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Digital Archive International History Declassified

July 07, 1982

CABLE FROM HUNGARIAN AMBASSADOR REGARDING TALK WITH SOVIET CHINA EXPERT OLEG RAKHMANIN

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    Short summary of a conversation between the Hungarian ambassador to Moscow and Oleg Rakhmanin on China and its possible attempts to split the Eastern bloc countries, especially its warming relations with East Germany.
    "Cable from Hungarian Ambassador regarding Talk with Soviet China Expert Oleg Rakhmanin," July 07, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Hungarian National Archives (MOL), XIX-J-1-j-Kína-103-004774-1982. Obtained by Péter Vámos and translated by Gwenyth A. Jones and Péter Vámos. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113308
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Hungarian Ambassador to Moscow Mátyás Szurös
STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL
CIPHER TELEGRAM
Moscow, 7 July 1982

On 7 July 1982 I paid a farewell visit to O.B. Rakhmanin, first deputy head of the CPSU Central Committee International Department.

Comrade Rakhmanin evaluated the development of Hungarian-Soviet relations positively, and emphasized that relations between parties continued to develop both quantitatively and qualitatively. There are no problems in our relations.

With the future in mind he regards it important that the socialist countries should mutually inform each other of their own internal matters and anticipated international courses of action, and not create unforeseen situations. Second, it is important to act in unity against attempts to split the socialist countries.

According to Comrade Rakhmanin, China is attempting to play the so-called “GDR card”, citing the development of GDR-Chinese relations putting pressure on Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. The GDR press deals with China too positively, and has taken up Comrade Zagladin's statement on China from Italian sources. The excerpted—and distorted by the Italians—interview gave an incorrect impression of Soviet policy. Ambassador Abrasimov objected twice to the behavior of the GDR press to Comrade Honecker. The CPSU does not oppose gradual cultivation of trade relations or other contacts with China. Colleagues working in the field however hold excessively positive opinions which may incite the leadership of fraternal Parties toward exaggerated development of relations. The socialist countries could objectively become part of the Chinese “broad anti-Soviet unity front.”

Any form of rivalry would be damaging. We need to agree on our position, but do not regard it as realistic or necessary to convene a separate meeting at the highest level on this question, as proposed by Comrades in the GDR.

It is very important that our ambassadors in Peking are of the appropriate orientation. An impression has arisen that the ambassadors of some socialist countries evaluated the processes in China with excessive optimism, from which unjustified conclusions have been drawn.

It would be correct for the press in the socialist countries to occasionally expose the anti- Soviet policy of China and criticize their position on Cambodia and other questions.

Comrade Rakhmanin responded to my question that there are no negative observations of Hungary. The position of the HSWP leadership on Interkit in Sofia is highly regarded. […]

No. 248. Szurös