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Masterpieces of History

Svetlana Savranskaya
Thomas Blanton
Vladislav Zubok


Document No. 7: Notes of CC CPSU Politburo Session, July 3, 1986

Traduction de Anna Melyakova

Texte intégral

1Gorbachev intentionally provokes this discussion at the very beginning of the Politburo’s regular Thursday meeting—even before the scheduled discussion of Chernobyl—in order to set his line on Eastern Europe and make sure it is taken seriously by the top leadership, which is still dominated by “old thinkers.” (See also the previous document.) Chernyaev’s notes contain a blunt repudiation of past Soviet policy—Gorbachev’s first explicit articulation to the Politburo that there will be no military intervention in Eastern Europe. The Soviet leader also repeats his earlier complaints about the lack of economic integration and rejects the old “administrative methods of leadership.” Anatoly Dobrynin, recently appointed head of the CC’s International Department, adds the further interesting suggestion to remake the WTO in NATO’s image, incorporating “constant daily integration of foreign policy work” and “discussion of all international events and actions.”



  • 1 This refers to the Soviet-led armed interventions to crush opposition movements in Hungary in 1956 (...)

3Gorbachev: We all became aware that we had entered a new stage with the socialist countries. What went on before could not continue. The methods that were used in Czechoslovakia and Hungary now are no good; they will not work!1

4Dobrynin: We need to act like NATO: constant, daily integration of foreign policy work through different mechanisms, discussion of all international events and actions.

5Gorbachev: A new society is forming, which will develop on its own foundation […] the mechanisms of bilateral relations are becoming more complex. […] What was in the past is now causing discontent, encouraging centrifugal forces. […] Nothing will work out if we work within the old framework. We cannot use the remnants of the Comintern […] “administrative methods of leadership” with our friends. Fidel was right: the CPSU’s influence can only be ideological, only through example! Everything else is an illusion. And we don’t need it, this kind of “leadership.” It would mean carrying them on our back.

6The economy is the most important [factor]. Here there is a major lag in coordination and integration. And this hinders, and will continue to hinder, all other aspects of relations. From the conception of perestroika to its realization is still a long way. We are behind. The central question is—what are the main issues?

7Exactly so. The country is abuzz, it is waiting. This is serious, intense work. It is here that the weak links are making themselves felt.

8[Source: V Politburo TsK KPSS … Po zapisyam Anatoliya Chernyaeva, Vadima Medvedeva, Georgiya Shakhnazarova (1985-1991) (Moscow: Alpina Business Books, 2006), p. 61. Translated by Anna Melyakova.]


1 This refers to the Soviet-led armed interventions to crush opposition movements in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

© Central European University Press, 2010

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