9 April 1985* (473/PR/54) Socialist International

Instructions to KGB station chiefs abroad. How to influence the activities of the Socialist International (8 pp). [R 9 Apr 85, No 473-PR-54 : document kindly provided by Mr O. Gordievsky.] Excerpt.


A serious exacerbation of the international situation and the intensifying threat of war, evoked by the sharp increase in the aggressiveness of imperialist – above all, American – policy, the consistent peace-promoting line adopted by the Soviet Union, and the broadly based anti-war movement developing especially in West European countries, have combined to confront the Socialist International with the necessity of putting forward its own programme to fight for peace and disarmament.

Such a programme was announced in its most complete form at the 16th SI Congress held in 1983, which declared that the” most fundamental” task of social democracy was to” ensure the survival of the human race”. This task was, however, formulated as an appeal to the two” superpowers” – the USA and the USSR.

The Congress called on the USSR and the USA to reach agreement on issues linked to the arms race, virtually repeating many of the specific proposals put forward more than once previously by the Soviet Union: limiting and reducing strategic weapons; nuclear weapons in Europe; stopping production of new kinds of weapons of mass destruction, banning chemical and biological weapons; demilitarisation of the sea-bed and space, and establishing nuclear-free zones, etc.

As the Americans speed up the arms race and implementation of their missile plans in Europe, the disagreements between the parties in the Socialist International on the issues of war and peace are becoming more and more noticeable. […] The divergence of views among SI leaders and their wavering and inconsistency on the key questions of the present day are the result, in the first place, of the opportunist nature of the parties which belong to this organisation, and the presence in them of various groupings holding right-wing, centrist and left-wing views.

Notwithstanding the disagreements inside the SI and pressure on it from without, contemporary social democracy continues to carry considerable political weight and influence. Objectively speaking, it makes a definite contribution to  the struggle for peace and disarmament and a return to a policy of detente. Its representatives take part in various fora of supporters of peace and often adopt points of view close to, and sometimes even coinciding with, those of the socialist countries.

All this opens up certain possibilities for exerting a positive influence on the views of the Socialist International and its member-parties on important international issues, above all on questions of war and peace, thus providing effective assistance in our Party’s struggle to improve the international situation and stop the arms race. With this end in mind, you must do your utmost to step up work among the leaders, prominent officials and activists of social democratic and socialist parties in the countries where you are stationed …

To attain these ends through intelligence gathering and active measures it was suggested that the KGB station chiefs in each country [2]:

— take steps to make more effective use of the existing access and contacts in the SI bureau, in the headquarters of social democratic and socialist parties in the countries of Western Europe and to expand them;

— make special efforts to consolidate access and contacts in the SI parties which are in power or form part of coalition governments of their countries, bearing in mind the tasks to be achieved not only in the Socialist International, but also in relation to other issues of international politics;

— step up work in youth organisations of a social democrat persuasion which at times adopt more radical positions than the party, especially among the activists of such organisations who may be of interest in the future.




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.