The Prague Spring 1968: A National Security Archive Documents Reader

By JaromÍr NavrÁtil | Go to book overview

DOCUMENT No. 83: János Kádár's Report on Soviet-Hungarian Talks
at Yalta, August 12–15,1968

Source: ÚSD, Sb. KV, Z/M 19.

János Kádár presented this report on his Yalta talks with Soviet leaders to a joint session of the HSWP
Central Committee and the Hungarian Council of Ministers on August 23. The meeting took place between
August 12 and August 15 with Brezhnev. Kosygin, and Podgorny.

This somber speech reflects none of the optimism of Kádár's report to the HSWP Central Committee
Plenum a week earlier, and records his shift toward support for military intervention. At Yalta, the
Hungarian leader affirms, he had been "able to justify the decisions we "in Hungary" adopted on military
matters "and "to express things "during these "close and informal talks "that "could not have been said
at formal international negotiations." Although there were "minor deviations "between some of his views
and those of his Soviet counterparts, Kádár's remarks mark his evolution toward a hard-line position.

(See also Document No. 75.)

"Pro forma introductory material has been deleted."

I.

Cde. Kádár (accompanied by Cde. Károly Erdélyi) had talks at Yalta with Cdes. Brezhnev, Kosygin, and Podgorny. In an open, comradely exchange of views they had an in-depth discussion of numerous issues connected with the recent developments in Czechoslovakia. One reason for the discussion was that they wanted to assess the issues from all angles and draw the necessary conclusions. Cde. Kádár explained, in greater detail than he had at the talks involving representatives from several states, how the HSWP Central Committee and the Hungarian government saw the situation, what sorts of analyses they were carrying out, and what conclusions they had drawn from the situation as it had developed between December 1967 and the present. He did not want to repeat all this to the Central Committee since it was identical to what had been discussed and approved at its plenary sessions.

The aim of providing such detailed information in Yalta was to make the Soviet comrades fully aware of our position and motives. We also tried to get a thorough and detailed understanding of the position of the Soviet comrades.

We stressed that we agreed, and always did agree, on fundamental issues insofar as these were questions of principle for Czechoslovak society. We especially agreed that these questions should be settled in a socialist spirit and in the interest of socialism. The positions of our two countries with regard to objectives always were and will remain totally identical: We have always tried to act jointly with the CPSU leadership and the Soviet government to help settle the problems of Czechoslovak society in the interest of socialism.

However, when we assessed specific details, minor deviations in our positions were evident. When this occurred, our proposed solutions at times coincided, at other times diverged. We thought it proper to emphasize repeatedly that the Soviet Union lives and functions today, and will live and function tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow in unity with the HSWP and the other communist parties. From the point of view of the Hungarian people and from an internationalist point of view, we believe it is of cardinal importance to act at all times in complete accord with the Soviet Union. But it does occur that the Soviet comrades and our party have not always been assailed by the same types of factors, and not always to the same degree. We had the impression that the Soviet comrades were paying too little attention to the causes of the Czechoslovak crisis and to the errors and deformations that existed for many years. Only by

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