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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 12, 1989

MEMORANDUM FROM FOREIGN MINISTER PETAR MLADENOV TO THE POLITBURO OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY

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    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party regarding a meeting of leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries to determine how to proceed with enhancing contacts with the West and pursuing disarmament
    "Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party," July 12, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Diplomatic Archive, Sofia, Opis 46-10, File 29, p. 4-12. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113164
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By Petar Mladenov, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, 12 July 1989

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
No. 01-05-20/ 12 July 1989
TO THE POLITBURO OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF THE BULGARIAN COMMUNIST PARTY (THE CC OF THE BCP)

INFORMATION

Comrades,

The routine session of the Political Consultative Committee of the member countries of the Warsaw Pact was held on 7 and 8 July in Bucharest [...]

The most pressing problems of socialism and the present day were analyzed in a business-like, constructive, and on some issues, critical and self-critical spirit; the paths were mapped out for accelerating the positive processes leading to a more stable and democratic world. Comrade Mikhail Gorbachev's speech set the tone for this atmosphere.

It was emphasized during the exchange of experience and information about the course of the renewal processes in the allied countries that, despite the diversity in national conditions, practically all socialist countries were strug-gling to resolve a series of similar problems. [These problems] had sprung from the necessity to overcome the negative tendencies in [these countries'] internal develop-ment and to stimulate and fully utilize the potentials of socialism.

The allied countries have lagged behind, especially in the field of new technology [and] in growth rates; the currency debts are perceived by the West as the “sunset of socialism.” With regards to [these facts], the necessity to prove the advantages of the new order through both strong arguments and real actions was emphasized. The further influence of the socialist countries on positive changes in the world will depend to a crucial degree on the ability of socialism to renew itself [...]

In the future, the socialist countries' political philosophy in the field of international relations should be a combination of active struggle for transition toward a new international order and a reliable defense of our countries.

In the process of exchanging opinions on the cardinal problems of disarmament, the leaders of the allied countries stressed the importance of signing a Soviet-American agreement on a 50% reduction in both countries' strategic offensive weapons, providing a strict adherence to the 1972 Agreement on Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense [i.e., the ABM Treaty]. The universal and complete ban on chemical arms and the liquidation of [chemical arms] stockpiles continue to be issues on the agenda of the member countries of the Warsaw Pact.

The meeting paid special attention to the process of building a “pan-European home.” It analyzed the results of the recently held forums in the framework of the Helsinki process. Emphasis was placed on the interests and values common for the European peoples, on the need for equal dialogue and an enhancement of contacts in various areas. The unity of Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals is possible and necessary in the conditions of preserving each country's identity and its social, economic and cultural diversity, which should be viewed as a treasure of European civilization. The meeting confirmed that every attempt to destabilize the situation in any socialist country will have an impact on the balance in Europe, and on the confidence building process between the two halves of the continent. Such an attempt will destroy what has been already achieved.

The Soviet leader informed the meeting about new developments in the relations and policies of the USSR towards the FRG [Federal Republic of Germany] and France. [...]

Cde. Mikhail Gorbachev confirmed the readiness of the USSR to coordinate the size of the Soviet contingents and the order of their withdrawal from Eastern Europe with the leaderships of the allied countries. The combination of political, military and geographical factors should be taken into consideration during the discussion of [the above-mentioned] possibility because it would influence the European situation after the realization of such a with-drawal. It was emphasized that the US proposal for equal ceilings on Soviet and American military contingents in Eastern Europe and Western Europe respectively, should be considered in a broader context. An optimal position should be prepared for counting the military contingents of the other NATO countries in the FRG as well.

The process of conventional military disarmament should be started in the shortest possible time. The Soviet leadership considers that real steps in this respect should be made around 1992-1993. At that time the question about NATO modernization is going to be worked out, a United Europe will be created, and new elections for the American presidency are going to be held.

The importance of the allied [Warsaw Pact] countries' efforts and pragmatic steps in realizing regional initiatives was stressed unanimously [at the meeting]. At the same time, cde. Gorbachev criticized the passivity of the Warsaw Pact countries in realizing a number of collective and individual proposals. There is a compelling necessity to unite our initiatives in order to strengthen the purposeful-ness and efficiency of the coordinated activities in the area of disarmament.

The need to pay more attention to the questions in the “second basket” of the pan-European process was stressed [at the meeting]. The time has come for developing joint programs with Western Europe in areas such as transport, environment, technology, nuclear power safety, and so on. This cooperation should be pursued based on the mutual respect of interests, the strict observation of the principles of international behavior. There was a common view that the process of integration in the West and in the East should not lead to a perpetuation of the division on the continent. During an analysis of West European integration, it was determined that the allied countries should: first, derive all the benefits from their cooperation with the EEU [European Economic Union] including also [cooperation between the EEU] and the COMECON [Council for Mutual Economic Assistance], and second, they should prepare themselves for the emergence of the united West European market.

This means that there is a need for stimulating the processes of integration between the fraternal countries in the economic area, and the development of elements of an united socialist market. Simultaneously, the allied countries should strengthen their relations in the areas of culture and science, between the highest representatives of the organs of power, between public organizations, youth unions, etc.

The leaders of the member countries of the Warsaw Pact analyzed the achievements and the problems in the area of human rights and humanitarian cooperation. It was stressed that the most recent pan-European fora have put forward the idea of “pan-European legal space,” based on the commonwealth of law-abiding states. As a whole, however, the differences in the positions of the allied countries became most obvious on this question, in particular those between the PRH [People's Republic of Hungary], the SRR [Socialist Republic of Romania] and the GDR

During the discussion of the Soviet proposal for convening a second Helsinki (1975)-type meeting it was stressed that its realization could culminate in the first stage of the Vienna negotiations. In case the negotiations are prolonged, the convening of such a meeting at the beginning of 1992 will provide [us] with the opportunity to make the relevant conclusions on all “baskets” of the Helsinki process and to speed up the process [of building] a more secure Europe.

In his statement, the leader of the Bulgarian delegation, Todor Zhivkov, laid out the arguments for the strategic need to realize the new historic content of world development and to realize the opportunities, which appear as a result of the unavoidable effect of qualitatively new positive tendencies that reflect objective developments.

The theoretical conclusion was drawn that the new line of “opening” the US and the West toward the socialist countries is an expression of the objective need of new global economic redistribution, which will allow the developed capitalist countries to solve their own socio-economic problems. Therefore, it is possible to develop sufficiently wide cooperation between East and West without concessions on our part, which could lead to a “step by step transformation” of socialism.

The questions regarding the necessity of strengthening the positions of socialism occupied an important place in [Todor Zhivkov's] speech. He stressed the international responsibility of our parties and states to combine the renewal of socialism with upholding its fundamental principles and ideals. He warned about the danger of destabilization and disintegration of some of our countries as units of the Warsaw Pact and the socialist community; this requires joint political decisions. Comrade Todor Zhivkov convincingly spoke in support of the necessity to renew the [allied countries'] economic and political cooperation in the framework of the COMECON and the [Warsaw Pact].

[Todor Zhivkov] set forth the position of the PRB [People's Republic of Bulgaria] on the question of Turkey's destructive actions in the Balkans and [its] unprecedented anti-Bulgarian campaign which is a part of broader plans aimed against socialism as a ruling system. Simultaneously, [he] affirmed our readiness for a dialogue with Turkey and for developing positive tendencies in the Balkans.

In the coordination of the final documents, difficulties were caused by: the exaggerated pretensions of the HPR with regard to human rights and the minorities question; the peculiar positions of the representative of the SRR on a number of important issues concerning international relations and reconstruction in the socialist countries; and the intensifying contradictions between the HPR and the SRR which already encompass opinions on a broad set of questions and assume differences in principles. Cde. N[icolae] Ceauseºcu emphasized in his speech the negative factors in international life, expressed doubt in the concept of “pan-European home,” and ridiculed the significance of the renewal processes.

Some changes in the SRR's position provoked definite interest regarding the question of the Warsaw Pact's role in the present situation, and the unity and cooperation of the allied socialist countries. Cde. N. Ceauseºcu opposed in his speech the one-sided disbanding of the Warsaw Pact and pointed out that our countries would have to continue to cooperate [in various areas], including the military field, even after the removal of all European military alliances. [He] underlined the need to jointly analyze the problems of socialist construction and to [undertake] joint measures for overcoming the crisis.

In connection with this, Cde. Ceauseºcu suggested that a meeting be held between the Secretary Generals and the First Secretaries of the Parties, or among the Party and Heads of State of the allied countries, no later than October this year. [The goals of this meeting should be] to make a joint analysis of the problems of socio-economic develop-ment and socialism construction and to work out a realistic program for joint measures. [Ceauseºcu] demonstrated his efforts to achieve a greater flexibility on the questions of perfecting the mechanisms of cooperation in the framework of the Warsaw Pact. [He] invited [us] to participate in the XIV Congress of the RCP [Romanian Communist Party] in October this year, at the highest level.

In this context the expressed opinion of N. Ceausescu about the necessity of discussing the question of how to overcome the present problems outlined in cde. Todor Zhivkov's speech as well as for ensuring further coopera-tion on the Balkans should also be viewed. These ques-tions should be considered at least among the Balkan socialist countries and possibly with the participation of other socialist countries. [...]

In general, the meeting proceeded in a open, friendly and constructive spirit.
During the meeting of the PCC [Political Consultative Council] a separate meeting between the delegation leaders took place (an additional report was prepared 15 ) as well as two meetings of the ministers of foreign affairs.

The first joint meeting of the Committee of the Foreign Affairs Ministers and the Committee of the Ministers of Defense took place. It discussed the question of perfecting the mechanisms of cooperation between the allied countries.

[Source: Diplomatic Archive, Sofia, Opis 46-10, File 29, p. 4-12. Document obtained by Jordan Baev.]

15 Not printed.