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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 30, 1982

INFORMATION ABOUT THE VISIT OF INDIRA GANDHI TO THE USSR

This document was made possible with support from the MacArthur Foundation

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    Description of meeting between Indira Gandhi and Soviet representatives. Both sides give similarly critical assessments of Pakistan policy on subcontinent, which both describe as destabilizing to the region. Soviets devote special time to the "dangerous character of military-political partnership between the United States and China," and Indira Gandhi expresses concerns over China's "machinations" against India, and notes the increasing influence of China and America on India's neighboring countries. Gandhi says that Indian-Chinese relations have not improved, due partly to China's position on the India-China border issue.
    "Information about the Visit of Indira Gandhi to the USSR," September 30, 1982, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, SAPMO-BArch, DY 30, No. 13941 (TsK-Department International Relations, SED). Translated by Bernd Schaefer. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/119280
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30 September 1982

4 copies

Confidential

[handwritten: Circulation in Politburo, EH [Erich Honecker], 1 October 1982]

[Soviet] Information

About the Visit of Indira Gandhi to the USSR

The visit by I. Gandhi was arranged upon suggestion from the Indian side.

[…]

We [Soviet Union] gave a general assessment of the policy of Pakistan, which represents a destabilizing factor in Southwest and South Asia. The Indian side confirmed that our assessments are mostly identical with its own evaluations: “There exists no doubt whatsoever that Pakistan is today more under American influence than ever before.” At the same time, the Indians stated that they intend to continue searching for ways to maintain peaceful coexistence with Pakistan and to solve mutual problems by way of negotiations.

[…]

During negotiations, we [Soviet Union] devoted special attention to the dangerous character of military-political partnership between the United States and China. In explaining our principled position towards China, we emphasized that the arming of China is more dangerous for this country’s other neighbors that it is for the Soviet Union. The latter knows how to defend itself in the West as well as in the East.

I. Gandhi mentioned with concern the People’s Republic of China’s ongoing machinations against India and the increasing Chinese and American influence in India’s neighboring countries. She explained how the dialogue started between Delhi and Beijing about issues of disagreement has not resulted in any substantial progress of Indian-Chinese relations, in particular due to the People’s Republic of China’s intransigent positions on the border issue. We could sense that the Indians follow the policy of the Chinese leadership with major mistrust and apprehension. I. Gandhi emphasized that India will never adopt a normalization of relations with the People’s Republic of China “at the expense of the proven Indian-Soviet friendship which is tested by time.”

[…]