This concept paper addresses the need to base decisions about the nature of military cooperation on the Soviet Union’s long term goal of ending the arms race and moving toward disarmament. It also details how this decision-making should look in specific developing countries in which the Soviet Union has an interest.
June 23, 1989
CPSU Central Committee, 'On a Conception of Military Cooperation with Foreign (Non-Socialist) Countries'
This document was made possible with support from Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY)
CPSU Central Committee
On a conception of military cooperation with foreign (non-Socialist) countries
In accordance with a CPSU Central Committee Resolution [obscured] from February 4, 1988, we are reporting with a suggested conception of military cooperation.
A new political [obscured] based on general human values, [obscured] rights, and the impossibility of resolving international problems with the use of force, and a new model of security put forth by M.S. Gorbachev at the 43rd session of the UN General Assembly, also requires a corresponding new approach to military cooperation. This approach would consider the tasks before the USSR in the international arena and would simultaneously provide a greater political, military, and economic output from such cooperation.
It is necessary to conduct business to remove all of the more notable contradiction between the [obscured] of the Soviet Union on arms reduction and limitation, political regulation of regional conflicts, and in a number of cases the broadening of our military cooperation with foreign countries, including the delivery of weapons.
Particular concern is raised by the use of special property by some countries for purposes beyond defense, as well as the fact that as a result of cooperation with us the use of modern technologies of arms manufacture may proliferate, including missile technology. Alongside other factors, this destabilizes the situation in the regions, and furthermore gives the West a pretext for increasing interference in regional conflicts and increasing its own arms deliveries, which could seriously impact the effectiveness of our efforts to improve the circumstances in the world and strengthen relations between the USSR and the USA, and to end the confrontation between West and East overall.
Moreover, the imbalance of our relations with developing countries will lead to a situation in which for many countries, the basis of our mutual relations with our allies is military forms of cooperation.
Under these circumstances, the basis of the USSR's relations with its allies in the "third world" remains narrow. This is determined to a significant degree also by the contradiction between the attempts by allied countries to increase and strengthen their armed forces and the available opportunities to ensure a solution to this task. In the end, the situation that has developed will contradict the task of demilitarization and de-ideologization of inter-state relations.
On the other hand, ineffective military cooperation will also cause no small amount of political and economic damage to our long-term policy, which does not meet the tasks of the USSR's radical reform of the national economy and domestic economic activity. During the period of cooperation, the total volume of special property deliveries and military technical cooperation according to signed agreements consisted of around 110 billion rubles in export prices, including cost discounts and grants of 29 billion rubles. 39 billion rubles in debt were paid by countries in fulfillment of 40 billion rubles of commitments by the Soviet side. Income from military cooperation in freely convertible currency is decreasing (1985 - 3 billion rubles; 1988 - 1.8 billion rubles). There is also a low military capacity that remains in the armies of a number of allied countries, and insufficient effectiveness from activities by our advisors and specialists. The mechanism for providing spare parts, modernization, and repair of special equipment has grown cumbersome, particularly for equipment that is no longer being produced.
It is understood that the USA and other NATO countries continue to deliver in force, including militarily, in their relations with countries with a progressive orientation, while regional conflicts remain unregulated and our allies are forced to strengthen their defense capabilities, which makes it necessary to continue our military cooperation with them to certain degrees. It is also necessary to consider that for now, the USSR's military cooperation with a number of countries determines our foreign political position in the region.
In many respects, thanks to the USSR's help, the armed forces of our allies essentially provide support for the defense capability of these countries. Military cooperation with some countries make it possible for the USSR's navy to enter these ports and for Soviet military planes to land at their air bases. Military cooperation with some states is an important source of currency receipts for the Soviet Union.
A conception of military cooperation with non-Socialist countries (35 states, mainly in Africa and Asia, as well as Finland, Peru, and Nicaragua - attached) has been developed on the basis of the long-term political, economic, and military interests of the Soviet Union, directed toward increasing the quality and effectiveness of military cooperation as the amount of military aid is eventually decreased, and delivery of assault weapons is limited.
The goal of the conception is to ensure tight coordination of military cooperation with the foreign political course of our country. It contains the criteria for our military cooperation with non-Socialist countries on the basis their priority in the Soviet Union's policies, as well as the conditions for providing them military aid.
The conception could be included in the XIIIth Five Year Plan as a basis for planning deliveries of weapons and equipment, the modernization and repair of special equipment, providing countries assistance in the development of manufacturing weapons under Soviet licenses, in the creation of military items, and the preparation of national cadres and other measures in the framework of military cooperation.
Because of the fact that it is highly difficult to consider at the right moment the perspective of all possible turns of events in the international arena and individual countries, the proposals to correct military cooperation will be carried out as needed in established order.
A draft CPSU Central Committee Resolution is attached.
We request you to consider it.
June 23, 1989
An introductory note to the CPSU Central Committee Resolution on military cooperation with non-Socialist countries.
The History and Public Policy Program welcomes reuse of Digital Archive materials for research and educational purposes. Some documents may be subject to copyright, which is retained by the rights holders in accordance with US and international copyright laws. When possible, rights holders have been contacted for permission to reproduce their materials.
To enquire about this document's rights status or request permission for commercial use, please contact the History and Public Policy Program at [email protected].