26 August 1977* (No 644/54) Socialist International

Instructions to KGB station chiefs abroad about work on Socialist International (6 pp).  [26 August 1977, No 644-54] (Copy of Russian original kindly provided by Mr Oleg Gordievsky.)


Station chiefs
(as listed)

No. 644/54

Guidance-task concerning the Socialist International

The new balance of forces in the international arena, the development of the process of détente and constructive changes in the international situation have presented the leaders of the Socialist International, and its members, with the necessity of making changes in their political approach and tactics.

The last congress of the Socialist International (November 1976) gave overall approval to the results of the [1975] Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) and expressed a readiness to help implement the principles of its Final Act. …

Overall the congress adopted a constructive position on the issue of disarmament. The resolution included the following text: ‘Disarmament and control over armaments and their proliferation are vitally important issues for the entire world in view of the escalating arms race and the worsening economic conditions in most countries’.

The congress was in favour of the rapid conclusion of talks between the USA and the USSR to reach agreement on a qualitative and quantitative reduction in strategic weapons and emphasised the great importance of the discussions being held in Vienna about the mutual reduction of arms and armed forces.



[page two]


[However, there was an “ambivalence in the political position of social democracy” that remained characteristic of the movement, said Kryuchkov. The Social Democrats were incapable of overcoming “the eternal problem” of the discrepancy between their words and deeds.]

… the social-democratic leaders of the major States of Western Europe, who play a leading role in the policies of the Socialist International, continue to support their previous policy regarding the consolidation of NATO. Furthermore, they are participating in the transformation of the EEC into a military and political community, in this respect promoting the demagogic slogan: ‘Let us transform Europe of the monopolies into the Europe of the workers!’”

[An analysis of the activities of the new leadership elected at the last Congress of the Socialist International (Kryuchkov named Willy Brandt and Bernd Carlsson) suggested that it was making efforts to develop a new programme.]


[page three]


The social democrat leaders, in particular, through the wide introduction of the theory of ‘democratic socialism as the Third Way’ (opposing it to capitalism and communism) have put forward the idea of a ‘socialist strategy for the Third World’ and have started a campaign to spread their influence among various strata of the national-liberation movements in Asia, Africa and Latin America.


The issue of the normalisation or development of cooperation with communist and workers’ parties was avoided in the congress resolution. As we know, this issue is the subject of profound disagreement within the international social-democratic movement. Nevertheless, the Socialist International has been forced recently to restrain itself from adopting sanctions against those parties that, in one form or another, have been attempting to establish contacts, or to cooperate, with the communists. […]


[page four]



In studying these problems, it seems expedient to consider and evaluate the emerging opportunities to take active measures to support and strengthen the actions of those leading activists and functionaries of social-democratic (socialist) parties and associated organisations who support a widening and intensification of the process of détente, limitation of the arms race, and international cooperation.

[The Centre was interested, therefore, to hear the suggestions of “its agents abroad” as to how it might best use dissension within social democracy in the pursuit of Soviet interests. It specified:]

disagreements between parties belonging to the Socialist International over particular issues of ideology and the tactics of the movement (different approaches to economic problems, to capitalist monopolies, to the political concept of a ‘United Europe’,


[page five]


to cooperation with communist parties);

rivalry to take a leading role in the Socialist International between the leaders of the Social Democrats in Germany, the Socialists in France and Austria, the Social-Democratic Workers Party in Sweden and the British Labour Party;

contradictions between the statements and real policies of social democracy;

particular examples of the egotistic neo-colonial policies of social democrats from highly developed industrial countries towards countries of the Third World, and so on.

In the light of the foregoing you are asked:

1. To increase the production of reliable intelligence […]

2. To report in general terms, … on the position of the social-democratic party in your cuntry of residence, …

[Communist intelligence agencies in West Europe were given the task of entrapping socialists and social-democrats so as to turn their movements into an instrument of Soviet policy, VB]

3. Suggestions should be issued for the wider and more effective use of the existing network of agents, both for obtaining the necessary secret information and for taking active measures. In particular, suggestions are important as to how to carry out work in future with existing agents


[page six]


and confidential contacts from among representatives of the social democrats. We need information that gives us an opportunity to employ the new, notable and active figures in this movement as agents or confidential contacts and use them to penetrate the leadership of the movement and its propaganda and information outlets.

I ask that you forward these materials as they arrive, but no later than 15 October this year.

Send responses to item 3 of this task to the heads of the operational departments.

No. 644/54

Alyoshin [Kryuchkov]

26 August 1977




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