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Masterpieces of History

Svetlana Savranskaya
Thomas Blanton
Vladislav Zubok


Document No. 82: Record of Conversation between Evgeny Primakov and Margaret Thatcher, September 18, 1989

Traduction de Svetlana Savranskaya

Texte intégral

1These notes capture the congruence between the British prime minister’s attitude towards Eastern Europe and that of Gorbachev’s top aides, including the future Russian foreign minister, Evgeny Primakov. When the Soviet official expresses appreciation for Thatcher’s position “in favor of stability in Europe,” the prime minister confirms the need for “a stable ‘background’” and goes on to extend high praise to the Polish leadership for its skill in managing the current situation—an exact parallel to Gorbachev’s own assessment of Poland’s former dictator, and now elected president, Wojciech Jaruzelski.



3Thatcher: We are also watching the developments in the other Eastern European countries with great interest. What is happening there now should have happened inevitably sooner or later.

4Primakov: Indeed, many of the developments happening now in the world draw increasing attention. It is clear that stability on the continent will depend on how they play out. Our Parliament highly appreciates your position in favor of stability in Europe.

5Thatcher: Under conditions when big changes are underway, we need to ensure a stable “background.” We are very impressed by the skill the Polish leadership has shown in their management of the processes in the country. Western countries are willing to provide assistance, and such assistance is already being provided. […]

6[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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