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Letter from Leonid Brezhnev to Alexander Dubček Informing Him about the Results of the Moscow Meeting of the “Five”, May 1968
Our Source: Navratil, Jaromir. "The
Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press, 1998, pp. 148-149
Original Source: ÚSD, AÚD KSČ, F. 07/15, Zahr. Kor. C. 797
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: This letter was written by Leonid Brezhnev to Alexander Dubček as an answer to Dubček´s request for information concerning the five-party meeting held in Moscow. Brehznev respond is not nearly as friendly as his former sent letters and he withholds the information concerning the possibility of an military intervention in Czechoslovakia and the military manoeuvres planned.
To the First Secretary of the CPCz CC
Comrade A. Dubček:
In connection with your letter asking me to inform you about the meeting of top officials from the Bulgarian Communist Party, the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, the Polish United Workers' Party, and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which took place on 8 May of this year, I have been authorized by the CPSU CC Politburo to tell you the following:
At this meeting we exchanged views on a number of urgent international problems, especially those connected with the intrigues of the recently activated circles of imperialism and, above all, the revanchists and neo-Nazis in the FRG. We also touched on questions connected with the development of mutual cooperation among the fraternal parties and governments, especially in economic areas.
During the meeting the Polish comrades stated that they bad prepared specific ideas for the further perfection of economic relations among the CMEA countries. The participants at the meeting agreed that the Polish comrades should send their materials to all the member states of CMEA.
At this meeting the same questions were discussed that were discussed at the previous meeting of Soviet and Czechoslovak officials. These are matters on which you and we, as we recently affirmed, have the same basic position. Obviously, at this meeting, as at other meetings of fraternal parties, we and the other participants would have preferred it if representatives also had been present from the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, a party with which we have close fraternal ties and a relationship of complete trust, with no need to keep secrets from one another. But when we took into account that only a few days earlier a group of top officials from the CPCz and the Czechoslovak state, headed by you, had visited Moscow, we concluded that a request on our part for you to come again could be difficult for you in view of the large number of urgent matters in your country that demand your attention. This is all the more the case insofar as the general situation in Czechoslovakia at the time, as you yourself acknowledged, was still complicated. Irrespective of that, such a swift repetition of a visit by Czechoslovak officials to Moscow could have given rise to speculation and various reports about supposed difficulties emerging in relations between the CPSU and other fraternal parties, on the one hand, and the CPCz, on the other.
During the meeting of top-level representatives from the fraternal parties in Moscow, we informed the comrades about the talks that took place between the leading officials of the CPSU and CPCz during your recent visit to the Soviet Union. I must frankly tell you that we expressed the same concerns which we bad already discussed with you during your visit to Moscow. We told the leading representatives of the fraternal parties, on the basis of what you yourself said, Cde. Dubček, and also on the basis of what other top officials from the Czechoslovak party and state – that is, Smrkovský, Černik, and Bilák-had said, that the CPCz and its CC will never permit the socialist order in Czechoslovakia to be undermined or the leading role of the communist party in society to be weakened. Nor will they permit any reduction in the traditional fraternal friendship between the people of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union and between Czechoslovakia and the other socialist countries. The representatives of the fraternal parties expressed their full solidarity with the CPCz and their determination to offer all necessary assistance and support to the new leadership of the CPCz CC, the Czechoslovak state, and the government of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to promote the consolidation and further development of the socialist order in your country.
With regard to the question you raised about your not having been informed in advance, not even the participants in the meeting themselves were able to come to any sort of timely agreement or exchange of information about this event. Otherwise we obviously would have informed you that the meeting was being held. And today, to round out the information we provided you in our phone conversations and in your discussions with Cde. Kosygin, we realized it would be appropriate to send you this letter as well.
The CPSU CC Politburo has requested that I tell both you. Cde. Dubček, and all other comrades in the CPCz CC that the Czechoslovak communists and all workers in the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic can always in the future count on the Soviet Union and the Soviet people to be your true friends, fellow soldiers, and brothers-in-arms in the struggle for our common goals: for socialism, for peace on earth, and for the triumph of the great and invincible ideas of Marxism-Leninism.
General Secretary, CPSU CC