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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 30, 1981

SESSION OF THE CPSU CC POLITBURO, 30 APRIL 1981 (EXCERPT)

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    Soviet leaders discuss the results of negotiations between a CPSU delegation and the PZPR leadership, and express concern with the decisions of the Polish leadership.
    "Session of the CPSU CC Politburo, 30 April 1981 (excerpt)," April 30, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD, F. 89, Op. 42, D. 42, first published in CWIHP Special Working Paper 1. Original available in the National Security Archive RADD/READD Collection. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112760
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SESSION OF THE CPSU CC POLITBURO
30 April 1981

Cde. L. I. BREZHNEV presiding.

Also taking part: Cdes. Yu. V. Andropov, M. S. Gorbachev, V. V. Grishin, A. A. Gromyko, M. A. Suslov, N. A. Tikhonov, D. F. Ustinov, K. U. Chernenko, P. N. Demichev, V. V. Kuznetsov, B. N. Ponomarev, M. S. Solomentsev, I. V. Kapitonov, V. I. Dolgikh, M. V. Zimyanin, K. V. Rusakov

. . . .

2. On the Results of Negotiations Between a CPSU Delegation and the PZPR Leadership

BREZHNEV. As you know, in accordance with our decision, Cdes. Suslov and Rusakov traveled to Warsaw several days ago. The USSR ambassador in Poland, Cde. Aristov, also was in the delegation.

In accordance with our instructions, the CPSU delegation held a discussion in which members and candidate members of the PZPR Politburo and members of the PZPR Secretariat took part for the Polish side.

I think the first conclusion that emerges from the comrades' information is that we were right in sending such a delegation to Warsaw at this time, when the Polish comrades are preparing for a plenum and congress.

I think that in the future, too, we should not exclude the possibility that individual members of the Politburo or a group of members of the Politburo might travel there, or have a meeting somewhere outside Warsaw and outside Moscow as Cdes. Andropov and Ustinov did. The benefit of such measures is indisputable.

And now let's give the floor to Cde. M. A. Suslov, who will inform us about the results of the discussion with the Polish comrades.

SUSLOV. Our negotiations with the PZPR leadership showed that the Politburo's decision regarding our delegation's trip to Poland was very beneficial and timely. L. I. Brezhnev's discussions with Kania played a big role in helping to stabilize the situation in Poland, as did the discussions that Cdes. Andropov and Ustinov had during their meeting with Kania and Jaruzelski in Brest. For our part, we sharply criticized the actions of the Polish leadership vis-a-vis Solidarity and the antisocialist elements. We attacked their indecisiveness and their efforts somehow to smooth over the situation without confronting the main questions. We also expressed criticism of the so-called “horizontal structures.” We especially emphasized the necessity of a resolute struggle against Solidarity and its reactionary right wing headed by KOR, which openly wants to convert Solidarity into a political party.

ANDROPOV. The Polish friends, in particular Cde. Kania, support the “horizontal structures,” and this is leading, as you know, to the disintegration of the party.

SUSLOV. Unquestionably, the “horizontal structures” are creating total disorder in the organizational structure of the PZPR and are completely at odds with Leninist organizational principles for the structure of a Marxist-Leninist party. Taking part in the discussions were Cdes. Kania and Jaruzelski, members of the Politburo, and also the secretaries of the Gdansk and Katowice provincial committees. All of them thanked the CPSU CC and especially L. I. Brezhnev for their constant concern and assistance.

BREZHNEV. Their plenum, as far as I know, is now under way.

SUSLOV. Their plenum ended today — early this morning. With regard to our advice that that they not exclude Olszowski, Grabski, and other comrades from the plenum, they heeded it. Our criticism is having a definite influence on the Polish leadership, particularly on matters connected with preparations for the congress and on other matters Of course, the Polish leadership must have a distinct degree of trust in us, and we, too, must have a certain degree of trust in them. To be sure, it's impossible to have much faith in what they promise they'll do, but even so we must somehow, on certain matters, support and encourage them.

BREZHNEV. In general there can be little trust in them because even though they listen to us, they don't do what we recommend.

RUSAKOV. I must say that L. I. Brezhnev's meeting with the Polish friends was of exceptionally great importance. Likewise, the meeting and discussions involving Cdes. Andropov and Ustinov played a big role, as did the series of telephone conversations with Kania. All of these played a positive role. I'm certain that the situation in Poland would be significantly worse if these discussions had not taken place. Their plenum finished today at 5:00 a.m. Very harsh criticism was directed at the leadership, in particular at Cde. Kania. After the plenum, at a conference of provincial committee secretaries, Cde. Kania was subject to further harsh criticism.

BREZHNEV. If the comrades have no other proposals, it should be possible to adopt the following proposals.

First, to approve our delegation's activities during its visit in Warsaw.

Second, to instruct the Commission on Poland to continue actively following events in the PPR and occasionally to inform the CC Politburo. If necessary, the Commission should submit appropriate recommendations on these events.

Third, Cdes. Suslov and Rusakov recommend that we support the request by Cde. Kania and Cde. Jaruzelski to employ the unutilized capacity of PPR enterprises. I think we should instruct the USSR Council of Ministers to examine this question.

And finally it is suggested that we inform leaders of the fraternal parties of the countries of the socialist commonwealth about the negotiations that were held in Warsaw and prepare an informational update for the party aktiv of the CPSU.

EVERYONE. Agreed.

The decree is adopted.

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