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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 21, 1979

TELEGRAM NO. 66, EMBASSY OF HUNGARY IN INDIA TO THE HUNGARIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY ON SOVIET PREMIER KOSYGIN'S VISIT TO INDIA

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    A summary of the results of Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin's visit to India. Discussions touched upon Soviet-Indian economic relations and a request by the Indians for Soviet arms.
    "Telegram No. 66, Embassy of Hungary in India to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry on Soviet Premier Kosygin's visit to India," March 21, 1979, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hungarian National Archives (Magyar Országos Levéltár, MOL). XIX-J-1-j Soviet Union, 1979, 122. doboz, 145-1, 002480/1979. Obtained and translated for NPIHP by Balazs Szalontai. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112880
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The Soviet counselor told me the following about the visit of Comrade Kosygin:

Three important agreements were signed: a long-term economic and commercial [agreement], a cultural agreement, and a health agreement [emphasis in the original]. Only in the case of the last one did certain problems crop up, for in India there are both private and state-owned institutions, which causes confusion in the system of reciprocity. In the end, this [agreement] was also signed, on the express proposal of the Foreign Ministry. The Soviets achieved that they would build the extension of the Soviet-planned steelworks, whose construction had been dragging on for years, with the exclusion of the capitalist multinational corporations [emphasis in the original] to which the Indians wanted to give the [commission]. At the request of Cde. Kosygin, the program in the countryside was shortened in order to give more time for political conversations. There was a five-hour private talk between the two prime ministers. The foreign minister could only explain himself because of his visit in China [in February], which the Indian prime minister also called unsuccessful. There is a visible difference of opinion between these two persons with regard to the evaluation of the visit. Problems arose over the wording of the communiqué, as Deo and Mehta (head of section and undersecretary of state) behaved in a cowardly and over-cautious manner. The joint communiqué resulted from a compromise. During the negotiations it was perceptible that the foreign minister was opposed to the prime minister, and that the latter's position was stronger. This time the issue of nuclear cooperation was not discussed, because they had signed such an agreement in January. They could not reach an agreement on the Cambodian question [emphasis in the original], despite the fact that the [Soviets] noticed that the Indian government was pressured by the public standpoint of the parties toward a more positive attitude.

The Indians asked for new arms and military equipment, and the Soviet side will fulfill their request [emphasis in the original]. Their conversation with the competent officials of the Indian CP was only of a formal nature. With Indira Gandhi, they discussed the RSS [Rashtryia Swayamsevak Sangh] and the Jan Sangh party, because she spoke about the judicial farce directed against her and her son. The Soviets are satisfied with the visit [emphasis in the original]. A detailed report will be sent by the next courier.

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