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Masterpieces of History

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Svetlana Savranskaya
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Thomas Blanton
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Vladislav Zubok

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Document No. 44: Memorandum from Anatoly Chernyaev to Vadim Zagladin, February 4, 1989

Traduction de Svetlana Savranskaya

Texte intégral

1After the success of the United Nations speech in December 1988, Gorbachev decides his next major audience should be Europe, and the July meeting of the European Parliament in Strasbourg becomes the chosen venue. With this memo, Chernyaev commissions Vadim Zagladin to work on a draft text, a highest-priority assignment direct from the general secretary to be handled in total secrecy. Zagladin at this time is a deputy head of the CC International Department with highly relevant experience with communist and “progressive” parties in Western Europe dating back to the 1960s. Chernyaev tells Zagladin the speech needs to “keep Europe in the movement” towards a common European home and that “it is important that they do not try to destabilize Eastern Europe.” Chernyaev’s shorthand reference to “Mitterrand’s approach” encompasses the notion Gorbachev seized on at the Trilateral Commission session (see Document No. 39) about a borderless Europe in 10-20 years, and a Euro-focus rather than, for example, Thatcher’s (and the Americans’) more Atlanticist concepts.

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2Vadim!

3The General [Secretary] sends his regards and asks me to give you a general assignment: think about a speech for the European Parliament [to be delivered by Gorbachev]. Do not contact anyone or seek anyone’s advice; do not disclose what you are working on. We need to meet about the arguments [we want to make], as well as about the reasons we are in favor of a new Europe and what we mean by “a common European home.” […]

4In addition to general structural positions, we need something specific—so specific that it would implicitly support Mitterrand’s approach. It is very important for us now to keep Europe in the movement that began as a result of our philosophical approaches and negotiating processes. It is important that they do not try to destabilize Eastern Europe. We should try to balance their approaches (based on a European consciousness) with the American approaches to Eastern Europe.

5In short, we should try to accomplish a difficult task: not to repeat ourselves very much, but to produce something similar to the U.N. speech, only with a specifically European angle.

6Mikhail Sergeyevich suggests that you set aside all routine business and concentrate on this issue, work through it thoroughly, and prepare it at a good scholarly level. He plans to talk with you about it after you have done some work on the above-mentioned tasks.

7Yours, Chernyaev

8[Source: Archive of the Gorbachev Foundation. Fond 2. Opis 1. On file at the National Security Archive. Translated by Svetlana Savranskaya.]

© Central European University Press, 2010

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