Ceauşescu and the Romanian Executive Politburo discuss events in Poland in August 1989 and Ceauşescu's message to the other socialist countries concerning it.
August 22, 1989
Report of the Embassy of Romania in Warsaw to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 0145 hr
Report of the Embassy of Romania in Warsaw to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
August 22, 1989, 0145 hr
RCP CC – Comrade Secretary Ion Stoian,
MFA – Comrade Minister Ioan Totu,
Comrade Deputy Minister Constantine Oancea, DR I
In the evening of 21/08/1989 I was called to the CC of the PUWP where I was received by comrade W. Natorf, the CC Secretary for International Relations, and by B. Kulski, the deputy minister of the Polish MFA.
Comrade Natorf made known to me that he called me in order to communicate the point of view of the PUWP leadership referring to the considerations of the party and state leadership of S. R. Romania, and personally of comrade Nicolae Ceaușescu, secretary general of the Romanian Communist Party, president of the Socialist Republic of Romania, transmitted in the evening of 19-20 August of this year to the party and state leaderships of all of the socialist countries.
In his speech he said the following:
“The leadership of the party was informed about the respective issues and does not conceal the fact that this declaration was not received with very much satisfaction. We strive to provide information about the situation in Poland without concealing anything, we would like it to be clear for the leadership of the Romanian Communist Party that we will not cede power, and we will not renounce the socialist system and our obligations to others, either in regards to the Warsaw Pact or those of the CMEA [Council for Mutual Economic Assistance]. We have strived to be the spokesman of the Warsaw Pact, and for the best collaboration to exist between our parties. Given that, we are surprised by the reproaches that comprise the declaration. All the more so since this was also transmitted to other countries of the Pact. We anticipated support, in the difficult situation that we have, and not criticisms.”
He clarified that the note is not a protest but rather a response to the Romanian point of view.
After this introduction, he handed me the written point of view of the PUWP leadership, with the request that it be transmitted to our party and state leadership, and with the added clarification that this material will be forwarded to the other party leaders, to whom the Romanian side had sent its point of view.
I am transmitting to you the entire contents of the note provided herein, with the original material being transmitted through the TAROM courier on 23/08/1989.
To the point of view of the Political Executive Committee of the Romanian Communist Party and of President Nicolae Ceaușescu regarding the appreciation of the current situation in Poland, including the formation of the government of the Polish People’s Republic.
In connection with the declaration of the central secretary of the Romanian Communist Party, comrade Ion Stoian, in the presence of the deputy minister of foreign affairs of the Socialist Republic of Romania, Constantin Oancea, transmitted on 19/08/1989 to the ambassador of the Polish People’s Republic in Bucharest. On the instruction of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party, I affirm the following:
- We have taken note with attention to the point of view of the Political Executive Committee of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, which expresses concern towards the fate of socialism in Poland, towards our alliance obligations and the eventual implications of the development of events in Poland for the interests of the community of socialist states.
In trying to understand the intentions of the Romanian comrades, we can neither accept nor recognize the motivation for either the appreciations or the conclusion formulated in the declaration of the Romanian Communist Party leadership.
The analysis of the situation in Poland, including the position of the party regarding the formation of the new government, was presented in the decision of the 14th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party. It affirms, among other things, that “only a government that enjoys the largest social trust and support, with the participation of all of the political forces in the Sejm [Parliament] of the Polish People’s Republic can lead Poland out of the crisis along the path of evolutionary and consequent reforms.”
Our party, defining its current political line, leads according to the supreme interests of the people and the state, taking as a basis the existing realities.
We are convinced that this line is the only just approach in the concrete Polish conditions and that there does not exist an alternative to it. Similarly, we do not ignore the general interests of socialism as social formations.
The agreement of our party regarding the creation of the government, with the participation of all the forces represented in Parliament does not signify the renunciation, by the Polish United Workers Party, of its influence over the political formations of the state that should correspond to the interests of socialism and the expectations of the people.
In conformity with the role of our party in society, in the organs of state and local administration, in the armed forces and the forces of order, we will do everything possible so that a powerful position of the party will be preserved in the government that is forming.
The basis of its activity will be constituted in a political platform, upon which the partners of the coalition will reach agreement. The guarantee of the continuity of the regime of the Polish state and of the evolutionary character of socialist changes resides in the function of president, with his known, extensive constitutional prerogatives.
- We reject the affirmation of the Romanian comrades that the participation of the “Solidarity” representatives in the government of the Polish People’s Republic services “the most reactionary imperialist circles” and that it is “not only an internal issue of Poland, but it refers to all socialist countries.”
We consider that the Romanian comrades have no motive whatsoever to make such an appreciation, the composition of the Polish government and the manner of its creation constitutes an exclusively internal problem of our people, any attempt at undermining this principle from outside would be in contradiction with the fundamental norms of international law – noninterference in the internal affairs of other states.
The Romanian leadership always presents with particular force this principle in reference to its own country, an unequivocal case in this sense being constituted by the non-participation of Romania in the intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968.
The a priori imputation made to a government of a sovereign state that it would be serving any foreign forces is inadmissible
- We consider as absolutely unfounded the reproach that the transformations that have taken place in Poland constitute a serious blow to the Warsaw Pact, creating for it a great danger and thereby constituting a powerful support for NATO; we see this as an unfounded attempt at undermining our loyalty by an ally of our country. Poland, even from the perspective of its own security, was and will remain loyal to its obligations as an ally within the Warsaw Pact and, as has been the case up until now, will do everything in order to strengthen the ties between its partners within the Warsaw Pact. In this work, Poland carries a serious weight that also cannot be contested.
We clearly expressed this in the decision of the 14th Plenum of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers Party, affirming: “Poland must remain a loyal state from the economic and military perspective of the CMEA and the Warsaw Pact. Our participation in the Warsaw Pact has been the guarantee of national security for several decades.” We explained that the goal of our party is that the changes that have taken place in Poland should lead to internal stabilization, on the basis of ameliorating the economic situation, of the consolidation of the position and role of Poland in Europe and in the world. And, at the same time, to the strengthening of our participation in European security and the growth of the importance of the Warsaw Pact in international relations.
We wish to recall that even by the political forces outside the Polish United Workers Party, in their public declarations as well as in the obligations adopted during the work of the “Roundtables,” start off from the fact that Poland is a member of the Warsaw Pact and that it will honor its alliance obligations, being led, certainly, not by ideological premises but by normal political realism.
The Polish United Workers Party will translate, with all of its power, in practice, the preservation of control – among others – over the domains of National Defense and of Internal Affairs.
- We consider that the states participating in the Warsaw Pact must respect especially the position adopted jointly. The Romanian declaration presented to our ambassador is in contradiction to the communiqué from the most recent meeting of the Political Consultative Committee in Bucharest, likewise adopted by the Romanian side, where it is affirmed that “There is not universal model of socialism and that no one can possess a monopoly on the truth, the construction of our societies is a creative process, which develops in each country, in conformity with its traditions and necessities.”
We anticipate respect from all sides, including from the Romanian side, for the principles adopted in the joint documents of the states participating in the Warsaw Pact regarding the development of relations between them “on the basis of equality, independence and the right of each of them to elaborate their own political line independently, their own strategy and tactics, without interference from outside.”
We wish to underscore that the transformations that have taken place in Poland and in other socialist countries do not at all transgress on the interests of Romania but, on the contrary, serve the strengthening of socialism in the world, the return of vitality to the ideas and force of attraction of socialism, and through this does not give the Romanian Communist Party any motive to come [to us], nor to the other communist and workers parties, with appreciations and conclusions of this type referring to the situation in Poland, presented in the given declaration.
In this situation, we are compelled to make known our response to that declaration to the communist and workers parties of the states participating in the Warsaw Pact.
The Polish United Workers Party, truly finding itself in a difficult situation, awaits support and assistance but not of the sort offered by the Romanian Communist Party. For our part, we are ready, as we have been up until now, to share openly and sincerely our experiences and our appreciations with the Romanian Communist Party.
We express the hope that this will permit the Romanian comrades to understand better our conditions and to reconsider their appreciations up until now in the supreme interest of collaboration between the two parties and states.
Warsaw – 21 August 1989
Romanian Ambassador to Poland Ion Tesu reports on the Polish response to Ceaușescu's 19 August message to all of the socialist countries. Includes a written response from the PUWP leadership
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