22 October 1986 * (Pb §1) Soviet diplomats

Politburo meeting. Expulsion of Soviet diplomats from the USA and planned Soviet retaliation. [R 22 oct 86, Pb]


[page one of five]

Top Secret
Single Copy
(Draft Minutes)

22 October 1986

In the chair

In attendance:
Comrades G.A. Aliyev, A.A.Gromyko, L.N. Zaikov,
Ye.K. Ligachev, N.I. Ryzhkov, M.S. Solomentsev,
V.M. Chebrikov, E.A. Sherverdnadze, V.I. Dolgikh,
B.N. Yeltsin, N.V. Talyzin, A.P. Biryukova,
A.F. Dobrynin, M.V. Zimyanin, V.A. Medvedev,
G.P. Razumovsky, A.N. Yakovlev, I.V. Kapitonov

  1. Measures linked to the expulsion of Soviet staff from the USA

GORBACHEV. We must exchange views about the measures to take regarding the new hostile action of the US Administration. The course of events since  Reykjavik has shown that our “friends” in the US have no constructive programme and are doing everything to make the atmosphere more tense. They are behaving in an extremely rough, gangland way.

SOLOMENTSEV. Yes, they behave like highway bandits.

GORBACHEV. One cannot expect any constructive actions or proposals from the U.S. Administration. In the current situation we must collect propaganda points and continue our aggressive work targeted at the American and general international public opinion. The Washington politicians are afraid of this.

The materials with my speeches at the Reykjavik press conference and on the Soviet television are being kept at the customs for three days already.

YAKOVLEV. Comrade Bugayev called me and told that these materials are still detained at the American customs.


[page two]

GORBACHEV. We must go on pressurising the American Administration by explaining our positions to the general public and exposing the responsibility of the American side for the failure of agreements on reduction and liquidation of nuclear weapons.

Of late, the best thing Reagan and his entourage were able to invent was another hostile action of expelling 55 Soviet diplomats. As Washington explained, five of our employees were declared non grata in reprisal for our expulsion of 5 American diplomats, and 50 more will be knocked out under the pretext of equalising the staff of American and Soviet diplomatic representations.

We cannot leave this hostile anti-Soviet action unanswered. We should not hesitate to take the most resolute steps. The Americans threaten us declaring that if we retaliate they will take further steps against our diplomatic personnel in the USA. Well then, taking the limited extent of Soviet-American contacts I think our embassy in the U.S. would manage its tasks in this case, too. […]

On the whole, what I told the U.S. President in Reykjavik proves to be true: normalisation of Soviet-American relations is apparently a job we shall leave to coming generations. […]




1. Notes by translator and editor are bracketed, thus [ ];
2. text written by hand is indicated in italic script;
3. when a handwritten phrase, figure or word has been added
to a previously typed document this is indicated by underlined italic script.

Translation VK

Translation in full