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Digital Archive International History Declassified

June 04, 1981

TRANSCRIPT OF CPSU CC POLITBURO MEETING (EXCERPT), 4 JUNE 1981

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    The Politburo discusses the internal economic situation within the Soviet Union, the situation in Afghanistan (in particular the group "Parcham" and Karmal), relations with the US, and the treatment of Jews in the USSR.
    "Transcript of CPSU CC Politburo Meeting (excerpt), 4 June 1981," June 04, 1981, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CWIHP archive. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112867
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[See next page for Andropov talks with Karmal].

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SESSION OF POLITBURO OF CC CPSU
from 4 June 1981 year

Chaired comrade BREZHNEV L.Y.

Present C.C. Andropov Y.V.; Gorbachev M.S.; Grishin V.V.; Gromyko A.A.; kirilenko A.P.; Pelshe A.Y.; Suslov M.A.; Tikhonov N.A.; Chernenko K.U.; Demichev P.N.; Kusnetsov V.V.; Solomentsev M.S.; Kapitonov I.V.;
Dolgih V.I.

I. About the measures of increase of goods production in 1989-1985 years and fuller satisfaction of demand of consumer
population for these goods.

BREZHNEV: The very posing of this question is a positive thing. This hardest, most important and, as we all considered
and consider, main question has been worked on by Council of Ministers and is now given to our discussion. It's understandable that all the questions in this resolution are impossible to be solved, but to attract attention of public organizations to this problem is very correct and important.

As you can see from the draft of the resolution, Presidium of the Council of Ministers looked into the question of
increasing the measures of production of goods and fuller satisfaction of demand of the population. In the draft of the
resolution, for example, are suggested the measures that allow to send in 1985 cotton fabrics for sale to the population and for clothing industry in amount of I billion 300 million meters, which is 31 percent more, then in 1980 year; increase production of cotton undergarments 37 percent, increase the production of hosiery and socks up to 2 billion pairs, and production of synthetic cleaners and bath soap increase 1,5 times.

As I mentioned before, of course, in one resolution it's impossible to solve all difficult and important problems, regarding the goods [page break]

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[....]

GROMYKO: The speech of Leonid Ylyich, and that he will read the Address to the parliaments of the world, itself will play important international role.

CHERNENKO: It will be and important contribution to the Program of peace, part of our peace attack.

Decision adopted: consider it rational, that com. Brezhnev gives this suggestion on the Session of Supreme Soviet of the USSR

8. About the talk with com. Babrak Karmal

ANDROPOV: Following the task of Politburo, com. Gromyko and I talked with com. B. Karmal. Also involved was com. Ustinov. We stated the questions to B. Karmal that we agreed upon on session of Politburo. In the talks we emphasized that CC of PDPA and the government of Afghanistan first of all should seriously work on revival of military strength of the army and militia forces, strengthen the cadres of state organizations. On all these questions com. Karmal was given accordingly advice and suggestions.

Along with that we stressed the necessity of improvement of the coordination of work of their government with our
representatives.

GROMYKO: We stressed in the talks, that Afghanistan question is now blocking many other points in our politics, and it should be solved as soon as possible. From the side of afghan government the activity should be increased in the political resolving of the afghan problem. We stressed that com. Karmal acted correctly when he included comrade Vatandzhahr in Politburo for choosing the cadres. But there still is one-sidedness in choosing the cadres for the state departments, meaning that the majority of the workers belong to the certain group ("Parcham"). There exists fractionalism.

TIKHONOV: Afghan question in certain known way influences the situation in PPR. I should say, of course, that worsening situation on PPR strikes our economy. Now the Polish supply us with only 57 percent of coal from the amount they are supposed to supply. This means that we should be looking other sources to cover that.

CHERNENKO: Especially strong anti-soviet agitation is performed by Reagan administration. Here is an example regarding the pressure, that they put on us regarding the Jews. Just recently Reagan hosted a wife of imprisoned for espionage Sharansky, though she isn't really his wife, but the press had spread that information widely, and another Zionist Mendelevich. Around that in American press and television is opening a strong anti-soviet propaganda. For example, only in one day we received around 600 telegrams with a request to free imprisoned Jews. The next day we received around 300 telegrams.

GROMYKO: Now there is no way we can look into the question of freeing Sharansky, because the situation isn't quite suitable.

ANDROPOV. Regarding Sharansky, we should somehow show to the American people, that he was imprisoned not because he was a Jew, but because he was conducting espionage, he was an agent of the CIA.

The decision is being made: approve the talks led by C.C. Andropov, Gromyko and Ustinov with c. B.Carma1.