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Digital Archive International History Declassified

December 11, 1980


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    The Politburo approves the results of a meeting of Warsaw Pact officials. Kania offers assurances that PZPR will be able to control the Polish crisis on its own.
    "Transcript of the CPSU Politburo Session, 11 December 1980," December 11, 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, f. 89, op. 42, d. 59, first published in CWIHP Special Working Paper 1.
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(Working Notes)

11 December 1980

Cde. M. A. SUSLOV presiding.

Also taking part: Cdes. Yu. V. Andropov, V. V. Grishin, A. P. Kirilenko, A. Ya. Pel'she, N. A. Tikhonov, D. F. Ustinov, P. N. Demichev, V. V. Kuznetsov, B. N. Ponomarev, M. S. Solomentsev, I. V. Kapitonov, V. I. Dolgikh, M. V. Zimyanin, K. V. Rusakov.

I. On the Results of a Meeting Among Leading Officials of the Warsaw Pact Member-States, in Moscow, 5 December 1980

SUSLOV All the comrades have read the communiqué that was published in the press. I must say that the decision to hold a meeting among leading officials from the Warsaw Pact member-states was extremely timely. The meeting featured a very thorough exchange of views. Representatives of the states — that is, the first secretaries of the Communist and workers' parties — offered thorough presentations. I should say that the speech by Cde. Kania was impressive overall. Of course he might have dealt with certain matters a bit more pointedly. However, if you generally compare the speech by Cde. Kania with the statement he made to his Politburo and at the plenum back in Poland, he was more self-critical, more vibrant, and more incisive. The most important thing is that the Polish comrades understand the great danger hanging over Poland, and that they are aware of the great damage done by antisocialist elements and the grave threat posed to the socialist gains of the Polish people. Cde. Kania is offering a more sober evaluation now of the economic situation in Poland, of the country's indebtedness to capitalist countries, and of the possibilities for assistance.

It is worth noting that Cde. Kania indicated in his speech that he would be carrying out a more resolute offensive against the antisocialist elements, and he noted that there will be no sorts of concessions to or accommodation with the antisocialist elements. Along with this, he noted that the Polish United Workers' Party, the Polish people, and the nation's healthy forces, armed forces, and state security organs and police, who support the PZPR, are able to use their own forces to rectify the situation and normalize it.

The speeches of all the other comrades contained advice for the Polish friends on what to do and how to launch a decisive attack against the antisocialist elements. Cde. Husak, for example, cited numerous examples from the experience of 1968, when the KSC CC had to launch a fierce struggle against rightist elements. Cde. Kadar likewise spoke about the activities of counterrevolutionary elements in 1956 in Hungary, when he had to use harsh administrative measures to crush the counterrevolution. Cde. Ceausescu, true to his own tradition, spoke more about independence, sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, etc.

The keynote speech by L. I. Brezhnev was received with great interest and attention. It was very well thought-out, with all the necessary instructions for the PZPR and the Polish comrades; and, as the Polish comrades themselves said, Leonid Il'ich's speech was an inspiration for them. The leaders and representatives of the other parties also offered high praise for the speech by Cde. Brezhnev.

In a word, I believe we should approve the results of the meeting among leading officials of the Warsaw Pact member-states, as well as the activity of the delegation from the Soviet Union headed by L. I. Brezhnev.

ANDROPOV. This meeting was held at a very high level. Of course the most important thing was the speech by Leonid Il'ich, which set the tone for the whole meeting.

USTINOV. The speech by Leonid Il'ich covered every issue. On each question it was clear what should be done and how the Polish comrades should act.

GROMYKO. In my view, both the Polish comrades and the other participants in the meeting left feeling very satisfied with the results. They received a necessary infusion of energy and instructions on all matters connected with the situation in Poland.

This same matter was addressed by other Politburo members — Cdes. Grishin, Kirilenko and Pel'she — and by a CPSU CC Secretary, Cde. Rusakov.

They agreed to approve the activity of the delegation from the USSR at the meeting of leading officials and Warsaw Pact member-states headed by the CPSU CC General Secretary and Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium, Cde. L. I. Brezhnev.

SUSLOV. I believe we should publish the decree in the press endorsing the results of the meeting.

Cde. Suslov reads a draft of the decree: to endorse the results of the meeting among leading officials of the Warsaw Pact member-states and also the activity at this meeting of the delegation from the Soviet Union headed by Cde. L. I. Brezhnev.

EVERYONE. Correct, we agree.

SUSLOV. Then I recommend we publish this decree tomorrow in the press.