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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 24, 1989

INFORMATION OF THE ROMANIAN EMBASSY IN BUDAPEST TO THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, 1415 HRS

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    A Romanian official at the Embassy in Budapest reports on the Hungarian response to Ceaușescu's 19 August 1989 appeal regarding the situation in Poland.
    "Information of the Romanian Embassy in Budapest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 1415 hrs," August 24, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Document no. 74 in Dumitru Preda and Mihai Retegan, 1989 – Principiul Dominoului: Prabusirea Regimurilor Comuniste Europene, Bucharest, Editura Fundatiei Culturale Romane, 2000, pp. 170-171; AMAE, Budapesta/1989, vol. 5, f. 130-132. Translated for CWIHP by Larry Watts. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121613
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121613

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Information of the Romanian Embassy in Budapest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24 August 1989, 1415 hrs

Comrade Ioan Totu,

I report to you that in the course of this morning, Thursday, 24/08 of the current year, I was invited to the Foreign Relations Section of the HSWP CC by Imre Szokai, the deputy head of section, for the handing over of a message on behalf of the HSWP presidium to the RCP leadership, as response to the RCP’s considerations and the personal considerations of comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu, Secretary General of the RCP, regarding the situation in Poland, transmitted to the HSWP leadership on the night of 19/08/89.

I give again the translations of the received message.

I will expedite the original text of the message in the Hungarian language through a TAROM airlines courier.

“The HSWP leadership has taken noted with consternation and without being in accord with the content of the message of the RCP and of comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu, through which a joint action is urged, “using all means possible in order to impede the liquidation of socialism in Poland.”

At the Bucharest PCC meeting of Warsaw Pact member countries, we clearly expressed the fact that, in our appreciation the practice up until now of constructing socialism is incapable of responding to the new aspects that appear. The resolution is the founding of democratic socialism, which imposes as a necessity the creation of a market economy with mixed property, pluralism and self-administration.

Our country chooses its path and the most appropriate methods for its development independently. That does not exclude, however, constructive debates and sincere exchanges of view between partners based on sovereignty, independence and equal rights. The essential condition is that each party, independently and separately, should draw the necessary conclusions and should take the measures that they consider important.

Within the framework of our relations along party and state lines there is no room for anyone to give lectures, make insinuations, or categorizations like the adoption of joint, obligatory decisions which should play a decisive role in the internal political life of our countries. The validity of one country’s interference militarily or by any other means in the internal problems of another definitively lost its validity with the end of the so-called Brezhnev dictatorship.

The current situation in Poland was built up as a result of free and democratic elections, the constitution of the government proceeds through parliamentary means, we see no motive for us together “to act for halting the serious process of the liquidation of socialism in Poland.” The only one in a position to take any decision is the Polish people.

The Romanian point of view is incomprehensible if we take into account, especially, the systematic public approach of Romania towards the principles of non-interference in domestic affairs, sovereignty, and of the relations between socialist states. The Romanian position is now in total contradiction with the point of view expressed by the abovementioned principles, on the basis of which, for example, Romania also established it policy in 1968, referring to the events in Czechoslovakia.

The Polish political forces, among which also the leadership of “Solidarity,” have declared many times over that they will respect the international obligations of the country, including their continued membership in the Warsaw Pact, but we must – at the same time – weigh from all points of view the position of “Solidarity,” the fact that the reformist forces within the PUWP are excluded from government, which does not help the unity necessary for future development.

Extremist anti-Soviet and anti-communist manifestations give cause for concern.

On this occasion as well, the HSWP leadership underscores its principled point of view referring to the relations between the socialist countries, about which it informed the Romanian side many times and in different forms.

We express our faith that the Romanian side will draw the necessary conclusions as soon as possible.”

Receiving the text of the message, I promised I would transmit it in the shortest time possible to the leadership of our party.

I insisted, at once, to clarify to my interlocutor that we could not accept accusations that the RCP, that its leadership has the intention to interfere in the domestic affairs of Poland and that through this it was renouncing the principle of noninterference in the domestic affairs of other states, and of sovereignty, as affirmed in the message of the HSWP.

Similarly, I take a firm position against the speculative interpretations that are being made on the margins of the RCP message, demonstrating that Romania has not given anyone lectures, nor has it stigmatized the fraternal countries and parties.

The Romanian Communist Party and the Romanian Government have placed the unmitigated respect for the principles of full equality of rights, of sovereignty, of independence and of noninterference in the domestic affairs of other states at the foundation of their foreign policy.

The message of our party and state leadership sprang from concerns produced by the recent events in Poland, a fact also recognized in the response letter of the Hungarians.

Traian Pop