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Digital Archive International History Declassified

April 16, 1958

TELEGRAM TO THE USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DRV L. I. SOKOLOV

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    Telegram to the Ambassador in the DRV details fundamental positions of the Soviet Union regarding maintenance of peace in Vietnam, strengthening of the political and economic situation, and increasing the well-being of workers. The Embassy is also tasked with further developing not only Soviet-Vietnamese relations but also Vietnamese-Chinese and other socialist countries relations. The telegram states that the Embassy should overall strive to strengthen the influence of the Soviet Union and should additionally monitor the situation in South Vietnam for reunification.
    "Telegram to the USSR Ambassador in the DRV L. I. Sokolov," April 16, 1958, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Translated for CWIHP by Daniel Rozas. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121079
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Secret. Copy # ___
____ April 1958
#___/YuVA

TO THE USSR AMBASSADOR IN THE DRV
cde. L. I. SOKOLOV

Respected Comrade,

In connection with the recent letters of the Supreme Soviet to the parliaments of the imperialist countries, and with the Soviet government proposals to halt nuclear weapon tests and convene a conference of heads of state, as well as other measures intended to reduce international tensions and improve relations between countries of different social systems, there has been a significant increase in the importance of the role of Soviet diplomatic posts that are assigned to assist in every to bring about a successful realization of Soviet Union’s peace initiatives.  This pertains equally toward USSR’s diplomatic posts in countries of the socialist camp, in the mutual relations with which one must strive toward full mutual understanding and a unity of views on questions pertaining to the Soviet Union’s foreign policy struggle, as well as toward bringing these countries closer around the Soviet Union and further strengthening the economic might of the socialist camp.  

With these goals, the USSR Embassy in the DRV, in our opinion, must guide itself by the following fundamental positions:

The interests of the Soviet Union and the entire socialist camp require maintaining and reinforcing peace in Vietnam, further strengthening the internal political and economic situation in the DRV, and raising the material well-being of the workers.  A successful resolution of these questions are the primary tasks of the Vietnamese Workers Party and the DRV government, and will at the same time serve to demonstrate to the people of South Vietnam the advantages of the people’s democratic order and help realize the task of peacefully reuniting the country.  

The primary task facing the Embassy is to help in every possible way to further strengthen and develop the Soviet-Vietnamese friendship, as well as reinforce DRV’s relations with the PRC [People’s Republic of China] and with other socialist countries in the spirit of the Declarations of the Moscow Conference of Representatives of Worker and Communist Parties.  

In this regard, it is necessary to continually aid in broadening and deepening the political, economic and cultural ties between the Soviet Union and the DRV.  It is essential to supervise the steadfast implementation of the Soviet government’s Declaration of October 30, 1956, striving toward full equality and mutual understanding in relations with the DRV in the areas of political, economic and cultural cooperation, carefully studying how the DRV is implementing measures on questions pertaining to the mutual interests of the socialist camp, and introduce appropriate suggestions.

The Embassy must carefully oversee the work of implementing the directives of the CPSU and of the Soviet government in providing assistance to the DRV in the areas of economic development and culture, helping to broaden and stimulate trade relations with the DRV, insure a proper coordination of actions between the GKES [State Committee on Foreign Economic Relations] and the offices of the trade representative and military attaché, demonstrate constant concern that they carry out their work through friendly contact with the respective Chinese representatives in Hanoi.

It is extremely important to strengthen the Embassy’s and other DRV-based Soviet institutions’ ties with the central and local party and state organs of the DRV, with party and public figures, scientific and cultural workers, always and in every way taking advantage of opportunities to become acquainted with local life in the interests of further strengthening the brotherly friendship between the people of USSR and Vietnam, as well as increasing USSR’s influence.  It is important to make sure that the Soviet delegations being sent to the DRV take the best avenues in the interests of further strengthening the Soviet-Vietnamese friendship.  

The Ambassador and the diplomatic workers of the Embassy should focus primary attention on exchanging information with friends, disseminating in the country of their deployment information about the policies of the CPSU and the Soviet government, about the life and achievements of the Soviet people, providing for these purposes the necessary assistance within the circles of the Vietnamese-Soviet friendship.  

In carrying out work directed at securing DRV’s support for USSR’s foreign policy, the Embassy, taking into account the current international situation of the DRV, must at the same time assist in every way with strengthening the DRV’s foreign policy positions and its international prestige, the growth of its political, economic, cultural, sport and other international ties that are developing in the socialist camp’s interests, focusing particular attention on questions of normalizing DRV’s ties with Laos, as well as with other Asian countries, in particular with countries maintaining a policy of peace and neutrality.

Since the People’s Party and other progressive forces in Laos have close ties with the Vietnamese friends, it is very important to adopt measures that would use Vietnamese assistance to monitor the situation in Laos and, in case of need, suggest to make joint recommendations together with the Vietnamese and Chinese friends.

In the area of DRV’s internal policy, you must carefully observe the distribution and alignment of class forces in both North and South Vietnam.  Bear in mind the peculiarity of the internal political situation as it relates to the temporary condition of Vietnam’s partition.

Study the situation in the Vietnamese Workers Party, its policies, its activities in the Vietnamese National Front and the democratic parties and organizations in the DRV, as well as questions pertaining to the system of elections to local and central governmental organs.  

One of the most important tasks facing the Embassy is the need for a thorough study of the state of the economy and economic growth in the DRV.  With this, it is necessary to note the significant relationship to foreign economic assistance and to the special characteristics in the situation in financing and carrying out work in accordance with the 3-year plan for developing the national economy of the DRV.

In connection with the possibility of a protracted continuation of the present situation, characterized by the temporary partition of Vietnam, there is a need for a deeper study of the political, economic and military situation in South Vietnam and the policies of the USA and other imperialist powers, as well as those of India, with respect to South Vietnam.  The Embassy should carry out a systematic study of South Vietnamese and Laotian press - the forms, methods and contents of anti-socialist propaganda.  Information on South Vietnam must be regularly relayed by the Embassy to the MID [Ministry of Foreign Affairs].

It is necessary to carefully monitor the development of the struggle in South Vietnam for democracy and reunification, and against American imperialism, thoroughly analyze the programs and actions of South Vietnamese parties and other political groupings, ascertain the political image of their leaders and the possibility of employing them in the interests of the socialist camp.  The Embassy must prepare and send for examination by the center proposals assisting the DRV in its struggle for a peaceful reunification of the country, implementing measures aimed at exposing and isolating the enemies of Vietnamese unity among the ruling South Vietnamese groupings and at increasing the influence of those forces that are in favor of reaching a political settlement in Vietnam on the basis of the Geneva agreements.

You should carefully monitor the activities of the International Monitoring and Control Commission in Vietnam, maintain working contact with the Commission’s delegations, use the Polish representatives to influence the Commission’s work in directions beneficial to the DRV, and adopt measures to neutralize those Commission actions that are hostile to the DRV.

It would be most expedient to use the relocation of the International Commission’s headquarters to Saigon as a means to influence broad social circles in South Vietnam, including certain officials in the ruling South Vietnamese grouping, toward finding ways of gradually establishing rapprochement between North and South Vietnam on the basis of co-existence and mutual cooperation.  Investigate the possibility of establishing contacts with the ruling circles in South Vietnam and the advantages of a gradual establishment of practical ties with the “Republic of Vietnam,” keeping in mind the positions of the DRV government.

Based on the materials received as a result of systematic analysis of the situation in the DRV, South Vietnam and Laos, the Embassy must regularly supply to MID USSR multi-faceted information and make timely proposals on the expediency of adopting appropriate measures on the part of the Soviet government.

Along with all this work, the Embassy administration must engage every day in educating employees of the Embassy and the entire Soviet collective in the DRV in the spirit of selfless loyalty to the CPSU and the Soviet homeland, in understanding the responsibility of their work, demonstrating high political vigilance and adherence to party principles, rigorously demand from them correct behavior, humbleness in mutual relations with the local population, and respect for the laws of the DRV and the local customs, so that the actions and behavior of Soviet individuals can help reinforce the friendship between the people of both countries.  It is necessary to ensure a high level of political training and systematic work on raising the business qualifications of Embassy employees.  

Please confirm receipt of this letter via telegraph.

ASSISTANT MINISTER OF

FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF USSR

2-kk/AM
to address
to file
yuvam/639
16.4.58

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