A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991

By Vojtech Mastny; Malcolm Byrne | Go to book overview

Document No. 49: Report to Nicolae Ceaușescu on the Meeting
of the Political Consultative Committee in Sofia, June 3, 1968
After his visit with Gomułka in Poland (Document No. 48), Soviet Marshal Iaku- bovskii traveled to East Berlin and Budapest to try to win support for Moscow's plans to reorganize the Warsaw Pact. Given the problems raised by Romania at earlier meet- ings (see, for example, Document No. 45), he deliberately bypassed Bucharest. The Soviets did send a copy of their proposal to Romania, however, and this letter from Defense Minister Ion Ioniţă to Nicolae Ceaușescu reflects the Romanian military's positions on the matter. Ioniţă believes it is quite possible other allies will accept the Soviet proposals, in which case Romania should not consider itself bound by any agree- ments infringing on its sovereignty. He proposes various stances Romania could take. One, clearly with the French example in mind, is to leave the military structures of the Pact. An alternative approach would be to agree with the Soviet documents but with reservations, particularly concerning the right of the supreme commander to deploy troops on the territory of member-states. Ioniţă's letter shows how much more exten- sively the alliance's members debated fundamental issues about its functioning in the 1960s than they did in later years."…"1. In accordance with what was established at the Conference of the Political Consultative Committee that took place in Sofia, Marshal of the Soviet Union I.I. Iakubovskii sent to the "Romanian" Ministry of Armed Forces, along with letter No. 104704 of May 24, 1968, the drafts of the following documents drawn up by the Unified Command:
Statute of the Unified Armed Forces "…";
Statute of the Military Council "…";
Statute of the common system of air defense "…"; and
Organizational diagrams of the leading organs of the Supreme Command "…" and the Committee on Technology.

"Iakubovskii" asks for the documents to be analyzed by the Ministry of Armed Forces and "for the results of the analysis" to be brought to the notice of the Romanian Communist Party's leadership and of the government.

At the same time, "Iakubovskii" indicates that soon he will come in person to the Socialist Republic of Romania, so that together with the "Romanian" minister of armed forces he can bring to the notice of the general secretary of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party and of the president of the Council of Ministers the above-mentioned materials, along with the observations and proposals concerning these materials made by the ministries of armed forces of the Polish People's Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Bulgarian People's Republic, the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, and the Hungarian People's Republic.

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