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Masterpieces of History

Svetlana Savranskaya
Thomas Blanton
Vladislav Zubok


Document No. 14: Report on Eduard Shevardnadze’s Visits to Bulgaria, Hungary, and Yugoslavia, July 9, 1987

Traduction de Anna Melyakova

Texte intégral

1Here Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze tells the Politburo about his travels to Eastern Europe, and hints of distress sound throughout the report. Bulgaria is “outwardly” all right but inwardly “uncertain.” Hungary faces the possibility of “social turmoil.” Yes, perestroika is popular in Yugoslavia, but new problems accumulate daily in the area of economic collaboration. Yet again Gorbachev calls for a “general assessment of economic relations” between Moscow and its allies because “the deciding moment is approaching.” A strategy is needed, but once again none is forthcoming.


2Gorbachev: Our relations with the socialist countries remind one of inter-ethnic relations in the Caucasus: the smaller the nation the more rights and respect it demands for itself, the more importance it attaches to its language and different governmental portfolios.

3Shevardnadze: Bulgaria. Outwardly everything looks good. But there is an element of indecision and uncertainty. Mladenov (minister of foreign affairs) says: somehow we will make it. The most important thing is for the USSR’s perestroika to be successful.

4Zhivkov spoke about the “Bulgarian phenomenon.” He had a mentor’s tone, he was teaching us. He began almost every phrase with the words “take into consideration …” He visited the FRG and he “teaches:” all socialist countries must work out a general conception in relation to the FRG.

5Bulgarian nationalism is clearly evident, not only in relation to Turks, but also in relation to Russians.

6He raises the question of the Balkans as a nuclear-free zone. The Yugoslavs are for it. It is aimed at Greece’s position, which has American bases. We need to speed up the resolution of this issue.

7Hungary. I do not exclude the possibility of social turmoil there. The economic reform has affected the entire population.

  • 1 The Belgrade Declaration of June 3, 1955, was adopted during Khrushchev’s trip to Yugoslavia in Ma (...)

8Yugoslavia. Our perestroika is very popular there. The leadership and society think that a new stage of relations with the USSR is needed, and a new Declaration (the previous was adopted in 1956 [sic] during Khrushchev’s visit)1 as well. They link its adoption with Gorbachev’s visit.

9In contrast to the past, the Yugoslavs avoided sensitive issues, [they] even left Kampuchea alone. They are prepared to mediate there.

10The question of economic collaboration was raised in a sharp manner. New problems accumulate daily.

11Gorbachev: We need to make a general assessment of economic relations with the socialist countries. The deciding moment is approaching. Perhaps we, in the government, should summarize everything we have on that up till now […]

12[Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation. Fond 2. Opis 2. On file at the National Security Archive. Translated by Anna Melyakova.]


1 The Belgrade Declaration of June 3, 1955, was adopted during Khrushchev’s trip to Yugoslavia in May-June of that year. The Declaration proclaimed that various roads to socialism were possible, and the effect of the visit was to help heal the Soviet-Yugoslav split, which had been caused by Stalin’s alienation of Yugoslavian leader Josip Broz Tito.

© Central European University Press, 2010

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