February 26, 1958
Albert Morskif, 'Record of a Dinner at General Secretary of MoFA Mr Skylstad on Feb. 25, 1958'
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
February 26, record of conversations about the Rapacki Plan
by the ambassador in Oslo
Oslo, Feb. 26, 1958
of a dinner at general secretary of MoFA
Mr Skylstad on Feb. 25, 1958
Present: Mr and Mrs Skylstad, the ambassadors of the USSR and Poland with wives, the Austrian envoy Mrs Monschein, chief of the MoFA Economic Department, Mr Sommerfeld and his deputy, 2 close co-workers of Mr Skylstad from the MoFA Political Dept., deputy ambassador of Finland with his wife, and a Norwegian banker with his Russian wife (she was barely several months old when her parents fled to Norway on account of the October Revolution).
The Finn and his wife had v. good memories of personal relations in Belgrade during their 1 ½ years stay in the capital of Yugoslavia. They have arrived in Oslo only recently.
Ambassador Gribanov during a conversation with Mr Skylstad gave him to understand that while he has kept his hand dapped on a still unsigned Norway-Soviet cultural agreement, in the meantime the USSR signed a number of such agreements with such Western states as the FRG, the US, France, e.a. He also recalled that even in those cases when Norway purchased (something like four for the time being) Soviet films, these films are not being screened. Mr Skylstad promised to 'look into' the matter.
In a conversation with me, Mr S. somehow 'thawed' exceptionally. He assured me that in a discussion about the latest Polish memorandum regarding the Rapacki Plan their MoFA took a positive stance. He still thought that the reduction of conventional forces (naturally chiefly and primarily the Soviet ones) has not been put forward clearly enough. It was only when I remarked to him how this issue was formulated in the communiqué after the meeting of comrade Rapacki with Gromyko and in the Polish memorandum, he calmed down and formulated the point as: Poland and the USSR declare readiness to negotiate (literally “promise to negotiate”) reduction of conventional forces.
He branded Bonn’s position vis-à-vis the Rapacki Plan a tactical maneuver before a top-level meeting.
When I informed him that I am planning to go to Warsaw, and that I would like to learn more about their position, including possible reservations or draft amendments, he advised that I make an appointment to speak with minister Lange.
Characteristically, last year, whenever Germany was mentioned with a conversation, Mr S. would always but forward German reunification by free election as a pre-condition, this time only sighed that the problem seems so difficult to solve and so remote. He was even interested whether reunification under the German social democrats and with Germany leaving NATO would be acceptable for us.
AMSZ, z. 8, w. 63, t. 878
Representatives of Poland, the USSR, Finland, Austria, and Norway discuss the Rapacki Plan. Mr. Skylstad stresses the importance of reduction of conventional forces while expressing his support for the plan.
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