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June 23, 1980

Minutes of the Meeting of the CPSU CC Plenum on the situation in Afghanistan, 23 June 1980

[The following translation is only an excerpt]

Sverdlovsk Hall, 11:00 a.m.

[. . .]Brezhnev: Not a day goes by when Washington has not tried to revive the spirit of the "Cold War," to heat up militarist passions. Any grounds are used for this, real or imagined.

One example of this is Afghanistan. The ruling circles of the USA, and of China as well, stop at nothing, including armed aggression, in trying to keep the Afghanis from building a new life in accord with the ideals of the revolution of liberation of April 1978. And when we helped our neighbor Afghanistan, at the request of its government, to give a rebuff to aggression, to beat back the attacks of bandit formations which operate primarily from the territory of Pakistan, then Washington and Beijing raised an unprecedented racket. Of what did they accuse the Soviet Union[?]: of a yearning to break out to warm waters, and an intention to make a grab for foreign oil. And the whole thing was that their plans to draw Afganistan into the orbit of imperialist policy and to create a threat to our country from the south crashed to the ground.

In the Soviet act of assistance to Afghanistan there is not a grain of avarice. We had no choice other than the sending of troops. And the events confirmed that it was the only correct choice. (Continued applause).

[. . .]Gromyko: [. . .] Given all that was achieved by the fraternal countries in the international arena, especially in the 1970s, in the struggle for detente and peace, we note something else: the general situation in the world has grown more complicated, tension has grown, above all in our relations with the United States. The question arises: what is the reason for this?

The opponents of detente do not trouble themselves even with a minimal dose of objectivity in explaining the reasons for such a situation. They are building their policy on deception of the peoples. Imperialist policy and deception of the peoples are indivisible. From all corners they announce that the Soviet Union has supposedly changed its policy and by its own actions threatens the West and its interests. In every way they exaggerate in this regard the Afghan events, they cast it in a false light. In pursuit of these goals they break all their former records of trickery, lies, and evil puffery.

Acting on the true course of events, the Soviet Union directly casts back in the face of the officials of the imperialist states facts like the acceptance by the USA and NATO, in demonstrative form, of the decision to increase sharply their military budgets, to abruptly whip up the arms race, to deploy new American intermediate range weapons in Western Europe, to make ready the strike ["rapid development"-ed.] force in the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf.

To all this, to all of our well-founded accusations against the NATO bloc, they can raise no objection. And how can they object, if all this happened when the so-called Afghan issue was not even mentioned.

. . . Comrades, for our actions in Afghanistan, for the fact that we fulfilled our obligation to international solidarity in relations to revolutionary Afghanistan, for the fact that the aggressor already has received a solid rebuff, the Soviet Union does not intend to make any excuses to anyone, and the inspirers of aggression against the Afghan state are beginning to feel that. Those should ask for pardon who organized and stand behind the aggression against Afghanistan, who concocted the criminal plans in relation to that country, the independent existence and security of which have a direct relation to the security of the Soviet Union. We accuse the organizers of the aggression against Afghanistan and demand that that aggression be stopped. (Applause).

Of course, it would be premature to believe that the complexity in relation to Afghanistan is already behind us. The external enemies of Afghanistan and the domestic reactionary forces will still make themselves known. But the matter is now on the correct path. Afghanistan will not return to the past. Our Party and our people can be sure of that. (Applause).

For us now, as Leonid Il'ich announced, there is no need to have in Afghanistan a military contingent even of the size which it was when it was introduced. But if the situation demands it, we at any time will be able to strengthen our contingent, so as to reliably work together to provide for the independence and territorial integrity of Afghanistan.

The possibility of reaching at an appropriate time a Treaty of mutual assistance between the Soviet Union and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, which would clearly demonstrate the resolve of both countries not to allow any encroachment from without on the independence and integrity of the Afghan state, deserves serious attention.

. . .We have proposed and propose that Washington be led in our mutual relations by the principles of equality, equal security, mutual advantage, non-interference in each other's domestic affairs. In a single word, we have built and are ready in the future to build our relations with the USA on the principles of peaceful coexistence.

Declaring our readiness to maintain normal relations with the USA, we proceed from the fact that hostility between the two powers is not only unwise, but also dangerous. At the same time we more than once have warned the Americans, that they should take into account the lawful interests of the Soviet Union and that the Soviet Union will not permit anyone to trample on those interests.

Many of you, evidently, have in your memory how during the terms of office of various Presidents throughout the post-war period, American policy rocked from side to side. It cost the Soviet Union considerable effort to lead the USA to an acknowledgement of the single reliable basis of our relations--a policy of peaceful coexistence.

Now the American administration has once again begun to veer wildly. The underlying cause of the current break in Soviet-American relations is Washington's attempt to do whatever it takes to achieve military superiority over us.

CPSU CC Plenum meeting (excerpt) concerning the deterioration in relations with the US and NATO countries. Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko describes the altruistic nature of Soviet intentions in aiding Afghanistan.

Document Information


RGANI (formerly TsKhSD), f. 89, per. 14, dok. 40 [cited by Archive-Information Bulletin, 1993 as RGANI, op. 14, d. 40, ll. 30, telegraphic copy, C].


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