meetings on general issues – a meeting only of the general secretaries and the party leaderships – to debate these issues. This does not exclude the possibility of also holding special meetings on the occasion of the conferences of the Consultative Political Committee, but in my view the issues raised now – including restructuring and general development – make it highly necessary to discuss so as to increase the role of our parties and develop our collaboration in the general field. Let us take a look at the activity of the seven so-called industrialized countries – they meet yearly and discuss the general issues of the economic and financial situation. We will also have to discuss these issues. I suggest, therefore, that we discuss not only our issues but also other, more general, issues. Our countries cannot ignore the international economic situation. The present financial system does not correspond to reality. The issue of the world economy is a very serious issue for our countries as well.

We will have, therefore, to change a little the way of approaching the issues, starting from the issues of a more global nature, more general, of the development of our society. By doing this we can only gain.

Regarding the issue of the Vienna negotiations, the solution proposed by comrade Gorbachev will surely be the best one. It is my opinion, however, that it would be good to conclude [the negotiations] with a result, even with a very small one, which does not represent anything from the point of view of military parities. It would be good, therefore, for these negotiations to wind up with a result this year. A reduction of 10,000 troops – either more on our side or on the American side – represents nothing. But now, when the GDR and Czechoslovakia propose taking certain measures in Central Europe, to wind up this conference – which refers to Central Europe – without any result whatsoever after twelve years of negotiations would have a negative effect. Consequently, I would make an appeal for us to review the situation and quickly conclude the negotiations this year, admitting some of the proposals made, because they are not issues of essence and do not affect in any way whatsoever either the situation in Central Europe or in Europe in general.

Indeed, we must take the general issues into consideration in the general context of fulfilling the decision taken at Budapest. Now, however, we must conclude these negotiations with a result. This would have a great importance from both a political and a psychological point of view. From a military viewpoint, this has no importance. But you just cannot conclude the negotiations after twelve years merely by discontinuing them.

In regard to the relationships between the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries and China, we salute this process of normalization, of improvement of relationships, and we deem it very important. We also salute the improvement of the relationships between the Soviet Union and China, and hope that a high-level meeting between them will take place in the long run. In fact, the Chinese comrades have declared that they are ready to go to Moscow. In my view, this is not difficult to arrange, and the possibility exists of some positive results being reached. Comrade Deng Xiaoping told me that although it was difficult for him to travel to Moscow, he was willing to do so.

Comrade M. S. Gorbachev :
We must help [Deng Xiaoping], we can help him.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :
I am convinced that this can be done.
As regards Kampuchea, now there are very reasonable proposals for a national reconciliation and the formation of a government of national union with all of the forces, including the coalition government, and with Norodom Sihanouk. This would solve the problem quickly.

I think that the position of the Vietnamese comrades and of the current government of Kampuchea, of Heng Samrin, is not realistic. A national reconci-liation cannot be arrived at without the most powerful force, [which is] [for the reason that it] is Pol Pot's formation.

Comrade M. S. Gorbachev :
Of course, there is a question of personal relationships there.

Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu :
I know this issue and the positions of some leaders in the present government and the other formation, but the issues must be solved in the general interest, ignoring any considerations of personal interest. Political solutions have to be found. In fact, one must have in mind the fact that China will not accept other solution than a coalition government for this issue. Generally speaking, many countries of the world and the non-aligned movement back the idea of a government of national reconciliation of all of the forces. This would have huge significance not only for the respective region but also for the relationships between the socialist countries, inclusively for the normalization of the relation-ships between the Soviet Union and China, for the general growth of the influence of socialist countries in the region. We take the view that we have to insist for [the adoption of] this solution.

I am now trying to raise, in a nutshell, the following issue. I discussed it with comrade Gorbachev, but I would like to raise it before you as well. This issue is about the relationships or, more to the point, the situation in the Communist and workers' movement. It goes without saying that we do not have the time to discuss this issue here, but we are of the opinion that we will have to discuss it at a special meeting, even only at this level, naturally with other secretaries of the central committees as well, but possibly only of these seven parties, to make an exchange of ideas on the issues of the situation in the Communist and workers' movement. We start from the fact that today the Communist parties, especially the ones in Europe, do not have a leading position in the fight for disarmament and peace, in approaching fundamental issues. Naturally, there are numerous causes, we do not have the time now [to discuss them], but I think the discussion of this issue is a “must”. Being Communists, being Communist parties, we bear the responsibility – not only to our peoples but also to the world Communist movement – of discussing and finding the ways of acting better in this field and in general, in the development of collaboration with the socialists, the social-democrats, and other forces.

We stand for a broad collaboration, a broad front of peace, but we think we cannot dissolve, so to say, the Communist movement in a front where the Communists do not exist any longer. On the contrary, the Communist movement should play an active role for the very fulfilment of the mission it has in uniting all of the forces and peoples. If our parties reached this conclusion, I would salute it.

With this final point, in view of the fact that time is short, I would wind up. I repeat, in my opinion it is necessary to think about improving our meetings as to both thematics and time since in three or four hours we cannot do something of substance. In Moscow, in November last year, we had more time. This kind of practice is very good as it gives us the opportunity to discuss in detail a series of general issues.
I have finished. Thank you.