Politburo meeting. Response to statements at Congress of Solidarity in Poland. [R 10 September 1981, Politburo, para 3]
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MEETING OF CPSU POLITBURO
2 April 1981
Comrade L.I. BREZHNEV
Comrades in attendance:
M.S. Gorbachev, V.V. Grishin, A.A.Gromyko,
N.A. Tikhonov, K.U. Chernenko, P.N. Demichev,
M.S. Solomentsev, I.V. Kapitonov, V.I. Dolgikh,
9. Exchange of opinions about the Polish situation
BREZHNEV. Yesterday I familiarized myself with the “Appeal to the Workers of Eastern Europe,” which was adopted by the Congress of Polish Solidarity. It’s a dangerous and provocative document. It contains few words, but they all aim at the same target. The authors of the appeal would like to create confusion in the socialist countries and stir up groups of different types of turncoats. I think we should not limit ourselves to criticism in press of this insolent stunt. What if the collectives of our largest enterprises — say, the Kirov factory, Magnitogorsk, Kamaz, etc. — give a rebuff to these demagogues? It will be difficult, probably, to ignore their letters to the Solidarity congress, particularly when we feature these letters prominently in our media.
If the comrades agree, we’ll instruct the Polish commission to approach three or four factory collectives and help them, as needed, prepare a rebuff to “Solidarity.
ZIMYANIN. I want to tell the Politburo what sorts of publications are planned in connection with the Solidarity congress. The congress, one could say, demonstrates a further worsening of the situation in Poland. As you know,
they appealed to the parliaments and peoples of certain countries, including the socialist countries, with their program of “renewal”. Our press and TASS are now preparing appropriate materials in response, exposing the activities of the Solidarity trade union. I fully support the proposal by Leonid Ilych to have the collectives of major large enterprises offer statements. We shall also try to prepare something of this kind.
TIKHONOV. Nonetheless we will still need to react somehow, and take practical measures to deal with the stunts of delinquent elements in Poland, against whom the government is not taking any measures. For apart from defacing the monuments to our soldiers, they’re drawing all kinds of cartoons of our Party and government leaders, insulting the Soviet Union in every possible way, etc. In other words, they’re mocking us. We can’t remain silent any longer, it seems to me. Either at the State level or through some other channel, we must serve a protest to the Polish government about this. A failure to react, in my view, would be unacceptable.
GROMYKO. We must think this over carefully. We’re talking here about a country that is friendly to us.
GORBACHEV. I believe that Leonid Ilych was quite right in proposing that the collectives of large enterprises speak out and that the activities of Solidarity be exposed in our press.