Ziaristi Online publică un întreg capitol din următoarea carte a lui Larry Watts despre istoria secretă a României. “On The Eve Of The Romanian Revolution”

Foto: Cristina Nichitus Roncea

Foto: Cristina Nichitus Roncea

Istoricul american Larry Watts a publicat de curând o serie de articole în cotidianul Adevărul, intitulată “Zorii revoluţiei române”. Articolele au fost reproduse în serial şi pe blogul profesorului, larrylwatts.blogspot.com. Portalul Ziaristi Online a aflat că este vorba de un întreg capitol din lucrarea în curs de apariţie a cercetătorului american, al treilea volum din trilogia sa dedicată istoriei secrete a României, după “Fereşte-ma, Doamne, de prieteni…” şi “Cei dintâi vor fi cei din urmă…”. Drept urmare îl publicăm integral mai jos, în original, mulţumindu-i autorului pentru amabilitatea de a ni-l oferi (Studiul poate fi descărcat în format PDF din baza textului):

On The Eve Of The Romanian Revolution –

Some Considerations

Larry L. Watts

February 2016

Revolutia romana din decembrie 1989

Romania’s Winter Revolution, December 1989

[Photo: Photoland/Corbis]

There were three main levels of confrontation involving the Soviet Bloc during the Cold War, and especially during its last decade, that were important for U.S. strategic interests.[1] The first was the East-West confrontation and the possibility of tension exploding into military combat and even nuclear war. On this level, Romanian consistently fought against the policies of provocative military competition, heightened tensions, and proxy wars favored by successive Soviet leaders; and especially Soviet military leaders. It did so primarily by contra-posing its own strategy of international mediation, military disengagement and disarmament.

Its ability to blackmail reluctant Soviet regime leaders into adopting these policies in exchange for their renewal of the Warsaw Pact in 1985 is one of the most astonishing phenomena of the final Cold War years of which nearly nothing was known at the time – not even the fact of its occurrence. Ironically, reports during the mid and late 1980s of Romanian-Soviet reconciliation in part reflected a reality in which Gorbachev increasingly aligned Soviet security policy with persistent Romanian advocacy and began meeting the long-standing demands of Bucharest. Prior to that, reports of such reconciliation disseminated during the 1960s and 1970s were standard elements of an active measures campaign designed to create the image of diminished and diminishing Romanian independence, in order to alienate Western and Chinese partners. Now they reflected the Soviet realignment with long-advocated Romanian positions. Not surprisingly, Gorbachev – and just about every other Soviet leader – was loath to acknowledge any Romanian role in the process.[2]

Meanwhile, with Bucharest now increasingly in accord with Soviet security policy, one of the most important areas of previous Soviet-Romanian confrontation had been greatly reduced. This, however, provided little respite for Gorbachev. Partly because Bucharest judged the timing propitious and partly due to deeply-rooted “trust” issues with Moscow, it continued to press for even further disarmament, even greater reductions in weapons, troops and defense budgets, and even faster and more complete withdrawal of Soviet troops from foreign territories. And it continued to do so all the way up to the Romanian revolution in December 1989 – to the frequent and considerable discomfort of the Kremlin.

The second level of confrontation existed within the Warsaw Pact, where Romania was relentless in seeking to liberate the Eastern European allies from Moscow’s dominance almost from the moment it signed the Warsaw Treaty in May 1955 (thereby reinforcing and even guaranteeing its own independence). It did this by insisting on a democratization of the Warsaw Pact that would decentralize power within the alliance and rotate its leadership, thus transforming it from an instrument of Soviet military policy into a genuine coalition of equal partners with an equal share in alliance decisionmaking. By 1988 it was even advocating a complete restructuring that would end its role as a military-political alliance and the main official coordinating body for Soviet Bloc foreign and security policies.

The Romania-advocated transformation of the Soviet alliance so radically shifted the priorities within the alliance from military-political to socio-economic – even to the point of excluding participation of defense ministers and military officers – that it would have required a complete rewriting of the Warsaw Treaty itself. If achieved, it also would have subordinated theretofore preeminent military aims of the alliance to a political and socio-economic agenda. As the Hungarian leadership reported of the Romanian reform initiative at the time:

The Romanian side will probably try to focus attention on the proposals the Romanian Communist Party has forwarded to the sister parties in the subject of transforming the Warsaw Treaty. These modifications affecting the roles of the political organizations – the admission of Yugoslavia and Albania to the Warsaw Treaty – are essentially aimed at, and may lead to, the revision of the original treaty.[3]

On Moscow’s instruction, the loyalist members fought the initiative tooth and nail. According to Hungarian reports, however, Bucharest’s argumentation was proving an irresistible force. As Foreign Minister Gyula Horn underscored at a meeting of his country’s Politburo in mid-1989:

Let’s not go down the same road that the Romanian have proposed to take, namely that we should add to the agenda the questions of socialist construction, i.e. the experiences of building socialism at home, along with the questions of economic cooperation within the framework of the Warsaw Treaty; I’m sorry to say that several Warsaw Treaty countries have embraced the proposal. … [W]e are opposed to what has been written down [in the proposal], and we do not endorse it under any circumstances.[4]

The Soviet leadership saw “democratization” of the Warsaw Pact in entirely different light than did their Romanian counterparts. The Kremlin’s perspective would have allowed the USSR to preserve the bloc-to-bloc character of the East-West relationship and to strengthen the integration of the Warsaw Pact under Soviet control, thus facilitating the long-term survivability of the Soviet empire in Eastern Europe. It is difficult to ascertain whether and to what degree Romania’s campaigning played a part in the failure of that Soviet project. However, given that Moscow pursued such preferences even at this late date suggests that continued Romanian opposition did play some role in blocking them.

At the end of the 1980s only a member of the Warsaw Pact this struggle could have carried out such a campaign. Had the United States evinced the slightest interest in the democratization of the Warsaw Pact during the period of Gorbachev’s reforms it is likely that the process of ending the Cold War peacefully would have come to a screeching halt. In order to advance the larger goal, the United States had to back off this aspect of its long-standing policy of differentiation. And this shift was made public in April 1989 when President George Bush, Sr. announced the U.S. decision to drop security, foreign and economic policy independence from the Soviet Union as one of the two main elements that earned U.S. support, assistance and friendship, and to focus instead on the internal liberalization within each individual Warsaw Pact state.[5] As the President’s National Security Adviser, Brent Scowcroft, later explained:

[W]e changed our priorities with how we looked at the Soviet Union – or at Eastern Europe. Before we had favored those countries in Eastern Europe that were making the most trouble for the Soviet Union, the most restive, the most cantankerous, and so on, so that Ceauşescu’s Romania was at the top of the list. And instead, what we focused our attention on were those who were trying to liberalize and change the system. So Romania went from the top of our favored list to the bottom, and Poland came up to the top.[6]

This was devastating for the immediate future of the U.S.-Romanian relationship – a relationship already savaged by a combination of Soviet-coordinated disinformation, the illiberal domestic policies of the Romanian Communist regime, and the apparently accelerating decline of Romanian administrative capacities. Whereas Romania’s role on the first two strategic and alliance levels of confrontation was not only constructive and effective but essentially aligned it with broad U.S. policy during most of the Cold War, the struggle on the third, state level, requiring liberalization within each socialist country, had always been a bone of contention between Bucharest and Washington. The battles that Bucharest had fought and continued to fight on the strategic  and alliance levels had little or no echo here.

Unfortunately, the residual popular support for the western-oriented independent policies pursued up until the early 1980s by the Romanian leadership, ill-served the process of domestic power sharing and decentralization later in the decade. Thus, there were virtually no signs of any grass roots-driven liberalization of the Polish variety. Nor was there any Soviet-approved top-down liberalization to regain regime legitimacy, as in Hungary after the crushing of the 1956 revolt and the brutal ‘normalization’ that followed. On the contrary, the Romanian Communist regime gave every sign of misinterpreting popular support for events and orientations past as a blanket approval for domestic policies and new strategic orientations that generated no corresponding legitimacy, on the contrary.

In great contrast to its constructive and often inspired foreign and security policies, Romanian domestic policy seemed ossified in an early stage of developmental dictatorship that allowed for little reform and even less liberalization in the closing years of the Cold War. Soviet and Pact disinformation, prior cognitive biases in the West, and new U.S. interest in supporting Gorbachev against critics in the USSR and Eastern Europe narrowly focused Western attention on this most vulnerable and blameworthy component of Romanian policy. Meanwhile, Soviet active measures successfully obscured Romanian strategic and intra-alliance initiatives, from two different directions.

Along one tangent, active measures misrepresented Bucharest as advocating other, and often diametrically opposite, policies and/or obstructing the very policies it was advocating in fact. The second line of active measures facilitated “prestige building” operations for favored allies by re-attributing Romanian reform initiatives to them. Thus, even when those initiatives were known to the West, Romanian authorship of them often was not.

This Soviet active measures effort was extremely successful. For example, although Budapest rigorously followed Moscow’s lead on foreign and security policy, by the July 1989 Warsaw Pact summit (the Meeting of the Political Consultative Committee or PCC), more than one Western analyst believed that Hungary had “already gone the farthest in gradually detaching itself from the Warsaw Pact.”[7] Less than six weeks before, Foreign Minister Horn stated to an approving Hungarian Politburo that, “regarding the future of the Warsaw Treaty, we agree only on those things, which the Soviets also agree upon.”[8] And five months later, in December 1989, Hungarian officials extolled the virtues of “staying in the Warsaw Pact.”[9]

Together with Prague, Budapest was also credited with going the “farthest in advocating the abolition of the military structures of the Warsaw Pact.”[10] This was a role that, according to available Warsaw Pact documents, no Hungarian or Czechoslovak leadership had ever pursued prior to 1990.[11] However, it was a familiar role for Bucharest. One that, according to the proceedings of various Warsaw Pact meetings, the Romanians performed in opposition to all of the other Pact members until their revolution.[12] After the leadership pursuing it had been safely removed at the end of 1989, the rest of the Warsaw Pact simply misattributed the Romanian reform proposal – “dissolution of the Unified Armed Forces, placing the armed forces under national command only, defense of national territory as the only alliance obligation, transformation of the Staff of the Unified Armed Forces into a Coordinating Group” – to Czechoslovakia and Hungary.[13]

As virtually all of the aspects of Romanian security and foreign policy were being systematically reattributed to Soviet loyalist regimes with the help of the Soviet-Warsaw Pact active measures apparatus, the country and its regime were studiously re-projected as advocating almost exactly the opposite of what they had for the last quarter of a century. From the only Pact member that refused to blame and condemn the United States, West Germany and NATO it became the Bloc member that most hated Washington, Bonn and Brussels. From the state that pioneered relations with Western Europe and with the EEC especially, it became the most anti-European of all. From the only alliance member to condemn Soviet-led military invasions and reject the Brezhnev Doctrine, it became the champion of military invasion in Europe and against its own allies. Of course, it had not actually become any of these things. But those were the images projected by the Soviet disinformation apparatus with remarkable success in the West.

Preparing the Terrain for Violence

One of the most effective allegations that could be leveled against Romania during the late Cold War was that of minority discrimination. However, the reason for the effectiveness of such allegations had less to do with exceptional minority abuse than it did the twin facts that, first, almost all states are organized to serve the wants and needs of their majority population primarily and, second, because of the near-universal tendency to favor members of one’s own ethnic, cultural or religious group more than “outsiders.” Thus, there is a discriminatory impulse embedded within virtually every state edifice and within the individuals that people it. Yes, there was minority discrimination in Romania. But was it official policy? And was it more egregious than elsewhere in the Soviet Bloc?

As a proxy for its no-longer-legitimate territorial demands on Transylvania, Budapest had launched a long-term campaign already by the end of the 1940s portraying Romanian authorities as abusing the ethnic Hungarian minority in that region.[14] While those efforts fell on fallow ground, especially from the period of the show trials at the start of the 1950s and through the brutal normalization following Moscow’s suppression of the Hungarian revolt into the early 1960s, they re-emerged with a vengeance – and with the support of Hungarian-American organizations in the United States – during 1963-1965.[15] By the start of the 1970s, the allegation that Romania was committing “cultural genocide” against its ethnic Hungarian minority became the battle-cry of officials in Budapest and was taken up by influential Hungarian-American organizations in the United States, most clearly and insistently expressed in the annual Congressional hearings on Romania’s Most Favored Nation status, newly-conferred in 1975.[16]

Repeatedly during the 1970s the U.S. Congress and U.S. State Department conducted separate inquiries and investigations into alleged brutality and discrimination and, just as frequent, assessed the allegations as without foundation. Paradoxically, throughout the 1970s, Romanian treatment of its ethnic and religious minorities rivaled that of Budapest in its permissiveness. Leading Hungarian-American organizations in the United States, also sharing Budapest’s belief in a need for a reconsideration of the Romanian-Hungarian border, were not swayed by evidence to the contrary, particularly since allegations of Romanian abuse against ethnic Hungarians conformed to much older cognitive biases.[17]

The persistence of these allegations and the political influence of those making them prompted the U.S. Administration and U.S. Congress to launch their own inquiries. As the State Department noted in June 1980:

We also reviewed concerns regarding the treatment of national minorities, in particular the Hungarian ethnic group. In this connection US Embassy officers have again visited areas of Romania with a large Hungarian-speaking population. While it appears that instances of discrimination at the local level exist, our Embassy assessment indicates that there is no evidence to support reports of a policy of discrimination by the Romanian Government against Romania’s ethnic Hungarian minority.[18]

Likewise, a Congressional study group from the Trade Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee was sent to Transylvania in late April 1980 to investigate Hungarian and Hungarian-American allegations of brutal minority repression. The group, led by David Rohr, visited Târgu Mureş, Sfântul Gheorghe and Cluj-Napoca, and met with a broad range of community leaders, including Karol Király.[19] The Congressional inquiry concluded that there was no observable evidence of “cultural genocide” nor did Romanian state authorities “ appear to be suppressing [the Hungarian minority] in a direct manner as a matter of policy.”[20]

With the dually-named Committee for Human Rights in Rumania/Hungarian Human Rights Association (CHRR/HHRA) in the vanguard, several Hungarian-American organizations sought to discredit these investigations as having been manipulated by Romanian authorities.[21] For example, insisting that ethnic Hungarians in Romania regularly informed his organization of gross discrimination and abuse, CHRR/HHRA leader Laszlo Hamos then argued tautologically that his sources should be trusted because persons suffering such gross abuse would be unlikely to prevaricate. Senator Charles Vanik, one of the sponsors of the amendment linking more liberal emigration policy with MFN status, underscored that, on the contrary, first-hand observations and inquiries by U.S. officials were more persuasive than the hearsay accounts offered by the CHRR/HHRA and other individuals and organizations.[22]

Laszlo Hamos countered that his sources be given precedence over the findings of Congressional study groups (or State Department investigations) since “most of the elements of discrimination and denationalization campaign in Romania do not lend themselves to on-the-spot observations, especially not by highly exposed Western delegations whose every step is carefully watched either overtly or covertly.”[23] Therefore, Hamos argued, the U.S. Congress would be better served by relying on the writings of “several local dissident Hungarian leaders” – published in English translation – and “instead of relying on secondhand observations and generalizations by foreign delegations which visit Transylvania under restricted circumstances, to pay close heed to those voices which emanate from within Romania itself.”[24] During the first half of the 1980s, the degenerating internal situation and increasing isolation of Romania lent credence to such allegations, which now encountered diminishing Congressional and State Department resistance.[25]

By 1987 the theme that Romania’s allegedly brutal treatment of its minorities was about to result in an outbreak of ‘justifiable’ terrorism in Transylvania was vigorously pressed and widely disseminated by Bloc-wide active measures. For example, the largest circulation Finnish newspaper reported that ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania were being “be converted to terrorists” and would soon “begin hitting international targets,” just like “the Basques, Armenians and Palestinians, because domestic oppression” meted out by authorities in Bucharest made terrorism “a logical alternative.”[26]

The Hungarian Embassy in Romania continued to disseminate these active measures just as it had when former Hungarian intelligence chief Sandor Rajnai served as Ambassador in Bucharest (during 1978-1982). In 1988 Ambassador Pal Szűcs brought János Fazekas, an ethnic Hungarian and former Romanian deputy prime minister, to a meeting Szűcs had arranged with the Israeli Ambassador in Bucharest. The meeting was extraordinary, and not only because it revealed official Hungarian sponsorship for separatist militancy in Romania. Since Hungary did not even have diplomatic relations with Israel such a meeting would have been impossible in any other Warsaw Pact state.

Szűcs and Fazekas recounted the tale of “cultural genocide” to the Israeli diplomat, insisting that Romania’s “alleged anti-Hungarian ‘repression’” was akin to Nazi-era anti-Semitism and predicting that it would compel ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania to rise up and cause blood to “flow in the streets.”[27] Budapest maintained this apocalyptic line even after 1989, predicting an inevitable “system of violence” that would result in the “killing of people, massacres – from ethnic cleansing to certain kinds of persecution,” and “uncontrolled migration within the region and out of the region,” if autonomy were not granted Transylvania.[28]

Szűcs cultivated the Israeli Ambassador partly in order to drive a wedge between Tel Aviv and Bucharest and advance the general goal of isolating Romania from its international partners, and partly for the specific goal of undermining Romanian efforts at advancing the peace process in the Middle East.[29] The extravagant likening of the plight of the ethnic Hungarians in Romania to that of the Jews during the Holocaust was one way of pursuing these goals. Another was to orchestrate the condemnation of Romanian minority policies by leading rejectionists in the Palestinian Liberation Organization as a means of discrediting Bucharest’s involvement in Middle East mediation.

Demonstrative in this regard was the August 1988 interview that Yasir Arafat’s security intelligence chief in the PLO, Abu Iyad (Salah Khalaf), gave in English to the Hungarian Press Agency MTI for English-speaking audiences.[30] Employing Budapest’s now standard charge of “cultural genocide,” Iyad called for Romania’s exclusion from the Middle East peace process.[31] Iyad, a vocal supporter of the Arab Rejectionist Front, was working constantly to block Arab-Israeli negotiations at the time. His attitudes and behavior were well suited to his recruitment by the KGB as one of its agents, code-named KOCHUBEY.[32] Reportedly, Soviet authorities introduced the PLO security chief to the terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez – “Carlos the Jackal” – while both were in Moscow in 1979, and the two conspired to assassinate the moderate King Hussein of Jordan.[33]

Iyad could not have been more explicit in signaling his purpose of discrediting Bucharest as a mediator in the Middle East.  After accusing the Romanians of committing “a sin” against the Palestinians by allegedly treating “the Transylvanian Hungarians as cruelly as the Israelis treat us in the occupied territories,” the KGB’s top agent in the PLO declared for the Hungarian Party’s press service that he was:

…at a loss to understand how a socialist country can take such drastic measures as the razing of [Hungarian] villages, which has nothing to do with Marxism and socialism. I would like to tell you that I have sympathy for the Transylvanian Hungarians, who suffer like the Palestinian people under military occupation. They are forced to flee from their native land, which is expropriated; their villages are destroyed; and they are deprived of their cultural and national identity.[34]

In fact, not a single Hungarian (or other minority ethnic) village was ever destroyed or modified in any way under the “systematization” program, despite Budapest’s continued insistence that it was a plan for “the destruction of Hungarian villages.”[35] Despite scores of Hungarian press reports and articles, Hungary received no refugees from destroyed Hungarian (or Saxon or Serbian) villages for the simple reason that Ceauşescu had excluded Transylvania from the “systematization” process already in 1987, informing Budapest of his decision by 1988.[36] Hungarian officials, and Hungarian-American organizations, simply ignored these assurances and continued to describe the program – which affected three ethnic Romanian villages between Bucharest proper and the main airport during 1986-1990 – as one designed for the “destruction of Hungarian villages.”[37] Having set out this active measures theme, Iyad stated his view that:

[Romanian policies in Transylvania] bode no good for Ceauşescu’s mediation between us and Israel, since a country can only act against oppression and hostilities after putting their [sic] own house in order … If they are unable to solve their own problems, how could they help in settling the Israeli-Palestinian and Israeli-Arab conflict?[38]

As one Radio Free Europe analyst observed, Iyad’s claim that Romanian mediation in the Middle East was “no longer desirable” and his attack on Romania in “such an emphatic, not to say exaggerated, fashion,” may have been prompted by some “special incentive” offered by “Hungary or the USSR.”[39] It certainly did not reflect the perceptions or thinking of ruling elites in Israel and Egypt.[40]

Hungary and the ‘Aggressive Romanian Military Threat’: June 1989

During the late 1980s allegations of Romania’s terrorism-provoking nationalism and aggressive military impulse were so persistently repeated and widely disseminated as to persuade many Western intelligence services that a domestic military coup and chauvinist attack against ethnic Hungarians (and other minority groups) in Transylvania were quite possible.[41] According to a mid-1988 assessment by the CIA, for example, a “widespread uprising” resulting in “near-anarchy could lead to a seizure of power by the military,” while domestic violence could “turn into ethnic violence directed at the Hungarian minority in Transylvania.”[42] The assessment continued that only “incipient anarchy” – or a threat “to remove Romania from the Warsaw Pact” – would render Soviet military intervention a “plausible contingency.”[43]

CIA analysts also expressed the belief that succession “may invite East-West rivalry as Moscow attempts to reassert influence” over the regime “most defiant of Soviet strictures,” and that even moderate disorder “would offer [Moscow] opportunities for restoring lost influence.”[44] However, the CIA then affirmed somewhat contradictorily that “Romania’s problems were homegrown,” as if Soviet efforts to impose its influence and control on Bucharest were unrelated to Romania’s problems.[45]

In mid-June 1989, Hungarian Politburo member and reform economist Imre Poszgay publicly confirmed one of the circumstances that would provoke an incursion by the Soviet Army within the Bloc:

A Soviet military intervention could occur in only one case: the outbreak of a civil war, which would threaten the security of Europe by upsetting the balance of forces. This is a danger that we can avert if we  here are able to bring about a phase of peaceful transition.[46]

Privately, Hungarian authorities suspected as late as November that an attempt to leave the Warsaw Pact would provoke Soviet military intervention.[47] Central Committee International Department chief Mátyás Szűrös, who since March was also speaker for the Hungarian Parliament, informed an RFE journalist in July 1989 that “the Soviet Union considers it essential for Romania to remain a [member of] the Warsaw Pact” and its “priority is to maintain the [present] system of alliances for as long as NATO exists,” rather explicitly suggesting that Moscow would not tolerate Romania’s departure from the Warsaw Pact.[48]

Indeed, Soviet military standing orders for its units in the Odessa Military District, which Romanian intelligence obtained during the mid-1980s, indicated exactly the same two precipitants for a military (or paramilitary) intervention into Romania identified by the CIA – an attempt to leave the Warsaw Pact or general instability.[49]  According to former Deputy Soviet Foreign Minister Ivan Aboimov, who in December 1989 was also the Warsaw Pact Secretary General and the head of the Crisis Cell on Romania (together with the Chief of the Soviet Army’s General Staff, Mikhail Moiseyev, and KGB foreign intelligence chief Leonid Shebarshin), the Romanian debate over the possible public release of this document prompted Moscow to rush the declassification of the December 24, 1989 meeting in which Ambassador Jack Matlock expressed U.S. understanding of a possible Soviet intervention following U.S. Secretary of State James Baker’s apparent acknowledgment of the same on U.S. television earlier that day.[50]

Moscow quite evidently became so dedicated to this bit of “transparency” as a means of preempting reputational and possible political repercussions should knowledge of Soviet contingency plans regarding Romania become public.[51] Unsurprisingly, Aboimov failed to note that the White House officially denounced (i.e. “clarified”) Baker’s statement (thus underscoring the questionable nature of the State Department instructions to Matlock to make that approach) the following day.[52] The controversy over how those instructions were generated and transmitted continued to be debated among U.S. principles within diplomatic and intelligence circles into the new millennium.[53]

Prior to the advent of Mikhail Gorbachev at the helm of the Soviet state the U.S. intelligence and academic communities were well aware of the fact that Moscow drew up contingency plans for militarily intervening anywhere within the bloc when Soviet control came under threat.[54] Having closely observed preparations for such intervention in 1956, 1968, and 1980-1981 (as well as those related to the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979), U.S. analysts had a fairly accurate grasp of how such operations were orchestrated and even what types of military and paramilitary units were likely to be employed. Policy, however, sometimes exerts a distorting influence over analysis. By the end of the 1980s there was – and, interestingly, continues to be – a generalized reluctance to acknowledge that Moscow had contingency plans for intervening militarily within the Soviet bloc that would become operational when general instability or leadership deviance threatened Moscow’s control.

In contrast, an entire mythology was created to justify the “need” to intervene in Romania ranging from genocidal human rights violations to aggressive military preparations against its neighbors and threats to the security of Europe.[55] Alleged Romanian violence against its citizens seeking to escape the country covered both ends of this spectrum. The Hungarian media printed numerous reports claiming that scores and even hundreds were killed while attempting to flee Romania, even after they had reached the Hungarian side of the frontier.[56] Such reporting in the local and central media, common enough during 1988 and 1989, implied that Romanian authorities were responsible for killing refugees within Hungary – an act of war requiring forceful response – consequently inciting anti-Romanian sentiment.

On more than one occasion some Hungarian authorities publicly denied these reports, suggesting an internal split along “hawk” and “dove” lines. Interestingly, the suggested pattern was one of coercive institution (police and military) “doves” and party and political leader “hawks” (in both the parliament and government). The Hungarian police, for instance, issued a public denial regarding January 1989 reports from the Hungarian Democratic Forum (which formed Hungary’s first non-Communist government) to the head of the National Assembly claiming that the bodies of eighteen “escapees from Romania” had been found at the frontier.[57]

Such denials by necessity appeared in later editions and broadcasts, and rarely as a lead story. In the meantime, the reputational damage had been done. As one CIA analyst observed, “once the bell has rung, it cannot be unrung.”[58] And Hungarian audiences were imprinted with images of refugees stumbling across the bodies of dead children on the Romanian-Hungarian border, where crows were “already picking at their corpses.”[59]

Soviet, Hungarian and other Warsaw Pact sources reported a “rush to the exits” that had Romanians of all ethnicities fleeing the country under a hail of fire.[60] These reports then re-surfaced in Western media, including Radio Free Europe analyses, alleging, for example, that “the Romanian-Yugoslav border had become the bloodiest in Europe” and that some 400 Romanian citizens had been shot while trying to escape to Yugoslavia.[61] According to one RFE analyst there was even a “spill-over effect across the Romanian-Soviet border” that confronted “Soviet authorities with the unprecedented problem of how to deal with refugees from a neighboring communist country” and compelled Moscow to seek “solutions to the ethnic and social tension behind it.”[62]

However, as another journalist noted, it was “difficult to reconcile these stories with the fact that some 6,500 people managed to escape illegally in 1988 by crossing the border into Hungary.”[63] Rather than questioning why such allegations might be made, given that so many similar reports regarding the Hungarian border had proven false repeatedly, the journalist suggested instead that the “inconsistency itself could possibly have been devised [by Bucharest] to keep the would-be escapees as insecure as possible.”[64] Thus, Romania authorities were alleged to be responsible for spreading false stories of their own brutality at the border in the international media in order to discourage citizens from attempting escape. The simpler explanation, that those reports were intended to discredit Romania and to advance the interests of Budapest and Moscow as opposed to those of Bucharest, was deemed far-fetched.

Of course, successful propagation of the image of Romanian violence, especially anti-minoritarian violence, suited those members of the Hungarian leadership in Budapest seeking support for a transfer of sovereignty over the region of Transylvania; if not to Hungary than at least away from Romania. Such allegations were anchored to a scenario of increasing violence, and neither Hungarian nor Soviet sources were reticent in making explicit references to its inevitability. Indeed, throughout this period Soviet and other Warsaw Pact media were consistently prejudicial in their coverage of Hungarian-Romanian tensions, ignoring or deriding Romanian positions and denials while giving full voice and support to Hungarian allegations.[65]

In August 1988, for example, Hungarian television invited Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovsky and Soviet Historian Roy Medvedev for a discussion regarding the necessity of territorial autonomy for the ethnic Hungarians of Transylvania.[66]  The Soviet diplomat likened “Romanian-Hungarian tension and the nationality situation in Transylvania to the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh,” over which Azeris and Armenians were already violently clashing in 1988.[67] Devolving into full-scale war, the death toll of that conflict would reach 28,000-38,000 by the early 1990s.

Medvedev took the Romanian regime to task for alleged “repression of the Hungarian minority” and then advocated the reconstitution of Stalin’s “Autonomous Region in Transylvania” as the solution the problem.[68] Reinstatement of the autonomous region thenceforth became a slogan that Hungarian leaders would repeat through Romania’s December 1989 Revolution and well into the new millennium. Stalin had originally imposed the Hungarian Autonomous Region on Bucharest in order to better control the Romanians (and Hungarians); not to extend human and civil rights guarantees to beleaguered populations.[69]

In July 1989, after insisting that the extension of Hungarian sovereignty over Romania’s ethnic Hungarians “did not imply revisionist intentions” – Budapest having proclaimed its “duty to feel responsible for Hungarians who had found themselves living outside Hungary’s present borders after the First and Second World Wars” – as Mátyás Szűrös xpressed to a Radio Free Europe journalist his belief that “the best solution to the problem would have been to grant Transylvania ‘autonomy’ after World War II.”[70] Seemingly lost to the Hungarian speaker was the fact that the wartime occupation of that region by Hungary had resulted in the complete disenfranchisement of the Romanian majority, the confiscation of their property, and a systematic execution of the elites in Romanian settlements.[71]

Szűrös avoided specifying “what kind of autonomy he had in mind” when pressed by the journalist, claiming instead that Hungary did not suffer from the blight of extreme chauvinism while insisting that Romania pursued such policies towards its minorities and towards all of its neighbors:

We must do everything to protect the equal rights of the Hungarian national minority in Transylvania …In Hungary there are, in fact, no truly irredentist or revisionist tendencies. It is, however, possible that nationalism is present in the minds of some individuals or within small groups. This is not the problem. The problem begins when nationalism is raised to the status of official policy. This is what has happened in Romania. Romanian policies are not only anti-Hungarian but are also directed against the Soviet Union and against the southern Slavs.[72]

One of the first measures undertaken at the start of the December Revolution by then-President Mátyás Szűrös was to unilaterally abrogate the 1948 Hungarian-Romanian Friendship and Cooperation Treaty that formally established the frontier between the two states.[73] According to President Szűrös, Hungary could now with “clear conscience” support and assist Transylvania to “become an autonomous region” with its “rightful independence.”[74] Side-stepping the question from a New York Times correspondent as to the purpose of abrogating the only agreement in which Budapest officially recognized the post-WW II Hungarian-Romanian border, Foreign Minister (and former International Department security section head) Gyula Horn claimed that the “the bases which created the agreement have ceased,” rendering its further existence “untenable.”[75]

A principal active measures theme propounded throughout 1989 was that of the rising Romanian military threat towards various other Warsaw Pact members. In discussion with his Western and Israeli colleagues in Bucharest, for example, Hungarian Ambassador Szűcs insisted on an impending Romanian armed aggression against his country, claiming that the Romanian Army had been placed on alert “several times” in preparation for such an offensive.[76] First introduced during the Polish crisis of 1980, by May 1989 the Soviet active measures theme that Ceauşescu secretly advocated military intervention against other alliance members in the service of ideological orthodoxy was now becoming a regular feature of Western analyses.[77]

During the spring and summer of 1989, Mátyás Szűrös, Gyula Horn, Géza Kótai, and Csaba Tabajdi; all senior alumni from the Hungarian communist party’s (HSWP) International Department – the Central Committee’s coordinating center for Hungarian active measures – repeatedly claimed on-going atrocity and aggressive Romanian military preparations, setting the stage for confrontation and justifying beforehand forceful counter-measures. In mid-June 1989, Tabajdi, the deputy chief of the International Department’s section for relations with ruling parties, told the Italian journal La Stampa that “the great majority of Hungarians know that an attack would not come from the west but from the southeast,” in other words, from Romania.[78]

HSWP Politburo member Imre Poszgay, soon to become deputy head of the HSWP in its new incarnation as the Hungarian Socialist Party, seconded Tabajdi, explaining that the “radical revision” of Hungarian Defense Policy had been driven by Budapest’s “recognition that any foreseeable attack” would originate from Romania and not from NATO.[79]

As one RFE analyst observed, the new Hungarian military strategy necessitated the redeployment of “troops that for four decades have been stationed on the frontier with Austria” in the west towards the “southeast region”; thus “from the frontier with Austria to that with Romania.”[80] Tabajdi received a slap on the wrist from the Hungarian communist leadership following his statements to La Stampa. Ironically, he did not receive it for misrepresenting Hungarian policy but for revealing that policy to foreign observers. While Tabajdi’s immediate boss, Geza Kótai, noted that his subordinate had “not invented anything new,” Szűrös explained that “Tabajdi had made a ‘tactical error’ in talking about such matters while he was abroad.”[81]

The Romanian Nuclear Threat

In May 1989, when the Hungarian Ambassador in Bucharest first accused the Romanian Armed Forces of preparing to attack his country, Budapest began claiming that Bucharest was developing nuclear warheads and acquiring missile systems in order to use against Hungary.[82] Although treated lightly by Western analysts, these allegations had deadly serious implications under international law. After denying Romania co-belligerent status in spite of its contribution of over 540,000 troops (incurring more than 169,000 casualties) during the last eight months of World War II, Soviet authorities had imposed a number of restrictions upon their new partner as former “ally of Hitlerite Germany” in the 1947 Peace Treaty. Article 14 of that Treaty specifically states that Romania “shall not possess, construct or experiment with any atomic weapon, any self-propelled or guided missiles or apparatus connected with their discharge.”[83] Thus, independent acquisition of a nuclear weapon or a medium-range missile to carry one, by whatever means, unilaterally abrogated the Treaty, including its second article returning northern Transylvania, which had been under Hungarian occupation during 1940-1944, to Romania.[84]

Almost simultaneously a sensational report was published in a popular West German journal alleging that the Munich-based firm Messerschmidt-Bölkow-Blohm (MBB) was constructing a “huge” intermediate-range nuclear missile factory in Romania.[85] Appearing several weeks after Ceauşescu’s latest public declaration that “from a technical standpoint, we have the capacity to manufacture nuclear arms,” the story exploited that comment as proof of an alleged nuclear weapons development program, while conveniently eliding over the immediately following restatement of his country’s policy for nuclear disarmament and the destruction of nuclear weapons.[86]

The American Intelligence Community had, in fact, been aware that “Romania had the capacity to go nuclear” if it chose to do so since at least 1964.[87] However, Washington was not unduly concerned because Bucharest had already informed President Kennedy in October 1963 that Romania did not and would not permit nuclear weapons on its territory, and had even invited the United States to send its own teams to verify that fact.[88] The same insistence on Romania’s option to pursue the peaceful use of nuclear power was expressed clearly to Averell Harriman by the president of Romania’s State Committee for Nuclear Energy, Gheorghe Gaston Marin in May 1964. As Gaston Marin explained, his country had significant uranium deposits, “which it prefers to put into electric power rather than in fissionable material.”[89] On this point Romanian declaratory policy and actual behavior showed   remarkable consistency.

A decade later, in the mid-1970s, Ceauşescu made his first public declaration regarding Romania’s ability to develop a nuclear weapon if it so desired.[90] In 1976 American analysts again concluded without any particular concern that if Romania so desired it could   acquire the necessary expertise and equipment within a few years from either Western suppliers like West Germany, Great Britain or France, or from the People’s Republic of China.[91] Indeed, West Germany, Great Britain and other NATO allies provided Romania with components for its nuclear program under U.S. authorization; with Henry Kissinger personally signing off on some of the transfers.[92]

U.S. authorities proceeded from three basic assumptions regarding Romanian nuclear aims. Two of them, “to acquire technology necessary to ensure internal manufacturing capability for all nuclear power requirements” and “to develop export capability in field of nuclear power generation systems,” reflected accurately Bucharest’s position as stated to Washington.[93] The third possible aim, never expressed as an intention by Bucharest, “to preserve and strengthen option of producing nuclear weapons at some unforeseen point in the future,” was an unverifiable but logical U.S. postulate – and specifically noted as such in U.S. assessment, which also noted the pledge of some Romanian authorities that their country would “never go this route.”[94]

Ceauşescu very consistently underscored that he could guarantee Romanian policy only for the foreseeable future, and that radical changes in the international environment could always prompt corresponding modifications the policy of his country under future leadership. Even with that hypothetical possibility, however, the United States still considered support of Romania’s nuclear program worth the risk. Driving that calculation in the late 1970s was more than 15 years of responsible Romanian international behavior. According to the U.S. assessment in 1976:

Considering these Romanian objectives, including the possibility that GOR [Government of Romania] may later elect to develop nuclear weapons, we still believe that our assistance to GOR’s nuclear power program will on balance strongly promote our bilateral and regional interests. … We judge from our assessment of Romanian capabilities that, if Romania were to opt to produce nuclear weapon, it can acquire necessary know-how and materiel over reasonably short span of years from Western suppliers such as Germans, British, or French, or even Chinese. …[And] we would argue that we should provide equipment and technology to Romania under conditions no more rigorous nor restrictive than we apply to other non-nuclear weapon states, in other words that we do not discriminate against Romania.[95]

The American gamble paid off. Throughout the rest of the Cold War Romania never faltered in its militancy for the reduction and destruction of all nuclear weapons, and it never acquired the bomb. Moreover, Romanian archives confirm that the anti-nuclear militancy of the regime was not only pursued “for show,” in international forums like the United Nations. Bucharest’s campaign for the halting, reduction and elimination of nuclear arms was consistently evident in senior leadership discussions with Europeans on both sides of the curtain, with China, with the Soviet Union, with the North Americans, and with the leaders of the developing world.[96] Thus, Ceauşescu’s very clear statement in July 1984 that “if we wanted to manufacture a nuclear weapon today, we could do so,” provoked very little concern in Washington.[97] As usual, the Romanian leader immediately followed up that statement with a reaffirmation of his country’s policy against the acquisition and stockpiling of nuclear weapons, and for their reduction globally and their complete withdrawal from Europe.

Romanian declarations on this point remained highly credible to U.S. administrations and other Western leaders because of their consistency ever since Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej first called for de-escalation and disarmament at the January 1965 summit of the Warsaw Pact, and because Bucharest showed no interest in acquiring Soviet nuclear missiles after the Cuban Missile Crisis and never hosted any Soviet nuclear devices.       The veracity of its public positions is attested in Communist-era archives of the other alliance members, which demonstrate Bucharest’s persistent and singular campaign for nuclear de-escalation and disarmament within Warsaw Pact councils from the 1960s through the 1980s.[98]

Likewise, there was no claim of intent in Ceauşescu’s August 1988 declaration to Karoly Grosz, Hungary’s communist party leader and Prime Minister, that Romania had the capacity and know-how “to produce and manufacture anything, even nuclear devices.”[99] Nor was such intent expressed in his April 1989 statement to the Plenum of the Democracy and Socialist Unity Front that: “From the technical perspective, we have the capacity to build nuclear arms.”[100] Only through the most selective “cherry-picking” of the documentary evidence and deliberate misrepresentation could Ceauşescu’s speech be interpreted as indicating any intent to pursue or acquire a nuclear weapon. A fuller citation from that speech makes this clear. According to the Romanian leader:

We can produce any kind of equipment. … There is, however, a single domain in which we do not want to produce anything: the domain of nuclear armament. Yes, we have the technological capacity; but we will not set out upon this path because we are firmly opposed to nuclear weapons whose use would mean the destruction of life on our planet; and we seek the elimination of nuclear weapons from all states of the world and we want a world without weapons and war.[101]

In fact, every one of Ceauşescu’s assertions regarding Romanian ability to produce a nuclear weapon also stipulated that his country would not do so because it opposed their very existence. Privately with other world leaders, and with the Canadian firm that was building the CANDU reactor in Romania, Ceauşescu was even more frank. The policy of his country, like that of any other state, was conditioned by international circumstances and leadership preferences. Consequently, one could not swear the same policy would hold from one millennium to the next. As Ceausescu phrased it: “We do not have that intention now. But what will happen in the year 2000 is hard to say. No one can give guarantees regarding what will be in the year 2000.”[102]

At the same time, the Romanian leader very clearly pledged to the Canadians that they would never have to worry that their nuclear technology was used to produce a Romanian nuclear weapon:

I can guarantee that you will never face the accusation that due to this reactor, Romania has obtained a nuclear bomb. Nuclear energy is not used by Romania for other than peaceful purposes.[103]

In 1992, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a finding of “non-compliance” against Romania, placing it among the ranks of the “rogue states” (consisting at the time of Iraq, and later of North Korea, Iran, Libya and Syria as well). It appears, however, that the finding of non-compliance was issued only at the insistence of Romanian officials for evidently political purposes. According to Mohammed ElBaradei, then legal advisor to the IAEA secretariat and future IAEA director general, “following Ceauşescu’s ouster, the new government requested a special inspection to show that, under Ceauşescu’s rule, Romania had reprocessed one hundred milligrams of plutonium without informing the IAEA.”[104] This plutonium, one-tenth the amount (1 gram) that required mandatory reporting to the IAEA, had been separated from spent fuel in December 1985 and then apparently forgotten until it was discovered by the new nuclear program authorities in April 1992.

Some Romanian officials and media then extrapolated an entire “secret” nuclear weapons program from this incident, insisting that the former regime, in fact, that Romania, be condemned for it.[105] In another uncharacteristic demonstration of voluntary transparency, Russian intelligence declassified its report of a vast Romanian covert weapons acquisition program that allegedly began in 1985 and would have achieved a bomb by 2000.[106] Russian intelligence (and a part of the Romanian media) then insisted that the alleged “secret program” had been made possible only because the United States had supplied the reactor and the highly enriched uranium fuel (HEU) for it at the end of the 1970s.[107]

However, subsequent research at the IAEA has revealed that Bucharest’s experimentation was not nearly so covert as claimed by authorities in 1992. In fact, the Romanians had gone about it in exactly the right way, formally requesting a safeguards exemption for experimentation on a specific quantity of spent fuel.[108] And the IAEA had granted that exemption.[109]

In addition, the spent fuel used in the experiment had no connection whatsoever to the HEU provided by the United States, as Russian intelligence insisted. The spent fuel was provided by the Soviet Union, and its transfer to Romania had been officiated by the IAEA itself.[110] Romania had neither attempted to conceal its experimentation with spent fuel from the IAEA nor misused any of the HEU provided by the United States.

Moreover, the experiment that yielded 100 milligrams of plutonium was conducted only once.[111] It was not repeated. Nor was there any continued acquisition of plutonium by other means that would have signaled the existence of a nuclear military program. The production of what experts considered a “tiny” amount of plutonium in December 1985 was not the “beginning of a covert program” to acquire the bomb, as Russian intelligence insisted. It marked the end of an experimental cycle, the results of which were left to be forgotten on a shelf for the next seven years.[112]

In addition, it appears that the IAEA was made aware of the experiment that resulted in the separation of the plutonium at the time.[113] There are only two reasons why that information would not have caused the IAEA to react more forcefully, at least to the extent of implementing continued monitoring. The Romanians may have heeded an informal caution from the IAEA to cease and desist at the time. Or the incident was considered merely a “technical” transgression, given that the quantities produced were so inconsequential as to belong to the gray zone of reporting requirements.[114] The plutonium, for example, may have been the by-product of one of the advanced fuel experiments to increase the “burn rate” of fuel that researchers frequently carried out in Pitesti.

According to General Victor Stănculescu, a senior officer responsible for military technology at the time (later defense minister), his department did prepare feasibility studies on nuclear, biological and chemical deterrent options during the late 1970s.[115]  However, on submitting the completed study on “developing nuclear capacities for defense of the country,” the military was ordered not to pursue the nuclear option further and it remained “the least advanced” of all three potential deterrent options under study.[116]

What “least advanced” meant can be gleaned from the fact that the Romanians did not produce either of the two other deterrent options once they had ascertained that they could. After cultivating possible viral components in the Army’s research laboratories, the biological option was dropped from consideration, although studies did continue of the best responses to feared biological attacks on Romanian water supplies and population centers.[117] And once the technical challenges of producing sufficient material for a chemical weapon were resolved that program was also halted, with no chemical agents stockpiled or chemical warheads produced; their absence confirmed by post-1989 international monitors.[118]

It would appear that Romanian consideration of a nuclear weapon never left the initial stage of exploration, qualifying it neither as ‘military’ nor even as ‘program.’[119] Indeed, the closer one looks at Romania’s alleged nuclear weapons program, the less there is to see. Hans Blix, the IAEA director general in 1992, chose the most informal of methods to argue for a finding of noncompliance, which some authorities in Bucharest seemed to desire so ardently. He delivered a “single, oral report” to the IAEA Board of Governors, and explicitly acknowledged that the safeguards agreement with Romania was not designed to deal with such “very small quantities of nuclear material.”[120]

Although not formally described as such, the IAEA considers Romania one of the less serious of the non-compliance cases, along with those of Egypt and South Korea. The difference, of course, is that neither Egypt nor South Korea were found to be non-compliant. And of all eight cases brought before the IAEA’s Board of Governors as of 2016, only the Romanian has the distinction of having had no written report regarding it submitted to the IAEA. Even Egypt and South Korea did.

The process by which the discovery of the Romanian transgression and the finding of non-compliance came about, and the manner in which it has been recorded by the IAEA, suggests that something was not quite right. It appears as though the Agency may have been leveraged by Romanian officials into doing something it might otherwise not have done. As one researcher observed:

Little publicity was given to the case at the time or subsequently. Unlike other non-compliance cases, Romania does not have a special section on the IAEA website explaining the case. The Safeguards Statements for 1992 and 1993, incorporated in the Agency’s annual reports for those years, make no mention of it. Nor does the comprehensive verification chronology for 1992 compiled by the London-based non-governmental organization (NGO), the Verification Research, Training and Information Centre (VERTIC). The Secretariat was pre-occupied with the Iraq, North Korea, and South Africa verification cases at the time, but it is still puzzling that little publicity was given to the Agency’s use of a special inspection, even if only for demonstration purposes.

One senses a certain reluctance to draw attention to the case. Mohamed ElBaradei says bluntly the aim of the new Romanian government in seeking the special inspection was “to further discredit the former Communist president.”[121]

Who’s Military Preparations against Whom?

Aside from insisting they had “solid evidence” for their claims, during the spring and summer of 1989, of “corpses floating on the rivers bordering the two countries” and of Bucharest’s nuclear “blackmail” against Hungary, Szűrös, Tabadji and Horn also insisted that senior Romanian military leaders were laying claim to portions of Hungarian territory, threatening invasion, and mobilizing their troops along the Hungarian frontier in evident preparation for the same.[122] According to U.S. and NATO military intelligence sources there were in fact no redeployments of significant Romanian forces during the last half of the 1980s before the revolution. Romanian territorial defense plans did not require greater forward troop deployments even under the most threatening of conditions.

Soviet Tanks Withdrawing from Hungary

In contrast, and according to those same U.S. and NATO sources, significant Hungarian and Soviet military units had been redeploying from the western Hungarian border with Austria towards the eastern border with Romania since at least April 1989.[123] With the help of the Bloc-wide active measures apparatus this movement was plausibly advertised as motivated purely by the desire to create a “zone of peace” with Austria and thus symbolizing the lack of any Hungarian, Soviet or Warsaw Pact threat towards the West. Even Western analysts who had underscored the greater likelihood of hostilities between Hungary and Warsaw Pact ally Romania than between Hungary and any NATO or neutral state as much as a decade earlier now thought it unlikely that either Moscow or Budapest could be redeploying their troops nearer the Romanian frontier for operational purposes.[124]

The first mild American suspicions regarding Budapest’s intentions were provoked by the overly insistent Hungarian denials of any such redeployment of Hungarian or Soviet troops. For example, at the beginning of July 1989 Hungarian Defense Minister Ferenc Kárpáti declared that reports of Soviet troop redeployments from the border with Austria to the border “with Romania was ‘scare news’ that had no foundation whatsoever.”[125] Such denials were counterproductive to the aim of concealing force redeployments given U.S. technical intelligence collection capabilities at the time, which were monitoring those very same troop movements. Only two weeks earlier a Soviet motorized rifle regiment was relocated from Szombathely in the western half of Hungary to Debrecen, less than 20 miles (31 km) from the Romanian border, where the Soviets had long-maintained a considerable military presence.[126]

Of course, the Soviet military had proven adept at concealing significant force movements from the United States (using deception techniques termed maskirovka by the Russians). For example, Moscow and Budapest had successfully masked the influx of about 20,000 Soviet troops into Hungary during the 1980s such that, even in 1989, many Western analysts were undercounting Soviet forces deployed in that country by some two divisions.[127] Officially, Hungary reported that there were 62,000 Soviet troops on Hungarian territory while NATO believed there to be 65,000.[128] More accurate reports identified the presence of some 83,000 Soviet troops).[129] In addition, the other Pact members routinely ran exercises specifically designed to mislead Western observers, especially NATO member military attachés posted to their countries, as to the true purpose of mobilizations and exercises.[130]

Certainly, the eastward redeployments in 1989 confirmed Hungary’s “zone of peace” with Austria. But they equally supported the force shift requirements of the new Hungarian defense doctrine, which identified Romania as the principal military threat. Concealing those force shifts from the public eye – regardless of whether they comprised Soviet or Hungarian troops – ran counter to Budapest’s (and Moscow’s) stated goal of diminishing confrontation. The lack of transparency regarding those redeployments also ran counter to the presumed goals of gaining prestige points for military disengagement, or even of intimidation and deterrence. Such purposes are best served not by concealing force relocations but by explicitly signaling them through noisy advertisement.

Applying Ockham’s Razor, the covert re-deployment of troops towards the Hungarian-Romanian border strongly suggested operational preparations that Budapest and Moscow wished to keep secret (although the Hungarians and the Soviets may well have differed over the reason for them). The Warsaw Pact’s Secretary General at the time, Ivan Aboimov, who headed the Soviet crisis group on Romania during the events of December 1989, later noted in an unguarded aside to a Russian journalist: “Hungary wanted us to interfere in Romania, because they hoped to solve the Transylvanian problem.”[131] While Aboimov did not specify whether the desired Soviet interference was military, repeated failures to influence Romanian policy along political lines suggest that Budapest may have sought more coercive intervention.[132]

Hungarian party leader and Prime Minister Karoly Grosz also inadvertently revealed that Hungarian troop redeployments towards the southeastern border were operational measures intended to address the “Romanian threat.” When queried several months after those events about his expressed intention to employ military force against Hungary’s domestic opposition, Grosz misinterpreted the object of the question and ‘astonished’ his interviewer with the declaration that:

At that time, our relations with Romania were very strained, due to the problems of the Hungarians in Transylvania. Having received nuclear threats from Ceauşescu, I had troops along the Austrian border transferred to the border with Romania. That troop movement may have been perceived by Western intelligence services as preparation for military action.[133]

Thus, precisely at the time Budapest was accusing Bucharest of aggressive military preparations and deployments that had no basis in fact, Hungarian (and Soviet) forces were covertly re-deploying from the Austrian border to the Romanian frontier for purposes linked to the ethnic Hungarians on Romanian territory. There was nothing surprising in this. Various Hungarian authorities had gone on the public record with essentially the same story as much as a half a year earlier, only their comments were generally lost in the publicity given to the new Hungarian defense strategy, which was not only contrasted to the former more offensive footing of the “closely cooperating” partners within the Pact towards the West but was also presented as a policy completely “independent” of Moscow.[134]

If there was one set of issues that the United States verified seriously and in a consistent manner throughout the Cold War, it was the movement of significant Warsaw Pact military forces and any preparations for military conflict undertaken within the Soviet Bloc. Indeed, the principal U.S. preoccupation during the Cold War was averting a military confrontation, regardless of whether it began between the USA and the USSR directly or whether it came about catalytically, in consequence of escalating conflict between lesser allies. Given that the effectiveness of any disinformation is dependent on the lack of serious verification by the target audience, and that it cannot long survive close scrutiny, Soviet deception and disinformation operations regarding military preparations were among the most difficult to maintain.[135]

Ordinarily, close scrutiny can be avoided if disinformation comes in confirmation of existing cognitive biases; if it conforms to patterns of previous behavior; if it falls within the current logic of the situation; and/or if it echoes similar developments elsewhere in the region. As noted, there is a general human tendency not to scrutinize closely information confirming what is ‘known’ to be true already. However, no matter what misperceptions regarding Romanian aggressiveness may have existed within the U.S. analytical community at the end of the 1980s, reports of preparations for a military confrontation were bound to draw exactly the sorts of close scrutiny that were fatal to disinformation.

Thus, for example, when Horn and Szűrös accused an unnamed “Romanian Army Chief of Staff” of demanding Hungarian territory and were subsequently pressed for “more details” as to the precise identity of that Chief of Staff and the exact phrasing of his demand, they lamely referred their interlocutors to a “military” publication of 1988 which they were “unable to identify” further.[136] U.S. analysts then tracked down the 1988 publication, which did reference Romanian-speaking islands on the Hungarian side of the frontier after World War I. However, the article was authored by a civilian, made no pretense to military authority, referenced no Romanian military personnel, and made no claims on Hungarian territory.[137] Moreover, the author cited a wartime publication by an American journalist, Milton Lehrer, as source for the existence of those Romanian-speaking islands.[138] Interestingly, the American journalist John Reed – no admirer of the Romanians – had made the same observation  in the midst of World War I, describing from first-hand observation how one could travel from Transylvania “across Hungary as far as Buda-Pesth and beyond without speaking any language but Romanian.”[139]

Szűrös tried to misdirect attention from the Hungarian source of the allegations by citing “reports in the western media about military reinforcements on Romania’s border with Hungary.”[140]  However, closer scrutiny was unable to turn up “any such Western press reports or any evidence of Romanian military reinforcements” beyond Western coverage of the original allegations made by Tabajdi, Poszgay, Horn, and by Szűrös himself.[141] When western interlocutors pointed out that while political officials in Budapest frequently discussed the growing “possibility of military conflict” with Romania in the Hungarian press, such prognostications were not at all reflected in the Romanian media, Szűrös fell back on the active measures theme that no information provided by Bucharest was credible and that “what the Romanian press wrote was ‘irrelevant’” because, he claimed, Budapest was uniquely able to “find out Romanian intentions from other sources.”[142]

The startling nature and superficiality of these allegations recalled some of the more inventive humor from the deep freeze of the Cold War invoking the authority of Radio Yerevan. Following the standard introduction “Армянское радио спрашивает… – “Armenian Radio says…” – the joke confirmed the absolute veracity of a sensational report and then added, as apparent afterthought, a list of fundamental modifications until it was evident that the original claims had virtually no relationship to the reality whatsoever. By the spring of 1989 the international media was inundated with reports of an increasingly aggressive Romanian military. Hungarian officials persistently alleged that: (1) Romania’s Chief of Staff made claims on Hungarian territory and demanded border changes in Romania’s favor[143]; (2) the Romanian Army was preparing to launch unprovoked military operations against Hungary[144]; and (3) Ceauşescu was threatening Hungary with a nuclear attack seeking to acquire the means to launch it.[145]

In verifying these accusations Western analysts discovered that:

  • The issue of Romanian-speaking islands existing in Hungaryafter the First World War had been raised. Only not by any Romanian Chief of Staff but by an American journalist.[146] And not in 1989 but in 1944. And no Hungarian territory was claimed or borders questioned. Meanwhile, some senior Hungarian officials were campaigning for portions of Romania to be made autonomous from it.[147]
  • Troop re-deployments towards the Hungarian-Romanian frontierwere indeed observed during 1989. But they came not from within Romania.[148] On the contrary, and denials from Budapest notwithstanding, both Hungarian and Soviet troops were being redeployed to the Hungarian border with Romania.[149]
  • Nuclear weapons indeed had been proliferated to Eastern Europe, only not to Romania. Ceauşescu’s repeated declarations of an ability to “produce anything, even nucleardevices” since the 1970s (notably in 1983, 1984, 1988 and 1989) were uniformly completed with restatements of Romanian policy “firmly opposed to nuclear ”[150] Although Budapest portrayed Romania as a nuclear threat, it was Hungary and not Romania that actually had nuclear weapons on its territory.[151]

Pointing out that it was “not Hungary’s military leaders who are expressing concern, but its civilian party leaders” – and its reformist leaders at that – one Radio Free Europe analyst suggested that the leadership in Budapest may have been motivated to make allegations of such “questionable pertinence and even accuracy” either “as a means of discrediting Ceauşescu further” or “in an attempt to overcome division in Hungarian society and gain popular support on nationalist grounds” by manufacturing a Romanian threat.[152] Not considered was the possibility that the projection of Romania as an imminent threat to Hungarian and European security would also serve to justify pre-emptive military operations against it, or at least pre-judge subsequent violence and military action in the area as of Romanian inspiration and provocation.[153]

The tendency to analyze military developments around Romanian frontiers with little or no regard to Romania itself steadily became the norm at the end of the Cold War, usually based on arguments of strategic inconsequence and lack of Soviet concern. Thus, for example, the building of a Soviet wide-gauge railway in eastern Hungary during the mid 1980s hardly raised eyebrows in the West and (based on declassified assessments as of this writing) was never analyzed in reference to its possible impact on Romanian security.[154] Whether or not it was intended as such, the wide-gauge railway permitted rapid deployments directly from the USSR to areas near the Hungarian-Romanian border without requiring any mobilization of the Soviet Southern Group of Forces already stationed in Hungary, which were closely monitored by U.S. technical means.[155] And Moscow would not have had to force a crossing of the Soviet-Romanian frontier if it had deemed an intervention necessary.

Western analysts remained dismissive of any operational intent behind troop movements and re-deployments within Hungary, viewing them almost exclusively as an artifact of rapprochement with Austria, with which Budapest’s relations had been excellent for more than a decade.[156] Nor was the possibility seriously considered that the ostentatious nature of the “zone of peace” campaign may have been designed, in part, to distract attention from other developments damaging to the Pact-wide portrayal of Romania as a dangerous rogue state.

The July 1989 Warsaw Pact Summit

The extent to which Gorbachev and the “closely cooperating” partners borrowed from Romanian foreign and security policy initiatives, poorly understood in the West prior to the mid-1980s and increasingly negated thereafter, had been set into stark relief at the July 1989 Political Consultative Committee meeting in Bucharest.[157] The communiqué of that meeting reflected Romania’s success in all the major domains of its independent security policy advocacy within the Warsaw Pact over the previous three decades. For example, all of the Pact members now denounced continuing instances “of interference in the internal affairs of other states, and attempts to destabilize them,” and supported the strengthening of European security through disarmament and through “substantial reduction in armed forces, armaments, and military expenditure.”[158] All formally acknowledged that “no universal socialist models exist” and that socialism was to be “implemented in each country in accordance with its conditions, traditions, and requirements.”[159] And Romania’s previously singular insistence on sovereignty and non-interference was now reiterated in the call for respecting “the territorial and political realities which have taken shape, the inviolable nature of existing borders, the sovereignty, and the right of every people to freely determine their own destiny.”[160]

Instead of pressing for greater confrontation with NATO as had all Soviet leaders (including Gorbachev) prior to 1987, the 1989 communiqué called for the same sort of direct discussions between NATO and the Warsaw Pact with which Romania had threatened to block any renewal of the alliance during 1980-1985. At Bucharest all the Pact members expressed their unanimous support for “transferring relations between the Warsaw Pact and the North Atlantic alliance to an avenue of non-confrontation, setting up a constructive dialogue between them through political and military channels, and turning it into a factor of security and cooperation on the continent.”[161]

Although nearer the end of the communiqué, and despite the fact that Moscow and the other “closely cooperating” partners avoided mention of Romanian reform proposals for real power-sharing within the alliance (consistently pursued since the beginning of the 1960s), Bucharest was able to insert the admonition to “strengthen the Warsaw Pact’s political – rather than military – nature and to further improve the cooperation mechanism within it on a democratic basis.”[162] And, while Moscow sought to prevent any discussion of the Romanian proposal, the leadership in Bucharest managed to express the need for fundamental Pact reform and the desirability of establishing full equality through the rotation of all command posts.

A similar sea change was evident regarding the adoption of Romanian policy approaches to international relations more generally, with the other Pact members now echoing Bucharest’s April 1964 “declaration of independence” and expressing unanimous support for “settling, by peaceful means, regional conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Central America,” while setting negotiation and mediation as the standard of inter-state conflict resolution:

Life has confirmed that the path of negotiations is fruitful and that there is no sensible alternative to it. They will continue to actively promote the political resolution of crisis situations in the world and to further enhance the UN’s role in this.[163]

The Romanian imprint was particularly clear regarding policy in the Middle East, where the communiqué expressed the Warsaw Pact’s support for holding:

… an international conference as soon as possible on the Middle East under the UN aegis, with the participation of all the interested parties, including the PLO, [and] an all-embracing Middle East settlement on the basis of the recognition of the right of the Palestinian people to self determination, to the existence of an independent Palestinian state, just the same as the right to independence, sovereignty, and integrity of all the states of the region, including Israel.[164]

The Pact members likewise rallied around a “just settlement of the situation” in Afghanistan that would leave it independent and free to determine its “fate without any sort of interference from outside” – again echoing Romanian calls.[165]

One of the leitmotivs of the communiqué was the greatest possible use of the UN for making and maintaining peace, long-championed by Romania and in line with its calls for an increased independent role of small and medium sized states in international affairs by involving “all countries, irrespective of their size or social structure, in solving world problems.”[166]  Likewise, the Romanian call for a united effort with the “active participation of the United Nations” in addressing the “deepening rift between the developed and developing countries” and “establishing a new international economic order,” also appeared in the communiqué.[167]

Romanian influence was especially profound in the sphere of defense policy where its long-held positions were now reflected in Moscow’s support for unilateral reductions, withdrawals, and confidence-building measures, and its recognition of a general parity of NATO and the Warsaw Pact strengths. Even more significantly, Soviet and Pact leaders now echoed Romanian calls for jettisoning their offensive strategic posture in favor of defensive structures and strategies as a means of avoiding international tensions, a shift strikingly illustrated at the Pact’s Defense Ministers meetings since 1987.[168] Bucharest was equally unequivocal on weapons of mass destruction:

The fundamental issue in international relations is, above all else, after the issue of repudiating the modernization of nuclear weapons, the conclusion of a treaty as soon as possible between the Soviet Union and the United States of America to cut strategic nuclear missiles by half, and then a universal treaty by the year 2000 on the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons, to which all the nuclear powers and also the other states of the world interested in disarmament, peace and life on earth should become party. …

I would like to stress once again that nuclear disarmament and disarmament in general concern not only the Soviet Union and the United States of America, and not only the states possessing nuclear weapons, but all the states of the world. For the consequences from the use of nuclear weapons would be felt by all of humanity. All states in all continents have an interest in the complete elimination of nuclear weapons and must work actively to achieve this.[169]

Ceausescu likewise exhorted the participants to “work toward the signing of a treaty on the elimination of chemical weapons in close conjunction with the elimination of all nuclear weapons,” and to use “the Geneva disarmament conference as well as other meetings to eliminate chemical weapons and reduce conventional weapons to the minimal levels necessary for defense.”[170] Reiterating the policy his country had pursed for twenty-five years, he underscored that: “Romania resolutely insists that conflicts in the various parts of the world should be settled and problems resolved solely through negotiation, without exception.”[171]

The unequivocal support for disengagement and disarmament, particularly for more radical reduction and destruction of all nuclear and chemical weapons, and for negotiation as the only legitimate form of conflict resolution, which authorities in Bucharest expressed during the July 7-8 Warsaw Pact summit was most problematic and potentially devastating for the “aggressive encampment” characterizations of Romania now disseminated through Pact-wide active measures. Measures had to be taken.

On July 9, immediately after the concluding ceremonies of the summit and before leaving the Romanian capital, Hungarian officials described the event to reporters as something very different. According to them, the meeting was dominated by Budapest’s clash with Romania over the latter’s alleged abuse of minorities and by Bucharest’s demands for a Warsaw Pact invasion against Hungary, thus marking “the lowest point for relations between the two Warsaw Pact allies and neighbors since both fell under Soviet domination at the end of World War II.”[172] However, while Hungarian authorities publicly denounced Romania’s minority policies, they now provided information as to Bucharest’s military aggressiveness only as background.

Gyula Horn underscored this “crisis” as the breaking news of the conference to Hungarian journalists before he left Bucharest. “In the political sphere,” he insisted, “we have reached a bottom point,” terminology that analysts described as the “most negative official assessment of relations between Warsaw Pact allies” ever employed.[173] Ironically, as Hungarian authorities had anticipated several months before, all of the other Pact members had also rejected Budapest’s extreme demands regarding minority policy.[174] Moscow’s Bulgarian über-ally was particularly sensitive on this point given that it actually was carrying out the sort of forced assimilation policy for which Budapest blamed Bucharest. In 1989 alone, that policy was responsible for the dislocation of over 330,000 ethnic Turks from Bulgaria in what was then the largest dislocation of population since World War II.

As Bulgarian leader Todor Zhivkov confirmed to Gorbachev only two weeks before the July 1989 Bucharest summit, his “country was interested in the expatriation of 200, 300 and even 500 thousand Moslems,” and would in no case “admit that the Moslems are of Turkish nationality.”[175] Gorbachev did not take issue with Zhivkov’s policy in June nor could he back Budapest in July because he was already on record backing Zhivkov’s claim that criticism of Bulgarian treatment of ethnic Turks was an “imperialistic attack against Socialism.”[176] Thus, the clash over this issue at the July 1989 PCC meeting, while noisy, was brief.

At his first news conference in Budapest following the Warsaw Pact summit, on July 10, Foreign Minister Gyula Horn also misrepresented Bucharest as fostering nuclear proliferation and confrontation – one hundred and eighty degrees opposite the positions that the Romanian regime had just advocated in Bucharest. The Hungarian Foreign Minister’s timing was propitious for successful propagation of that disinformation line since President George Bush, Sr. was scheduled to visit Budapest shortly thereafter. According to Horn, during the summit unidentified “high-level” Romanian officials “announced that their country was now capable of producing nuclear weapons and would soon make medium-range missiles.”[177]

Horn pressed this point in a series of interviews with the international media, in which he described the “aggressive military threats” allegedly emanating from Romania. In the version he related to an Italian journalist several days later, he claimed that the Hungarian delegation had “warned Ceauşescu at the recent Warsaw Pact summit in Bucharest that the threat of such missiles to European security ‘must not be underestimated,’ but that the Romanian leader gave them no reply.”[178]

Prime Minister Miklos Németh told an American journalist that the Romanian leader demanded that the Warsaw Pact militarily intervene in his country:

As Ceausescu ranted on, calling for armed intervention in Hungary, Németh glanced across at the Soviet leader. Their eyes met, and Gorbachev winked. … It was as if Gorbachev were saying, “Don’t worry. These people are idiots. Pay no attention,” as Nemeth put it to me.[179]

Németh later stated to a Canadian journalist “that he had sent in dozens of agents to Romania” because of “Ceaușescu’s aggressive attitude to Hungary.”[180] According to Németh, “Ceaușescu had asked Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev several times to invade Hungary and Poland because they were not properly following the Communist line.”[181]

At the time, this campaign, whose proponents included Foreign Minister (and future Prime Minister) Horn, Parliamentary speaker (and future President) Szűrös, Prime Minister Németh, International Department deputy Tabajdi (soon to be made responsible for minorities abroad), only partly achieved the goal of projecting Romania as an aggressive threat because its main elements were very quickly debunked after Western verification.[182] Since then, East German, Czech, Bulgarian and Romanian documents on the July 1989 Pact meeting have become publicly available that also disprove those allegations.[183] Ironically, within a decade of the December 1989 Revolution the same theme of Romanian military aggressiveness and nuclear irresponsibility was not only resuscitated, it even achieved the status of mainstream interpretation.[184]

Poland and the Romanian ‘Military Threat’

In the late evening of August 19, 1989, barely one month after Budapest’s allegations of Romanian offensive preparations against it had been verified and debunked by Western analysts, new life was given the active measures theme projecting Romania as an “aggressive encampment” and imminent military threat. Seriously alarmed about the ultimate fate of socialism if the Hungarian and Polish party leaderships continued moving toward greater power-sharing with non-communist entities, Ceauşescu began advocating a meeting of all socialist states to discuss the basic issues of the “socialist construction” with renewed vigor already by 1987.[185] Romanian intentions were discussed by Hungarian communist leader Karoly Grosz and Foreign Minister Horn during a meeting of the Hungarian Politburo in Budapest in May 1989. When Grosz predicted that Ceauşescu would attack Hungarian reforms and invoke the Brezhnev Doctrine at the Warsaw Pact’s up-coming July 1989 summit in Bucharest, Horn corrected him, explaining that the Romanians did not in fact wish to discuss the problem “within the framework of the Political Consultative Committee” at all.[186]

Continuing to maintain the illegitimacy of any foreign military intervention within the Warsaw Pact, Ceauşescu sought a conference of all socialist countries in Europe to discuss the current state and future of socialism. As he underscored at the July 1989 PCC meeting:

[W]e are of the view that it is especially important for the socialist member-states of the Warsaw Pact and for all the socialist countries to jointly analyze and jointly establish the current issues of Socialist construction, how we can better work together, preparing the ranks for crisis and securing the social and economic development of every peoples on the socialist path.[187]

A new opportunity for depicting the Romanian leadership as hell-bent on military intervention was presented after the Solidarity electoral victory, on August 19, 1989, when Tadeusz Mazowiecki was appointed prime minister and given the task of forming the Polish government. That midnight, after Ceauşescu had personally presented his regime’s position on the matter to the Soviet ambassador, the Romanian foreign ministry called in each of the other Warsaw Pact ambassadors in turn and proposed an urgent meeting to discuss the fate of socialism in Poland, in Europe and globally. Ceauşescu’s “oral declaration” as published in the Polish press, stated that:

As a Communist party and socialist country, [we] cannot consider this to be solely a Polish internal affair. [We] believe it concerns all socialist countries. … Given the above, the party leadership and government of Romania consider that the Communist and workers’ parties of socialist countries, Warsaw Pact members must take a stand and insist that that Solidarity not be entrusted with the mission of forming a government. (…) The RCP leadership has decided to appeal to the PUWP [Polish United Workers Party] leadership, to political bureaus, [to] the leaders of many Warsaw Pact countries and other socialist countries to express grave concern and to act together to prevent the serious situation in Poland, on the defense of socialism and the Polish people.[188]

The Romanian leader was urgently calling for a “conference of Party leaders, political forums, and other socialist state leaders” in order to prevent the collapse of socialism in Poland.[189] This was promptly spun as a call for military intervention in the very public protests disseminated widely by Warsaw and Budapest, as well as in the only slightly more discreet comments of Soviet officials to Western interlocutors.[190] Ceauşescu, they claimed, had reversed Romania’s two-decades-long opposition to the Brezhnev Doctrine and had abandoned the “principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of states and parties” upon which Bucharest’s elites had insisted since the early 1960s.

As Ceauşescu explained to his party’s Political Executive Committee the following day, a conference of all socialist countries “would constitute a powerful manifestation of the unity of our socialist countries, the affirmation of their solidarity and their decisiveness in strengthening that solidarity,” particularly since the Polish moves had been taken “in agreement with the Soviet Union and, I believe, one could say even more, even following the advice of the Soviet Union.”[191] For this reason, he continued, “first of all the Soviets were addressed” because only they could “determine the leadership of the Polish United Workers Party to take a firmer position.”[192] Through his declaration Ceauşescu sought to pressure the Kremlin in the full knowledge that the Jaruzelski leadership was firmly ensconced in Moscow’s pocket and not acting on its own.[193]

Warsaw soundly trounced the proposal, expressing its dismay that Bucharest was not more supportive, while the Polish press advertised Ceauşescu’s initiative as advocating foreign military intervention against it.[194]  Following the Polish media, communist authorities in Budapest protested Ceauşescu’s call for “a common action ‘using all means necessary in order to obstruct the liquidation of socialism in Poland’,” highlighting those aspects of the Romanian leader’s declaration that could be misconstrued as implying advocacy for foreign military intervention.[195]  Budapest even announced that “intervening militarily or with any other means in the domestic affairs of another country” was “in total contradiction” to Romania’s long-held stance against the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, as if that is what Ceauşescu had advocated.[196]

Ironically, Budapest debunked its own extremely categorical campaign alleging Romanian advocacy of and preparations for a military intervention against it during April-July 1989. Now Hungarian officials were willing to acknowledge that prior to August 19/20, 1989, Bucharest had “permanently” and “systematically promoted” the principle of “non-interference in the internal affairs of other states,” before then insisting that the Romania’s alleged advocacy of military intervention in Poland stood “in total contradiction” to their former position.[197]

Soviet officials at the time (and long afterward) did their best to convince American and European interlocutors of Romania’s aggressive military threat within the Soviet Bloc. Citing Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze’s personal aide as his source, Presidential advisor and former International Department chief Anatoly Dobrynin claimed that Ceauşescu “demanded a Warsaw Pact military intervention in Poland because the anti-communist party Solidarity had won the elections.”[198] The CPSU C.C. International Department – which also coordinated Soviet disinformation themes and their dissemination – propagated the same to U.S. officials and academics. As one of the Department’s deputies, a former GRU officer, insisted to an American historian, “the Romanian government secretly urged the other Warsaw Pact states to join it in sending troops to Poland.”[199]

The Soviet foreign ministry was equally diligent. Sergei Tarasenko, one of Shevardnadze’s chief aides (and eventual deputy foreign minister), a specialist on the United States, falsely claimed to an influential former CIA and State Department analyst that the Romanian leader was “unaware of Gorbachev’s encouragement” of Polish reforms when he made his alleged call “for Warsaw Pact military intervention in Poland.”[200] The extent of this campaign and the insistence with which it was propagated persuaded many analysts in both government and academia that Ceauşescu was “advocating military intervention across the East Bloc.”[201]

The combined effect of cognitive bias, organizational pathologies and targeted disinformation ensured that the details of Romania’s role in ameliorating dangerous confrontation during the Cold War was known to relatively small circles of administration officials in the United States from Kennedy to Reagan. Among the broader analytical communities of U.S. intelligence and academia the perception of Romania hovered between the competing equine images of “maverick” and “Trojan horse” for most of the Cold War – the issue being whether it was a horse worth backing. Much of what Romania undertook and accomplished was simply too improbable and implausible to be accepted or understood without direct observation or involvement. And Soviet-sponsored disinformation came in confirmation of opinion that those accomplishments were not, in fact, real.

Romania had become the target of a Soviet Bloc-wide La Leyenda Negra; a scapegoat whose denigration alienated it from Western, Chinese and developing world partners and relieved the other Warsaw Pact members from much critical Western attention.[202] Now, at the end of the Cold War, it became a potentially disastrous problem for U.S. policy, which actively sought a fundamental transformation of the East-West relationship where the “East” was led and represented by the USSR. In consequence, the country and its regime could more easily be depicted in the blackest and most outlandish of terms without serious challenge or verification. The policy imperative of neutralizing or removing obstacles to the end of the Cold War, which many in the West viewed as synonymous with Gorbachev’s opponents, bled into and even superseded the requirements of analytical accuracy.[203]

Whittaker Chambers, the self-confessed Soviet agent who spied for the USSR during the 1930s, described this phenomenon with considerable eloquence when his testimony regarding the extraordinary degree to which U.S. federal institutions had been penetrated by Soviet intelligence met with powerful resistance on the part of U.S. officials to accept the extent to which they had deceived.[204] According to Chambers, there was a “universal inability to distinguish true from false,” especially “when the false is cast in the image of the world’s desire and the true is nothing that the world can fathom, or wants to.”[205] The Romanian “villain” was convenient for the USSR, for the Soviet-loyal leaderships of Eastern Europe, and, increasingly during the late 1980s, for the United States and the major Western European states as well. Clearly, the Ceauşescu regime was behaving villainously (or so dysfunctional as to appear villainous) to its own population. And the “black box” of isolation surrounding it made more profound understanding of the dynamics driving its behavior virtually impossible.

Consequently, allegations of Romanian military aggressiveness were not subject to serious scrutiny or verification.[206] For similar reasons, post-1989 analyses were less concerned with what Romania actually had done or intended to do (according to internal Romanian discussions and documents) than they were with collecting re-affirmations of the same allegation from essentially the same sources that alleged them in the first place.[207] It became common practice to assert Romania’s aggressive preparations and intent on the basis of Soviet, Hungarian and Polish documents and declarations while misrepresenting or ignoring altogether the “best evidence” of Romanian internal documents and policy declarations.[208]

As Romania became increasingly isolated, analysts of Soviet and East European affairs began accepting third-party reports regarding Romanian intention and actions at face value, with little or no independent fact checking. Thus, some analysts unaware of the placement of nuclear facilities in the region accepted reports of “threats by the Romanian state security agency (Securitate) to blow up nuclear power stations near the Soviet border” in December 1989 as credible.[209]

That would have been far more  difficult than suggested given that Romania had no nuclear facilities near that frontier (all were located in the south of the country) and that the Soviet nuclear facility nearest the Soviet-Romanian border was more than 300 kilometers away as the crow flies, the South Ukraine II Power Plant at Yuzhnoukrains’k in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The distance was greater still if roads or railways were used, and it was well over 400 km through Soviet Ukrainian territory if the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic was circumvented.

Likewise, official Hungarian sources claimed at the end of 1989 that the Romanians were targeting the Hungarian nuclear power plant at Paks with missiles deployed at the

Floreşti Air Defense Base near Cluj.[210] One problem with this scenario was that the longest-range missiles Romania ever possessed during the Cold War were the SCUD-Bs supplied by the Soviet Union in the

1970s, which had a range of 300 km.[211] The nuclear facility at Paks was 492 kilometers from Floreşti. Another problem was that none of those missiles were ever deployed at the military base in Floreşti. And all of Romania’s thirteen SCUD-B missiles were part of its contribution to Warsaw Pact defense missions and aimed southward, to fend off a hypothetical NATO offensive through Bulgaria and/or Yugoslavia.[212]

In 1976 Ceausescu had indeed instructed the military to develop plans for a Romanian ballistic missile with an operating range of 500 km, but a workable project never materialized.[213] By the beginning of 1979 the project had been dropped from military planning altogether. Nor did Bucharest purchase the Soviet upgrade of the SCUD-B – the 500 km range SS-23 “Spider.” Moscow later admitted that it had secretly provided the SS-23 to its other Warsaw Pact allies during the mid-1980s, making Romania possibly the only Warsaw Pact member without such a capacity.[214]

To obscure these rather cumbersome details, Soviet and Hungarian sources disseminated a variety of rumors and reports that Romania had either secretly produced its own missile or acquired Chinese or North Korean missiles with a maximum range of 500 km.[215] However, military authorities and international verification on the ground after 1989 both confirmed that Romania had not acquired Chinese or North Korean missiles, nor had it extended the operational range of its SCUD-Bs.[216]

According to General Victor Stănculescu, the senior officer responsible for military technology and procurement for the Romanian Armed Forces throughout the 1980s, the only foreign supplier of missiles to his country was the Soviet Union:

[Claims that] we had missiles for attacking Hungary are tall tales. We had Russian missiles with an operating range of 300 km at the military unit in Tecuci [more than 475 km from the Hungarian frontier]. … The missiles in Floreşti were simple ground-air missiles with a range of 17 kilometers. So, to your question, my response is “Nem Igaz!” which in Hungarian means “Not True!”[217]

General Stănculescu likewise underscored that the Romanian Army “had no plans for any operations in the direction of Hungary,” that “there never existed the possibility of war with Hungary” during the Cold War, and that all of the SCUD-B missiles were trained elsewhere.[218]

One consequence of relying on non-Romanian Soviet bloc sources as authority for Romanian intention was to leave unexamined a series of “the dog that did not bark in the night” phenomena that should have counseled caution regarding allegations of Romanian military or State Security threats.[219] For example, none of the available records from the Warsaw Pact’s Foreign Ministers Committee meeting at Warsaw in October 1989 reflect any discussion or concern of a Romanian-advocated intervention.[220] Nor was there any “barking” regarding the same at the Defense Ministers Committee meeting in Budapest that November.[221] Romanian Warsaw Pact documents, which became available in 2015, are likewise notable for their lack of any reference to a possible foreign military intervention.[222]

Along these same lines, no offensive military preparations or re-deployments within Romania were observed at the time nor has evidence of any emerged as of 2016. Nor have any documents or transcripts surfaced at the level of the Romanian Communist Party Central Committee or Political Executive Committee – or, for that matter, at any other political level – that suggest advocacy or even discussion of foreign military intervention against Poland in 1989. The archives of the Romanian Defense Ministry and the Romanian Armed Forces General Staff have similarly failed to reveal any evidence of such discussion or advocacy. And the operational commands are likewise silent regarding any sort of foreign deployments.

If this absence of evidence were confined to Romanian sources only then it would be reasonable to hypothesize that the authorities in Bucharest were particularly effective at disguising their tracks. But that still would not explain its absence in the records of the other Pact members. Romanian advocacy of military intervention abroad would also require the rejection of almost thirty years of military policy, preparations, deployments, indoctrination and training that were at least in part designed to make the Romanian Army singularly unavailable for such a mission.[223] Moreover, frequently reaffirmed legal and constitutional barriers prohibited Romanian military forces from undertaking operations beyond national frontiers in the absence of a military attack by “imperialists,” and then only by an act of parliament. Such a drastic a change in policy and mission would have engendered some attempt to modify if not do away with these encumbrances.

Interestingly, when claiming that it had abandoned its stance against military intervention, Budapest and Warsaw referred to Romania’s former condemnation of the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 but not to its more recent and continuing condemnation of the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.[224] They also failed to mention Romania’s singular rejection of foreign (i.e. Soviet bloc) military intervention against Poland in 1980-1981 and again in 1983, when Bucharest’s attempt to insert a statement protecting the Poles from foreign intervention in a Warsaw Pact communiqué was rejected even by the Jaruzelski leadership.[225]

When Hungarian officials in Budapest insinuated that Romania had abandoned its stance against outside military intervention and was now advocating such a intervention in Poland, the Romanian ambassador unequivocally denied it:

I insisted, at once, to clarify to my interlocutor that we could not accept accusations that the RCP, that its leadership, has the intention to interfere in the domestic affairs of Poland and that through this it was renouncing the principle of noninterference in the domestic affairs of other states, and of sovereignty, as affirmed in the message of the HSWP [Hungarian Socialist Workers Party].

Likewise, I took a firm position against the speculative interpretations that are being made on the margins of the RCP message, demonstrating that Romania has not given anyone lectures, nor has it stigmatized the fraternal countries and parties.

The Romanian Communist Party and the Romanian Government have placed the unmitigated respect for the principles of full equality of rights, of sovereignty, of independence and of noninterference in the domestic affairs of other states at the foundation of their foreign policy.

The message of our party and state leadership sprang from concerns produced by the recent events in Poland, a fact also recognized in the response letter of the Hungarians.[226]

Of course, in criticizing the means by which Warsaw chose its political leadership Romania was “interfering in its internal affairs,” but that sort of interference was a far cry from military intervention. The record of the Soviet Central Committee discussion on Ceauşescu’s request, and Gorbachev’s response, confirm that Bucharest was calling for a “meeting” rather than a military intervention.[227] Neither of these documents mentions any Romanian suggestion of outside military intervention whatsoever. The journal       Ambassador Tiazhelnikov of Soviet Ambassador Evgenii M. Tiazhelnikov, which evocatively describes Ceauşescu’s emotional state, is also quite clear on the non-military intent of the midnight consultation in August 1989.[228] According to the Ambassador Tiazhelnikov:

The leadership of the Romanian Communist Party and Socialist Republic of Romania believes that socialist Poland could still be saved. It is possible and necessary to prevent the greatest blow of contemporary imperialism against the cause of socialism.

[They] believe that after the formation of a new government in the People’s Republic of Poland (the Polish United Workers Party, the Polish Trade Union and the Army) it is necessary for the allied states, for all of the socialist countries to accord Poland economic and financial assistance in order to overcome the profound crisis.

In conclusion, N. Ceausescu expressed the hope that the leadership of the CPSU-USSR will examine operationally and with attention this appeal, and that M. S. Gorbachev will find the possibility of meeting with him on August 20.[229]

Once again recalling a report from Radio Yerevan, the Romanian leader did indeed raise the issue of military intervention at the extraordinary session of party leaders in Moscow at the beginning of December 1989. But the manner in which it did so was very much the opposite of what Soviet, Polish and Hungarian sources alleged and completely in accord with the position Bucharest held all along. In essence, the Romanian leader delivered a coup de grace to the chimera of any Romanian-advocated military intervention Poland. In his separate meeting with the Soviet leader on December 4, 1989, Ceauşescu told Gorbachev:

I believe that the Soviet Union, and I am referring primarily to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, could have a certain role – not by force of the military – to help produce a better orientation [in Warsaw].[230]

Ironically, a “better orientation” was produced in Warsaw. But it had little to do with Ceauşescu’s preferences or, for that matter, with Gorbachev’s expectations.

Demanding The Withdrawal of Soviet Troops, December 1989

There were two Moscow meetings with Gorbachev in December 1989 prompted by the Soviet leader’s immediately preceding meeting with President Bush at Malta. One included all of the Warsaw Pact leaders and the other was a private bilateral talk. The Soviet Bloc active measures apparatus disseminated reports depicting Ceauşescu’s exchange with Gorbachev in the more public meeting, in which the former refused to accept any shared culpability for the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia, as a renunciation of Romania’s more than two decades-old policy condemning the Brezhnev Doctrine and the practice of foreign military intervention. Gorbachev, then at loggerheads with conservative institutions led by the Soviet military in his attempt to remove the last vestiges of the Brezhnev Doctrine from Soviet policy, naturally wanted to get out ahead of popular pressure for the withdrawal of Soviet forces while gaining the USSR as much credit as possible. The Romanian leader’s “reality check” threatened to undermine these efforts.

The Worst of Friends

The brief report on this meeting included in the CIA’s National Intelligence Daily reflected nothing of the Romanian position beyond its negation of Soviet initiatives. According to the CIA, while trying “to secure Pact unanimity on key security issues, particularly opposition to near-term movement on German reunification,” Gorbachev also “held a ‘frank exchange of opinions’ with the Pact’s remaining maverick – Romanian President Ceauşescu – presumably to prod Bucharest to undertake needed reforms.”[231] U.S. intelligence analysts thus interpreted the clash as due to Ceauşescu’s opposition to reform, a plausible explanation given the highly publicized differences between Moscow and Bucharest over that issue. Pact authorities ‘spun’ the obvious disagreement that surfaced at the December meeting as due to the Romanian leader’s new-found sympathy for the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia allegedly demonstrated by his refusal to join the other allies in condemning it, thereby reinforcing earlier claims that Romania now advocated military intervention in Poland and was preparing aggressive operations against Hungary.

The success of those active measures can be judged by the degree to which they were reflected subsequently in the international press. Agence France-Presse, for example, reported for English-speaking audiences that while the USSR, Bulgaria, Poland, the GDR, and Hungary had all “apologized for their action” of invading Czechoslovakia in 1968, “Ceauşescu, whose troops did not take part in the intervention, did not condemn it,” thus implying Romanian acceptance of the invasion of Czechoslovakia as justified.[232] Media reports tended to underscore the fact that Romania now balked at condemning the earlier invasion, suggesting that this marked a change in policy.

Some American analysts outside the intelligence community fell into the same trap. One, for example, believed it ironic that Ceauşescu – the only one to denounce the invasion when it occurred – now “did not agree to the statement about the 1968 Czech action.”[233] Western European analysts relying on the same sources arrived at very similar, and similarly erroneous, conclusions.[234]

The Romanian leader was accompanied to the December 1989 meeting in Moscow by Prime Minister Constantin Dascălescu, Foreign Minister Ion Stoian, and by the former defense minister, General Constantin Olteanu, who attended in his new position as the RCP Central Committee Secretary for Foreign Relations.[235] As of this writing the transcript of that meeting had not surfaced in the archives. In keeping with standard practice, the Hungarian report downplayed the discordant Romanian position, in this case by ignoring it altogether.[236]

It is worth bearing in mind that the CIA had reported the Gorbachev–Ceauşescu debate as one of the main events of the December 4 meeting within a day of its occurrence, even though still unaware of its precise content.[237] For that information, the separate recollections of that meeting from Foreign Minister Stoian and Foreign Relations Secretary Olteanu, which agree in their fundamental aspects, are worth considering. The Stoian and Olteanu reports are particularly pertinent given their accord with the comments Ceauşescu made during the Political Executive Committee of November 27, 1989, which considered Gorbachev’s invitation to Moscow for the briefing on the Malta meeting in the first place. As Ceauşescu explained to his Political Executive Committee:

They went into Czechoslovakia in 1968 and forced them to approve the invasion. If they now consider that what they did was a mistake, then why don’t they withdraw their troops from there, but instead of withdrawing them they are reinforcing them. The first measure [to be taken] was precisely that, the withdrawal of the troops, but they are not thinking about that. The Czechs accepted the troops and they continue to maintain troops there. … In fact, they realized an organized coup ďetat.[238]

According to both Stoian and Olteanu, Gorbachev had been presenting a very general, and generally unsatisfying, account of his meetings at Malta with President George Bush, Sr. when he launched into the problem of “revising and re-evaluating the military occupation of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Treaty troops in 1968.”[239] Ceauşescu immediately bristled at this, having repeatedly stressed in meetings with the Kremlin leadership that the Soviet alliance could only undertake operations on the basis of unanimity. Not only had Romania not been consulted, its vociferous condemnation of that invasion clearly signaled its contemporaneous veto. Therefore, the Romanian leader insisted, the occupation had been carried out only by the troops of the Soviet Union, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and East Germany, and not by the Warsaw Pact, reference to which implied Romanian involvement as member of that alliance.

Moreover, as General Olteanu later pointed out, Gorbachev did not condemn the act of invasion per se. He merely recognized it as “a mistake” in this particular case and called upon the other Pact members to admit so as well.[240] This ambivalence was profound among Soviet/Russian elites, so much so that 25 years after the fact Russian state media would continue to justify the action.[241]

Having completed his shot gun briefing of the Malta discussions, Stoian recalls, Gorbachev then proposed issuing a communiqué by those “who were implicated then, except for Romania,” which the Soviet leader said “exits from this problem.” Again Ceauşescu interrupted, stipulating that  Romania could hardly “exit” since it “did not enter into Czechoslovakia” in the first place:

We did not enter because we appreciated that it was a serious transgression of the sovereignty and independence of a state, an aggressive act, contrary to the norms and principles of relations between states, which did much damage to socialism, and to the Soviet Union.[242]

This stance was indeed familiar to the leadership in Moscow. It corresponded closely to the position that Romania took on August 21, 1968, the day that Soviet, Polish, Hungarian, East German and Bulgarian troops marched into Czechoslovakia. Speaking on the behalf, and in the company, of the entire Romanian leadership, Ceauşescu declared:

The intervention of the troops of the five socialist countries in Czechoslovakia is a great mistake and a serious danger to peace in Europe. It is inconceivable in today’s world, when peoples are rising up to defend their national independence and equal rights, that a socialist state, that socialist states, should violate the independence of another state. There is neither justification nor any possible motive for accepting, even for a moment, the idea of military intervention in the domestic affairs of a fraternal socialist state.[243]

Stoian further reports that Hungarian Party leader Resző Nyers “immediately approved” Ceauşescu’s remarks, thus continuing the Hungarian practice of stalking and quickly associating itself with Romania’s dissident positions as well as telegraphing Budapest’s intentions to approach the same issue regarding Hungary in the near future. The subsequent discussion of the text of the proposed communiqué then became a largely bilateral one between Gorbachev and Ceauşescu, also a fairly common feature of Warsaw Pact leadership meetings. Finally, Gorbachev announced that everyone could now agree on the text, since even comrade Ceauşescu now agreed, which prompted the following exchange:

Ceauşescu:     Although, formally speaking, this does not concern us – we have long expressed our point of view [against the invasion] – nevertheless, we can agree with this text. I can say that if we had edited the communiqué it would have been much better. For example, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia should also be mentioned in a clear phrase.

Gorbachev:    This is a problem that we will resolve, bilaterally, with the Czechoslovak comrades. You know, I believe that there is a formal agreement between us and Czechoslovakia regarding the stationing of Soviet troops there.

Ceauşescu:     Yes, I know. There is a bilateral accord concluded after the occupation of Czechoslovakia.

Gorbachev:    On this issue we will never reach an understanding with you.

Ceauşescu:     Yes, on that we can agree.[244]

Gorbaciov si Ceausescu

General Olteanu similarly reports that Gorbachev’s proposal that all “sign the declaration condemning the intervention in Czechoslovakia,” was met by Ceauşescu’s interjection that only “those who intervened should sign,” and that “we have nothing to sign” because Romania had not only refused to intervene, it had condemned the invasion then and there, and continually thereafter.[245] The “visibly irritated” Gorbachev agreed, sarcastically asking the Romanian leader if he was “happy” now.[246] However, the Soviet leader did not get much further in his exposition before Ceauşescu interrupted a second time:

Continuing to speak, the Romanian leader recommended that the problem be followed to its logical end in the sense that, if everyone now recognizes and condemns the 1968 act, and in order to repair the mistake, the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia should be ordered immediately. There was a slight agitation in the hall as the delegates whispered amongst themselves. Because Mikhail Gorbachev was again surprised and did not have a response prepared for this situation, a pause was proposed for reflection and consultations.[247]

After the pause, the Soviet leader stated his intention to discuss the matter separately with the Czechoslovak delegation, which was staying on after the meeting. Apparently, Gorbachev could not resist goading his Romanian counterpart one last time:

Then Mikhail Gorbachev mockingly addressed Nicolae Ceauşescu: “It that okay with you, Comrade Ceauşescu?” Nicolae Ceauşescu responded affirmatively and added that it would be good if the withdrawal of Soviet troops could be implemented in the shortest time possible, not only from Czechoslovakia but from all of the other countries where they were still deployed, which produced a powerful murmuring in the hall.

At that point, Egon Krenz, who had been “consulted” during the break, took the floor, arguing that such an action is not opportune, and that they would be left defenseless against the imperialists, etc. Members of the other delegations commented from their seats. Understanding the situation in which he now found himself, Mikhail Gorbachev did not reject the Romanian delegation’s proposal, but affirmed that it was a question requiring discussion by the USSR with the respective countries and that it must be addressed in an organized manner, as a problem for the future, on the basis of a plan agreed between the countries, following bilateral discussions.[248]

According to General Olteanu, Ceauşescu’s performance inspired awe among the rest of the Romanian delegation – once again taking his Soviet interlocutors by surprise and leaving them bewildered and exasperated. The Romanian leader, Olteanu reports, intentionally leapt into this “extraordinarily dangerous question,” calling for the complete removal of Soviet military forces from Central Europe “alone against everyone.”[249]

This was indeed heady stuff. The Soviet leader was barely mastering the process of change within the bloc as it was. A couple of weeks earlier, the Romanian leader had explicitly called upon Moscow to vacate the negative consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in Europe, including the stationing of occupation forces on East European territories.[250]  As Ceauşescu declared to the last RCP Plenum at the end of November 1989:

Never to be forgotten is the lesson of history and the fact that Hitler’s Germany received encouragement to initiate the Second World War as a result of a policy of concession to Nazi Germany… Never should we forget that the agreement between Hitler’s Germany and the Soviet Union did not abolish the threat of war…

Next year will be 45 years since the termination of the Second World War. Hence Romania believes that we must take steps for adopting the necessary measures for resolving all of the problems left unresolved.

It appears necessary to adopt a clear and unequivocal position condemning and annulling all of the consequences of those agreements and diktats. It is abnormal that after 45 years from the conclusion of the war no treaty of peace has been realized between all of the states and no real peace has been installed in Europe. It thus appears necessary to move towards negotiations between the interested states for the conclusion of peace treaties and the complete elimination of the consequences of the Second World War.[251]


Within a fortnight of the December 1989 meeting a variety of Polish groups would begin calling publicly for Soviet troops to leave their country.[252] Likewise, the Hungarian parliament would be admonished by its own senior military officers, including Defense Minister Kárpáti, “to hold talks with the Soviet government on fully withdrawing Soviet troops” since there were “no military or political reasons for the stationing of Soviet troops in Hungary.”[253] And shortly thereafter, Czechoslovak authorities would announce discussions regarding the continuing presence of Soviet troops in their country, describing the “accord on Soviet presence” reached after the 1968 invasion as “invalid.”[254]

Larry L. Watts

Studiu disponibil şi pe Academia.edu

Sursa: Ziaristi Online

Gorbaciov si Bush pe Maxim Gorki la Malta 2-3 dec 1989

[1] This study is based on chapter 14: “Warsaw Pact Reform,” and part of chapter 15: “From Partner to Pariah” in Larry L. Watts, Extorting Peace: Romania and the End of the Cold War, 1978-1989, Bucharest, RAO, 2013. A version was also posted as a serial at www.larrylwatts.blogspot.com, and in Romanian at http://adevarul.ro/cultura/istorie/serial-zorii-revolutiei-romane-episodul-1-romania-ceausescu-rigida-vest-liberala-sovietici-1_567292297d919ed50e512eae/index.html.

[2] For example, Gorbachev’s suggests that Romanian initiatives and proposals were not completely inane, thus damning them with faint praise. Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs, New York, Doubleday, 1996, pp. 466, 473-476.

[3] Memorandum on the Hungarian Position Concerning the Transformation of the Warsaw Pact Working Mechanisms, 6 December 1988, pp. 3-4, Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP), www.isn.ethz.ch/php, by permission of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich and the National Security Archive at the George Washington University on behalf of the PHP network. (Hereafter: PHP). The Hungarian delegations were instructed to avoid any responding to the Romania request and to “not give categorical answer to the Romanian proposals.” Op. cit., p. 4.

[4] Minutes of Meeting of the HSWP Political Committee on 16 May 1989 – Excerpt on WP Issues, 16 May 1989, p. 1, PHP. Horn added that the Romanian leadership had “clearly” placed such “great pressure” on Moscow to discuss the issues of “socialist construction and the modernization of the Warsaw Treaty” that the “Soviets are now making a concession.”

[5] George Bush and Brent Scowcroft, A World Transformed, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 1998, pp. 38-39.

[6] General Brent Scowcroft , “The End Of The Cold War And What’s Happened In The Ten Years Since,” Transcript Of Keynote Speech, Brookings National Issues Forum, Brookings Institute, Washington D.C., Thursday, 2 December 1999.

[7] Vojtech Mastny, “XXIII. Meeting of the PCC, Bucharest, 7-8 July 1989: Editorial Note,” in Vojtech Mastny, Christian Nuenlist, Anna Locher, and Douglas Selvage, “Records of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee, 1955-1990,” May 2001, PHP. Unfortunately, the Romanian versions of Ceauşescu speeches at the Bucharest summit are not included in this collection, so the Romanian voice is essentially missing. There is little evidence to suggest, however, that the description of Hungarian withdrawal from the Pact was correct, or that Ferenc Münnich’s admonition given in 1950, that Hungarian foreign policy “was a prerogative of the Soviet Union,” had been seriously reconsidered regarding the Warsaw Pact. László Borhi, “Kádár and the United States in the 1960s” in Ansii Halmesvirta, editor, Kádár’s Hungary – Kekkonen’s Finland, Hungarologische Beiträge, vol. 14, Jyväskylä, Finland, University of Jyväskylä , 2002, p. 64. Head of Parliament and then President Matyas Szűrös, Horn and Kádár echoed that same position during the 1980s.

[8] Minutes of Meeting of the HSWP Political Committee on 16 May 1989-Excerpt on WP issues, 16 May 1989, in Csaba Békés and Anna Locher, editors, “Hungary and the Warsaw Pact, 1954-1989: Documents on the Impact of a Small State Within the Eastern Block,” October 2003, PHP.

[9] Report on the 24th CMD Meeting, 1 December 1989, PHP.

[10] Vojtech Mastny, “XXIV. Moscow, 6-7 June 1990: Editorial Note,” 24 January 2003, in Mastny, Nuenlist, Locher and Selvage (2001), PHP. Along the same lines of suddenly “remembering” previously non-existent independent behavior, General Jaruzelski made the rather astounding claim that “Poland was the only Warsaw Pact member to have developed a territorial defense concept of its own.” Talk by Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, 5 February 2002, “Polish Generals,” PHP. Romania also did, the difference being that Romania implemented it while Poland did not.

[11] For example, Hungarian Foreign Minister Gyula Horn continued to oppose shifting the Warsaw Pact from its military and political focus to socio-economic issues in the CMFA meeting in Warsaw at the end of October 1989. Speech by the Hungarian Foreign Minister (Gyula Horn), 26 October 1989, PHP. Likewise, before his ouster, Hungarian Party chief Miloš Jakeš rigidly adhered to the Soviet template regarding Warsaw Pact reform. Speech by the General Secretary of the KSČ (Miloš Jakeš), 7 July 1989, PHP.

[12] Although the special working group on “issues related to the improvement of the mechanism of cooperation within the Warsaw Pact” met four times between its founding in July 1988 to the autumn of 1989, it could reach no consensus because of the “deep opposition of views” pitting Romania against all the rest. Ironically, consensus was reached at the fifth meeting in February 1990 when the other members accepted the transformation of the Pact’s functions and the rotation of the Supreme Commander post, thus the main elements of the Romanian reform proposal. However, Ceauşescu had fallen and the new Romanian representatives at the PCC meeting neither claimed nor were given any credit for what amounted to the reform that ended the Warsaw Pact. See e.g. Jordan Baev, “The End of the Warsaw Pact, 1985-1991: Viewed from the Bulgarian Archives,” in “National Perspectives,” PHP; Information on the Budapest meeting of the Group “for issues to the improvement of the mechanism of cooperation within the Warsaw Pact,” 5 March 1990, Diplomatic Archive, Sofia, Opis 47-10, A.E. 34, p. 10.

[13] Proposal by the Czechoslovak Delegation, 7 June 1990, PHP; Records of the PCC Meeting in Moscow: East German Report, 8 June 1990, PHP; Vojtech Mastny, “XXIV. Meeting of the PCC, Moscow, 6-7 June 1990, Editorial Note,” 24 January 2003, PHP.

[14] See for example, the Hungarian ambassador’s report from Moscow, 1946, in Lucian Nastasă, Andreea Andreescu, Andrea Varga, editors, Maghiarii din Romania (1945-1955): Minoritati ethnoculturale. Marturii documentare [The Magyars of Romania (1945-1955): Ethnocultural Minorities. Documentary Witnesses.], Cluj-Napoca, CRDE, 2002, Document 110, pp. 357-358; MOL, KÜM, XIX-J-1-a-Rom-IV-135-1540-1946, f. 220-226. Likewise, Party leader Ernö Gerö agreed that furthering Hungarian claims required the party to “stress the rights of the Hungarians rather than territory.” Martin Mevius, Agents of Moscow: The Hungarian Communist Party and the Origins of Socialist Patriotism 1941-1953, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 119. The same effort was highlighted by the 1946 mission of Party leader Matyas Rakosi and Prime Minister Ferenc Nagy to the United States, France and Great Britain. See e.g. Rakosi’s statement to Népszabadság, 13 August 1945; Attila Kóvari, The Antecedents of Today’s National Myth in Rumania, 1921-1965, Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1983, p. 130; “Mathematics for the Millions,” Time, 1 July 1946; The Manchester Guardian, 19, 20 June 1946. See also the proclamations of chief communist ideologue at the time. Jószef Révai, “On the Hungarian Peace,” Szabad Nép, 28 April 1946; Nastasă, Andreescu and Varga (2002), Documents 107 and 109, pp. 329, 341.

[15] Hungarian-American groups in the USA succeeded in mobilizing Congressional representatives to request a “sense of Congress” declaration on alleged repression of ethnic Hungarians in Transylvania in 1963.

[16] See for example, the page-long advertisement paid for by the Committee for Human Rights in Rumania (alternately named the Hungarian Human Rights Association) entitled: “Will The United States Endorse Cultural Genocide?” The New York Times, 7 May 1976. For a detailed description of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) hearings on Romania, see Mircea Răceanu, Istoria Clauzei Naţiunii Cele Mai Favorizate în Relaţiile Româno-Americane [The History of the Most Favored Nation Clause in Romanian-American Relations], Bucharest, Institutul Naţional Pentru Memoria Exilului Românesc, 2009.

[17] The willingness of Hungarian-American organizations to trust Budapest, particularly on the issue of recovering Transylvania from Romania, had long-established roots. At the 1929 inauguration of the World Federation of Hungarians, formed to work with the Hungarian Revisionist League precisely for the purpose of lobbying Western (and world) opinion on the behalf of their territorial claims first against Romania followed by Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the leading Hungarian-American organization at the time gave the keynote speech, in which it pledged to do its best to further that goal. Mark Imre Major, American Hungarian Relations 1918-1944, Astor, Fl., Danubian Press, 1974, available at www.hungarian-history.hu. See especially Chapter VI: “Emigration as an Ally: Hungarians in America,” pp. 137-139. Budapest’s World Federation of Hungarians “looked after” the interests of Hungarian émigré organizations in the West and, as one historian has noted, by the 1970s their attitude towards Hungary “could be described as one of loyalty.” Jorg K. Hoensch, A History of Modern Hungary: 1867-1994, New York, Longman, 1996, p. 274. Hungarian-Americans pursued these ends honestly, themselves victim of misapprehensions systematically propounded through Hungarian institutions since the First World War that (1) the Hungarian population in Transylvania was as large, or larger, than the Romanian, and that (2) Romanian claims on the territory were neither as ancient nor as valid as Hungarian claims.

[18] U.S. Department of State counselor Rozanne Ridgway in Hearing before the Subcommittee on Trade of the Committee on Ways and Means, June 10, 1980, Washington DC, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1980, pp. 44. As Ridgway stated: “It is obvious that Romanian policies in the area of human rights are not the same as ours, nor do they fully conform to what we consider to be the spirit of the Helsinki Final Act. Nevertheless, we have found that the Romanian Government is prepared to carry out open and comprehensive discussions in this area. This was highlighted during the Human Rights Round-Table meeting held in Romania in February [1980,] which included U.S. Government officials, CSCE Commission representatives, and members of private organizations interested in human rights.” Ibid.

[19] The towns visited were chosen not only as three of the most important settlements in Transylvania but as representing the variety of settlement patterns. In Cluj-Napoca, for example, ethnic Hungarians made up less than a quarter of the population, in Târgu Mureş there was a rough parity between ethnic Hungarians and ethnic Romanians and, in Sfântul Gheorghe, ethnic Hungarians were more than three-quarters of the local population.

[20] Extension of the President’s Authority To Waive Section 402 (Freedom of Emigration Requirements) Of The Trade Act Of 1974, Hearing Before The Subcommittee on International Trade On The Committee On Finance , United States Senate, 96th Congress, Second Session, 21 July 1980, Washington, U.S. GPO, 1980, p. 252. The Congressional study underscored that: “None of the people interviewed believed that the termination of the present trade relationship with the United States would help the minority situation.” Hamos maintained just the opposite, insisting that his organization could put the U.S. Congress in touch with individuals within Romania that would advocate its isolation from U.S. contacts and support. Ibid.

[21] Aside from the CHRR led by Laszlo Hamos, the main organizations involved in this campaign were the “Committee for Collaboration of the Hungarian Organizations of North America,” led by Istvan Gereben, and the American-Transylvanian Foundation of Washington, led by A. Tamas and Christina Kun.

[22] As Senator Charles Vanik pointed out after Hamos recommended the book published by Albert Wass – Witness to Cultural Genocide – as authority, “If you went to Romania now, you could bring back letters or affidavits signed by people who are living there. Your testimony becomes hearsay. It is something you heard or something you read, something that is not in your personal observation or something that was reported to your organization in a publication written by someone we can’t cross-examine, written by someone we don’t know, written by someone we can’t test.” Extension of the President’s Authority To Waive Section 402 (Freedom of Emigration Requirements) Of The Trade Act Of 1974, Hearing Before The Subcommittee on International Trade On The Committee On Finance, United States Senate, 96th Congress, Second Session (1980), pp. 254-255.

[23] Ibid, p. 91.

[24] Ibid.

[25] See e.g. Genocide in Transylvania: Nation On The Death Row, compiled by the Transylvanian World Federation and the Danubian Research and Information Center, Astor, Fl., Danubian Press, 1985.

[26] Martti Valkonen, “Gorbachev Aided the Minority,” Helsingin Sanomat, 13 July 1987, p. 19 in JPRS-EER-87-141, 23 September 1987, pp. 1-3. Helsingin Sanomat was Finland’s largest circulation newspaper.

[27] Yosef Govrin, Israeli-Romanian Relations at the End of the Ceausescu Era, New York, Routledge, 2002, p. 129. Fazekas was apparently involved in a 1984 coup attempt, which included efforts to provoke violent ethnic clashes in Transylvania. See e.g. Dennis Deletant, Ceauşescu and the Securitate: Coercion and Dissent in Romania, 1965-1989, London, Hurst & Company, 1995, p. 344. Hungarian Ambassador Szűcs was also a senior officer of the Hungarian World Federation.

[28] Geza Entz, responsible for Hungarians abroad in the Hungarian Democratic Forum government, to Stephen Engelberg and Judith Ingram, “Now Hungary Adds Its Voice to the Ethnic Tumult,” New York Times, 25 January 1993.

[29] This was also a principal target of the Romanian defector Ion Mihai Pacepa. For a discussion of Pacepa’s efforts in this direction see http://larrylwatts.blogspot.ro/2013/08/mr-pacepas-disinformation-ii-anti.html.  Israeli and Egyptian leaders publicly vouched for the sincerity of the Romanian role, as did President Carter, so as to leave no doubt in this regard. While U.S. scholarship generally ignores the Romanian role in the Middle East peace process, Israeli diplomats and scholars have analyzed it in greater detail. See e.g. Govrin (2005). Govrin was in charge of the Soviet bloc for the Israeli Foreign Ministry from the late 1970s, served as Ambassador to Romania during 1985-1989, and then returned to the foreign ministry as its secretary general. See also Aba Gefen, Israel At A Crossroads, Jerusalem, Gefen Publishing Ltd, 2001, pp. 164-178. Gefen was Israeli Ambassador to Romania during 1977-1982.

[30] MTI (Hungarian Telegraph Agency) in English, 22 August 1988.

[31] Michael Shafir, “PLO’s Second in Command Denounces Romania’s Treatment of Hungarian Transylvanians,” RAD Background Report/168, Radio Free Europe Research (RFER), 25 August 1988, pp. 1-3, in Open Society Archives (OSA), Box 37, File 5, Report 65. Iyad also fed disinformation to Western interlocutors according to which the terrorists Abu Nidal and Ilich Sanchez Ramirez (“Carlos the Jackal”) were CIA assets. See e.g. David Yallop, To the Ends of the Earth: The Hunt for the Jackal, London, Jonathan Cape, 1993, p. 214; Seattle Times, 24 February 1993; Patrick Seale, Abu Nidal: A Gun For Hire, New York, Random House, 1992. Referring to the Yallop and Seale volumes, Daniel Pipes observed that “Neither of these British writers supposes that Khalaf [Iyad] used them to distance the PLO from its most unsavory allies. They prefer to become instruments of his disinformation.” See the review of Yallop’s book in Daniel Pipes, “The Middle East,” Orbis, Fall 1993, http://www.danielpipes.org/581/to-the-ends-of-the-earth-the-hunt-for-the-jackal.

[32] See, e.g. Iyad’s discussions with Stasi chief Ernst Mielke in June 1978. John O. Koehler, Stasi: The Untold Story of the East German Secret Police, New York, Basic Books, 2000, pp. 367-368. Arafat was also playing both sides against the middle. By the spring of 1980 he was warning Zhivkov that the “possibility exists that Israel might reach an agreement with Jordan, the spirit of Camp David might be restored, and Jordan might start negotiations again,” which, the PLO claimed, “will undoubtedly disrupt the balance of powers in the region.” He assured the Bulgarian leader that the PLO was “making efforts to oppose that.” Minutes of Conversation Between Todor Zhivkov and Yasser Arafat, Damascus, 22 April 1980, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 1-B, Record 60, File 264. Translated by Dr.Rositza Ishpekova. Edited by Dr. Jordan Baev, Kalin Kanchev. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/113416.

[33] John Follain, Jackal: Finally, the Complete Story of the Legendary Terrorist, Carlos the Jackal, New York, Arcade, 2000, p. 126. As part of his effort to torpedo Romania’s role in the Middle East peace process, the Romanian defector Pacepa re-assigned the roles of conspirators against the King of Jordan from Iyad and Carlos to Ceausescu and Arafat.  Ion Mihai Pacepa, Red Horizons, Washington DC, Regnery Gateway, 1987, pp. 16-19.

[34] The Hungarian press agency then circulated Iyad’s statement for Western audiences. MTI (in English), 22 August 1988; Shafir (1988).

[35] See the remarkable set of charges to this effect in Béla Révész, “‘Out of Romania!’ Reasons and Methods as Reflected in State Security Documents 1987-1989,” Regio – Minorities, Politics, Society, vol. 11 (2008).

[36] Govrin (2005), pp. 125-126. Ambassador Govrin’s source was the Hungarian Ambassador, Pal Szűcs. According to Szűcs, “Ceauşescu argued that the systematization of the villages was implemented in the regions of Moldova, Muntenia [Wallachia], and Dobrogea, but not in Transylvania ‘where the villages are built in a compact form’.” Ibid. Szűcs told Govrin this as part of an informal briefing regarding the recent visit of Hungarian International Department chief Mátyás Szűrös to Bucharest on 23 October 1988.

[37] Govrin’s assessment, that this represented an official “retreat from the plan” regarding “systematization” in Transylvania, was born out by subsequent events. The Israeli diplomat noted, however, that his Hungarian counterpart ignored Ceauşescu’s rather explicit exemption of Transylvanian villages and reinterpreted his position “to mean that no decision had been taken as yet to include the Transylvanian villages.” Govrin (2005), pp. 125-126. Szűcs further noted to Govrin that Ceauşescu had “sharply criticized the Hungarian leadership, accusing it of inflaming anti-Romanian sentiments in the Hungarian population.” For continued insistence that the “systematization” program was aimed against Hungarian villages and had actually taken place see e.g. Révész (2008), pp. 16-19.

[38] MTI (in English), 22 August 1988; Shafir (1988), p. 2. The Hungarian interviewer claimed that Foreign Minister Shimon Peres complained how “the socialist countries condemn Israeli tyranny and the suppression of the Palestinians, while Romania does the same to the ethnic Hungarians and other minorities of Transylvania.” While Budapest did exert considerable effort to enlist Tel Aviv on its side and the active measures campaign did influence Israeli opinion, Israeli leaders were cautioned by their diplomats on the ground to stay well clear of the “Transylvanian problem.” See the discussion in Govrin (2002). Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres refused to condemn Ceauşescu during the 1989 revolution because he was “on world matters a man for peace.” Washington Post, 24 December 1989, A22.

[39] Shafir (1988), p. 2.

[40] For Israeli perceptions see Govrin (2004) and Gefen (2001). Gefen’s council persuaded Tel Aviv that the debate over minority rights in Transylvania was not an appropriate comparison for Israel and Palestine.

[41] President Antall told a German journal that “Romanians simply need an enemy [and] that’s us.”  He further claimed that Romanian nationalists sought to annex parts of eastern Hungary and the Soviet Union. Der Spiegel, 21 May 1990, pp. 172-176; Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Joint Publications Research Service, East Europe (FBIS, JPRS-EER)-90-092, 26 June 1990, pp. 18-20.

[42] “Romania: Impending Crisis?” in Soviet Policy Toward Eastern Europe Under Gorbachev: National Intelligence Estimate (NIE 11/12-9-98), 26 May 1988, p. 16, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/csi-publications/books-and-monographs/at-cold-wars-end-us-intelligence-on-the-soviet-union-and-eastern-europe-1989-1991/16526pdffiles/NIE1112-9-88.pdf. Even after the revolution American intelligence believed that “chronic political instability” would be “accompanied by outbreaks of ethnic violence.” Outlook For Eastern Europe in 1990: Interagency Intelligence Memorandum (NI IIM 90-10001), 8 February 1990, p. 37, http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000265642.pdf. The single outbreak that occurred in Târgu Mureş in March 1990 was evidently orchestrated to portray Romanians as the aggressors to international opinion. See the candid interview with British director Patrick Swain describing that orchestration and his unwitting role in it, in Mihai Mincan, “Culisele manipulării conflictului româno-maghiar din 20 martie 1990” [Behind the Scenes of the Manipulation of the Romanian-Hungarian Conflict of 20 March 1990], Adevărul, 14 March 2010, at http://adevarul.ro/news/eveniment/exclusiv-culisele-manipularii-conflictului-romano-maghiar-20-martie-1990-1_50ad49937c42d5a663924d61/index.html. See also Dorin Suciu, “Postscriptum la o manipulare” [Postscript to a Manipulation] at http://roncea.ro/2010/03/22/dupa-20-de-ani-post-scriptum-la-o-manipulare-dorin-suciu-prezinta-noi-dovezi-de-la-targu-mures-ungurii-au-reusit-sa-blocheze-pe-youtube-documentarul-despre-ororile-din-1990/ . For the portrayal of Romanians as extreme chauvinist aggressors see e.g., Blaine Harden, “Hungary Protests Romanian Mob Action; Ethnic Hungarians Slain, Injured in Transylvania, Budapest Says,” The Washington Post, 21 March 1990; “A Bitter Blood Feud: Angry Mobs Attack Ethnic Hungarians,” The Washington Post, 22 March 1990; Elöd Kincses, Marosvásárhely fekete márciusa [Black March in Targu Mures], Püski Kiadó, Budapest, 1990, (English) Black Spring: Romania’s Path from Revolution to Pogrom December 1989-March 1990, Budapest-Munich, Present, 1992.

[43] Romania: Impending Crisis?” in Soviet Policy Toward Eastern Europe Under Gorbachev: National Intelligence Estimate (1988), p. 16.

[44] Ibid, pp. 14-16.

[45] Ibid.

[46] Kevin Devlin, “Hungary’s New Defense Doctrine: ‘Enemy Not The West But Romania,’” RAD Background Report/101, Radio Free Europe Research (RFER), 16 June 1989, p. 3.

[47] See e.g. Jacques Lévesque, The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997, pp. 139-142.

[48] Interview of Hungarian Parliamentary spokesman and former HSWP CC International Department chief Szűrös by Nestor Ratesh in Michael Shafir, “Matyas Szűrös’s Interview with RFE’s Romanian Service,” RAD Background Report/127, RFER, 20 July 1989a, p. 6.

[49] The Soviet standing military order was discovered in 1993 and its public release debated in several meetings of Romania’s Supreme Defense Council (CSAT) at the beginning of 1994. This author, then working as security sector reform consultant with the Romanian defense ministry, general staff and foreign intelligence agency, was made aware of that debate. Several CSAT members subsequently confirmed the main elements of the Soviet standing order.

[50] Interview by correspondent Marina Kalashnikova with former Deputy Foreign Minister Ivan Aboimov, “The Country’s Leadership Regarded the GDR as Self-supporting Unit,” Vlast (Moscow), 26 April 2005. http://www.kommersant.com/p570876/r_1/The_Country_s_Leadership_Regarded_the_GDR_as_Self-supporting_Unit”/.

[51] To quote Aboimov: “When I became the Ambassador in Budapest, I was informed that Iliescu was about to accuse the USSR of preparing intervention in the Romanian affairs during the revolution in 1989. Then the Russian Foreign Ministry decided to declassify the record of my talk with the US Ambassador Jack Matlock.” Ibid. Aboimov served as Soviet and then Russian Ambassador to Hungary during 1990-1996.

[52] Statement by the Press Secretary, White House, December 25, 1989 cited in Robert L. Hutchings, American Diplomacy and the End of the Cold War: An Insider’s Account of U.S. Policy in Europe, 1989-1992, Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Woodrow Wilson Center Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997, p. 381; Thomas Blanton, “When Did The Cold War End?” Cold War International History Project Bulletin, No. 10 (March 1998): 184-191. Evidently unaware of Aboimov’s revelation that Romanian actions prompted the uncharacteristic voluntary declassification, Blanton observed that: “In 1994, the Foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation declassified and published these selected documents, for the obvious reason that the Soviets come off quite well in the exchange with the Americans.” (p. 185.)

[53] Blanton presents the basic elements of this debate with Robert L. Hutchings, at the time the U.S. National Intelligence Officers responsible for coordinating the National Intelligence Estimates issued jointly by the U.S. intelligence community, criticizing the message as “unfortunate,” and the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow, Jack Matlock, defending the message (despite the official White House disapproval at the time). Blanton (1998), pp. 185-188, footnote 17. See also Hutchings (1997), p. 86.

[54] See e.g. Intelligence Memorandum: Czechoslovakia: The Problem of Soviet Control, (Ref Title: ESAU IV), January 16, 1970, available at http://www.foia.cia.gov/document/5166d4f999326091c6a6089d.

[55] Moscow employed the same techniques against Romania during the 1920s and 1930s to justify their invasion, occupation and annexation of northern Moldova (Bessarabia) and northern Bucovina in 1940. Portraying their attack as a “liberation” of the local population from Romanian abuse, the Soviets and their agents insisted throughout Europe and North America that Romania was an “aggressive armed camp” that would attack and grab territory from its neighbors unless preventative measures were taken. See e.g. Chapter 3 “The Romanian Threat and the Komintern Between the Wars” in Larry L. Watts, With Friends Like These: The Soviet Bloc’s Clandestine War Against Romania, Bucharest, Military Publishing House, 2010, pp. 56-86. Similar techniques were used after 1989 with diminishing success in an effort to keep Romania isolated from the West and out of NATO. See e.g. Janusz Bugajski, Cold Peace: Russia’s New Imperialism, Westport, CT, Praeger, 2004, pp. 95-96, 98, 103-105, 216. See also Yevgheny Primakov, “Opravdano li rasshirenie NATO? Osoboe mnenie Sluzhby vneshnei razvedki Rossii” [Is NATO Expansion Justified? Special Opinion of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia], Nezavisimaia gazeta, 26 November 1993; J. L. Black, Russia Faces NATO Expansion: Bearing Gifts or Bearing Arms? Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2000, pp. 8-9, 109-10 and 157; “Primakov Intervention” Brussels, NATO HQ (11 Dec 1996), February 13, 1998, www.nato.int.

[56] Judith Pataki, “The Problem of Transylvanian Refugees,” Hungarian Situation Report/3, RFER, 24 February 1989, pp. 35-36. Radio Budapest, 18 December 1988, 2400 hrs; Nepszabadsag, 25 December 1988; Magyar Nemzet, 9 and 14 January 1989.

[57] The Gyula branch of the Hungarian Democratic Forum sent the letter on 9 January 1989. “Weekly Record of Events in Eastern Europe,” RFER, 13 January 1989, OSA, Box 120, Folder 2, Report 293, p. 7. There was a shooting incident at the Romanian-Hungarian border in May 1988 that resulted in at least one casualty. However, the cause of the incident and the identity and location of the victim(s) remain unclear. Ceausescu referred to the incident briefly in the 18 June 1988 Central Committee meeting in a manner that suggested its singularity.

[58] Richards J. Heuer, Jr., Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, Washington, D.C., Central Intelligence Agency, Center for the Study of Intelligence, 1999, pp. 124-125.

[59] Radio Budapest, 18 December 1988, 2400 hrs; Nepszabadsag, 25 December 1988; Radio Budapest, 10 January 1989, 2200 hrs; Pataki (1989), pp. 35-36.

[60] See e.g. the statements of ethnic Hungarians in the Ukrainian SSR. Interview with Magyar writers from Uzhgorod, Radio Budapest, 16 July 1988, 4:00 P.M.; Erdelyi Magyar Hirugynokseg [Hungarian Press of Transylvania] (Satu Mare/Szatmar Nemeti), 22 June 1988, as cited in Vladimir Socor, “Soviet Reactions To The Hungarian-Romanian Dispute,” RAD Background Report/162, RFER, 18 August 1988, OSA, Box 37, Folder 5, Report 60, pp. 2-3.

[61] Magyarorszag, 20 January 1989; Pataki (1989), p. 36.

[62] Socor, “Soviet Reactions to the Hungarian-Romanian Dispute” (1988), pp. 3-5.

[63] Magyarorszag, 20 January 1989; Pataki (1989), p. 36.

[64] Ibid.

[65] Socor, “Soviet Reactions to the Hungarian-Romanian Dispute” (1988), pp. 3-5. See also Budapest Television, 24 June 1988, 7:30 P.M.;  “Vremya,” Moscow Television, 1700 hrs, 28, 29, and 30 June 1988; Pravda and Izvestia, 23, 29 June and 1 July 1988;  “Standpoint,” Ekho Planety, no. 12, June 1988, p. 24; “From Differing Positions,” Ekho Planety, no 15, July 1988, pp. 18-19;  “Romania-Hungary: What Is Going On?” Moskovskie Novosti, no. 28, July 1988, p. 5; “Hungary-Romania: Stating the Case,” Novoe Vremya, no. 29, July 1988, pp. 37-38; “Hungary-Romania: Problems and Prospects,” Literaturnaya Gazeta, no. 30, July 1988, p. 9. For the partisan coverage from the other Pact members see Vladimir Socor, “East European Media Treatment of the Hungarian-Romanian Dispute,” RAD Background Report/161, RFER, 19 October 1988, OSA, Box 37, Folder 5, Report 56, pp. 1-4.

[66] See the comments of Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Petrovsky and historian Roy Medvedev to Hungarian Television in Socor, “Soviet Reactions to the Hungarian-Romanian Dispute” (1988), p. 3.

[67] Ibid, p. 3; Hungarian Television, 5 August 1988, 9:30 P.M.; see also Hungarian Situation Report/13, Radio Free Europe Research, 17 August 1988, item 3.

[68] Socor, “Soviet Reactions to the Hungarian-Romanian Dispute” (1988), p. 3; Hungarian Television, 5 August 1988, 9:30 P.M.

[69] See e.g. Watts (2010), pp. 103-111. See also, Stefano Bottoni, “The Creation of the Hungarian Autonomous Region in Romania (1952): Premises and Consequences,” Regio- Minorities, Politics, Society, no. 1 (2003), Teleki László Intezet, pp. 71-93.

[70] Shafir (1989a), p. 4.

[71] See e.g. the reports of the German-Italian commissions of inquiry (Altenburg-Roggeri, October 1940, and Roggeri-Hencke, February 1943) presented in Vasile Puşcaş, Al doilea Război Mondial: Transylvania şi aranjamentele europene (1940-1944) [The Second World War: Transylvania and European Arrangements (1940-1944)], Cluj, Fundaţia Culturala Română [Romanian Cultural Foundation], 1995. The United States also obtained the final report of the second, Roggeri-Hencke commission inquiry. See “Report by the Special Italo-German Commission sent to Hungary and Romania.” Berlin, 8 February 1943, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), General Records of the Department of State, Division of South-East European Affairs, No. 871,000/1-3045, U.S. Consul in Geneva, Paul Squire, to Secretary of State, 30 January 1945.

[72] Shafir (1989a), pp. 4-5.

[73] The intention to unilaterally abrogate the Hungarian-Romanian Friendship Treaty was floated publicly in July 1988, almost a year and a half earlier, as a recommendation to the Hungarian National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Committee. The reason given at the time was the closing of the Hungarian Consulate in Cluj. Reuter, 29 June 1988; AP, 30 June 1988. See also Dan Ionescu, “Chronology of Hungarian Protests at Romanian Rural Resettlement Plans,” RAD Background Report/129, RFER, 9 July 1988.

[74] Arpad Zengo interview with Szűrös on Budapest domestic radio in Hungarian, 20 December 1989, 0545 hrs GMT, in FBIS-EEU-89-243, 20 December 1989, p. 47. The day before, soon-to-be-named deputy defense minister of Hungary, Ernő Raffay, stated to the same journalist that since the Hungarians in Transylvania “have never wanted to live on Romania’s territory,” he could say, “as a National Assembly deputy, that I will do everything to fulfill, sooner or later, this wish of Magyardom in Romania.” Op. cit., p. 46. See also Costache Codrescu, coordinator, Armata Română în revoluţia din decembrie 1989: Studiu documentar [The Romanian Army in the Revolution of December 1989: A Documentary Study], revised 2nd edition, Bucharest, Editura Militară, 1998, p. 43. This call was echoed by the former senior Romanian Communist Party official, Károly Király.

[75] “Officials Give Briefing,” Budapest Domestic Service, 21 December 1989, 0950 hrs GMT, FBIS-EEU-89-245, 22 December 1989, pp. 39-40. Having opened up the issue of new border delineation, Hungary did not formally renounce territorial claims against Romania (or Slovakia) until after the mid-1994 Conference on Stability in Europe. Nicholas Denton, “Hungary Acts on Borders,” Financial Times, July 15, 1994, p. 2; Patrick Worsnip, “Talks On Stability Fan Old Enmities,” The Independent, May 28, 1994, p. 7; Cyrus R. Vance and David A. Hamburg, co-chairs, Preventing Deadly Conflict, 1997 Final Report, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, p. 205.

[76] Yosef Govrin, Israeli-Romanian Relations at the End of the Ceausescu Era, New York, Routledge, 2002, pp. 8, 119.

[77] See e.g. Michael Shafir, “Revisionism under Romanian General’s Fire: Ceauşescu’s Brother Attacks Hungarian Positions,” RAD Background Report/86, RFER, 17 May 1989b, OSA, Box 53, Folder 11, Report 32, pp. 6-7. For similar interpretations during the 1980 Polish crisis see pp. 278-303.

[78] Kevin Devlin, “Hungary’s New Defense Doctrine: ‘Enemy Not The West But Romania,’” RAD Background Report/101, RFER, 16 June 1989, p. 1; Interview of Csaba Tabajdi by Guido Rampoli, “Friends of Moscow, but in Command of our Army,” La Stampa, 14 June 1989.

[79] Devlin (1989), p. 1; Rampoli (1989).

[80] Devlin (1989), p. 1.

[81] Geza Kotai to Radio Budapest, 26 June 1989; Mátyás Szűrös to Magyar Hirlap, 29 June 1989.

[82] See e.g. Nepszabadsag, 17 May 1989; János Juhani Nagy, “Bonn-Bucharest Missile Business,” Budapester Rundschau, 29 May 1989; MTI in English, 5 June 1989.

[83] The Treaty of Peace with Romania was signed on 10 February 1947 and entered into force on 15 September 1947. Treaties and Other International Agreements of the United States of America 1776-1949, Volume 4, Compiled under the direction of Charles I. Bevans LL.B., Washington, DC : Government Printing Office, 1969.

[84] Article 2 of Treaty of Peace with Romania in Bevans (1969). Presumably, Moscow turned a blind eye to the SCUD-B and FROG-7 missiles it had supplied Romania with earlier. Romanian SCUDs were part of its contribution to the Warsaw Pact and were deployed according to Pact strategy, for possible future use against an invading, presumably NATO force coming northward through Bulgaria and or Yugoslavia. They were not deployed as part of Romania’s national territorial defense strategy.

[85] “‘Dieselbe Fabrik Entsteht’ in Rumanien” [The Same [Missile] Plant is Under Construction in Romania], Der Spiegel, No. 19, 8 May 1989, pp. 166-168, translated in JPRS Arms Control, May 17, 1989, pp. 54-55. Intermediate-range ballistic missiles have an operating range of 1,000 to 3,000 km. The reach of short-range missiles is between 300 and 1,000 km. Missiles with operating ranges 300 km and below are considered tactical.

[86] Vladimir Socor, “Ceauşescu Claims That Romania Could Make Nuclear Weapons,” Romanian Situation Report/4, RFER, 4 May 1989, item 4; Mihail E. Ionescu and Carmen Rîjnoveanu, “Percepţia României asupra descurajării nucleare” [Romania’s Perception On Nuclear Discouragement], Revista de Istorie Militară, vol. 5, no. 6 (2007), p. 6.

[87] R. Eliza Gheorghe, “Romania’s Nuclear Negotiations Postures in the 1960s: Client, Maverick, and International Peace Mediator,” Romania Energy Center, 2012, pp. 21-22. Gheorghe’s basic premise is that Romania was a Soviet Trojan horse and its independence a sham (e.g. “if there was a maverick leader in Europe, it was de Gaulle and not Ceauşescu.” (p. 24)). Caution is further advised in that Gheorghe’s claims of a Romanian nuclear weapons program, and of Ceausescu’s desire to acquire a bomb, are not supported by the archival documents she cites. See also Francis J. Gavin, “Same As It Ever Was. Nuclear Alarmism, Proliferation, and the Cold War,” International Security, vol. 34, no. 3 (Winter 2009/2010), p. 17.

[88] Raymond L. Garthoff, “When and Why Romania Distanced itself from the Warsaw Pact,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin, no. 5 (Spring 1995), p. 35; “Convorbiri neterminate cu Corneliu Mănescu” [Unfinished Conversations with Corneliu Mănescu] in Lavinia Betea, Partea lor de adevar [Their Side of the Truth], Bucharest, Compania, 2008, pp. 499-501. The United States found Romania’s repeatedly stated policy and consistent behavior against nuclear weapons persuasive. Consequently, it was “seldom” concerned that “Romania would divert its civilian program to military purposes.” Gheorghe (2012), pp. 21-22. Given the lack of evidence for any military nuclear program after the collapse of Communism in Romania, American faith seems to have been well-placed.

[89] Memorandum of Conversation between Gheorghe Gaston-Marin and Averell Harriman, Washington, May 18, 1964, Document 142 in Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968, Vol. XVII, Eastern Europe, p. 392; Gheorghe (2012), p. 19. After noting, in 1964, that Romania, along with Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Yugoslavia, was either building or “considering the construction of nuclear power reactors which could be used to produce plutonium,” and that therefore “might reach a stage where they could initiate a weapons program in the next decade,” the U.S. intelligence community declared its belief that “none of them will do so.” National Intelligence Estimate: Prospects for a Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Over the Next Decade (NIE 4-2-64), 21 October 1964, p. 14, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, CIA Mandatory Review Appeal. Obtained and contributed by William Burr. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/115994.

[90] U.S.-Romanian Nuclear Cooperation, SecState Washington D.C. to AmEmbassy Ottowa, 3 February 1976, Margaret P. Grafeld, Declassified/Released U.S. Department of State EO Systematic Review, 4 May 2006, pp. 2-3, NARA, Access to Archives Database, http://aad.archives.gov/aad/createpdf?rid=106853&dt=2476&dl=1345.

[91] Ibid; Gheorghe (2012), p. 35.

[92] E.g., German Reactor Components to Romania, SecState Washington D.C. to USMission OECD Paris, 8 March 1976, and German Uranium to Romania, SecState Washington D.C. to USMission OECD Paris,  10 April 1976,  Margaret P. Grafeld, Declassified/Released U.S. Department of State EO Systematic Review, 4 May 2006, pp. 2-3, NARA, http://aad.archives.gov/aad/createpdf?rid=106853&dt=2476&dl=1345.

[93] U.S.-Romanian Nuclear Cooperation (1976), http://aad.archives.gov/aad/createpdf?rid=106853&dt=2476&dl=1345.

[94] Ibid. According to the assessment, “We postulate but cannot verify a third goal of GOR policy,” namely that of keeping the nuclear weapon option open. This U.S. postulate, along with Romania’s support of Chinese nuclear weapon acquisition in order to counterbalance the Soviet nuclear monopoly within the communist bloc, has been grossly misinterpreted as representing an aim Romania actually sought for itself. For example, absent any of the “trigger” indicators of a program to produce a nuclear bomb (actual plans, budgeting, weaponizing of fissile materials, military involvement, etc.), one author simply asserts “that Romania had a nuclear weapons program in the late 1970s and 1980s.” Not surprisingly, the claim is unsourced. See Gheorghe (2012), pp. 3, 13-14, 21-22, 35. See also Eliza Gheorghe, “How to Become a Customer: Lessons from the Nuclear Negotiations between the U.S., Canada and Romania in the 1960s,” Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, Issue Brief #2, 24 April 2013, p. 2. Gheorghe also claims Ceausescu expressed the desire and intention to procure a nuclear weapon in conversation with John S. Foster, the President of Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd, and Vice-President A. M. Aiken, in June 1976. However, the transcript of that meeting at Romanian National Archives (Arhivele Naţionale ale României: ANR), Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 79/1976, f. 10) indicates the very opposite, reaffirming Romanian commitment to the peaceful use of nuclear power while warning that nonproliferation was bound to fail unless the nuclear powers stopped accumulating more weapons and moved to their reduction and elimination. Eliza Gheorghe, “Frenemies, Nuclear Sharing, and Proliferation: The Eastern Bloc, 1965– 1969,” paper prepared for the Nuclear Studies Research Initiative workshop, Warrenton, Virginia, April 30 to May 2, 2015 available at www.academia.edu/14848234/Frenemies_Nuclear_Sharing_and_Proliferation_The_Eastern_Bloc_1965-1969.

[95] U.S.-Romanian Nuclear Cooperation (1976), http://aad.archives.gov/aad/createpdf?rid=106853&dt=2476&dl=1345.

[96] The Romanians repeatedly expressed to the Chinese that non-proliferation would work only “if it is tied to a general process that encompasses non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament, the interdiction of the use of nuclear weapons, and the destruction of nuclear weapons.” But if it was “not tied to an entire process of halting and destroying nuclear arms” then it would create a monopoly, allowing those possessing them to keep them, “increase their number and develop them further” without restriction, and granting a “political preponderance” to “whoever has such a powerful club in hand” that could be imposed on non-nuclear states. In consequence “every country that can build a nuclear weapon and that considers it necessary to possess one will do so.” See e.g. the discussion between Romanian Vice-President Emil Bodnaras and the Chinese Ambassador, January 28, 1965, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 4/1965, f. 43-58. Ceausescu explained this in even greater detail to former Vice-President Richard Nixon on March 22, 1967, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 15/1967, f. 4, 16-20. For the USSR see Ceausescu’s conversation with the President of the Soviet State Committee for Nuclear Energy, Andronik Petrosiants, May 16, 1981, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 53/1981, f.3, 7-12. For India see Ceausescu’s discussion with Indira Gandhi, October 19, 1967, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 88/1967, f. 4-6. For North Korea see the official Romanian-North Korean talks, May 20, 1978, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 66/1978, f. 2, 51-52 and Ceausescu’s discussion with Kim Il Sung, May 10-11, 1980, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 62/1980, f. 1, 26-27, 29-32. For Libya see Ceausescu’s conversation with the Libyan Secretary for Nuclear Energy, Abdel Magid Al-Kaud, December 2, 1981, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 91/1981, f. 3-5.

[97] Nicolae Ceauşescu in Hearst Interview and British Broadcasting Company (BBC), 9 July 1984. Interestingly, the analyst did not report the rest of Ceauşescu’s comment stipulating that Romania would not do so because it was against nuclear weapons. Vladimir Socor, “Soviet-Romanian Programs in Nuclear Energy Development,” RAD Background Report/129, RFER, 18 November 1985, pp. 1-2. Socor specified that all of his information came from Soviet sources.

[98] See e.g. Ceausescu’s statements in Minutes of Discussion of Report by the Supreme UAF Commander at the PCC Meeting, December 1978; Speech by the General Secretary of the PCR (Nicolae Ceausescu), 4 January 1983; and Records of the PCC Meeting in Bucharest: Speech by the General Secretary of the PCR (Nicolae Ceauşescu), 7 July 1989, all Courtesy of PHP, www.php.isn.ethz.ch, by permission of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich on behalf of the PHP network.

[99] Reuters (Budapest), 15 November 1988.

[100] Ceauşescu’s declaration was made before a Plenum of the Democracy and Socialist Unity Front in Bucharest. Ionescu and Rîjnoveanu (2007), p. 6. On the other hand, as former Romanian Foreign Minister Stefan Andrei observed, Ceausescu’s statements on this point proved to be a major diplomatic “gaffe” since they were easily be spun as affirmations of dangerous intent and used against Romania by Moscow and Budapest. Lavinia Betea, I Se Spunea Machiavelli: Stefan Andrei in Dialog cu Lavina Betea [The Call Me Machiavelli: Stefan Andrei in Dialogue with Lavina Betea], Bucharest, Adevarul 2011, p. 254.

[101] Radio Bucharest, 14 April 1989, 2100 hrs. See also Romania Situation Report/4, RFER, 4 May 1989, item 4.

[102] Transcript of Reception by Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu, President of the Socialist Republic of Romania, of the President of Atomic Energy Canada, Ltd (AECL), John S. Foster and of the Vice-President of the Agency, A. M. Aiken, June 16, 1976, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 79/1976, f. 1-15. Presumably, the already ailing 82 year-old Ceauşescu was referring to the fact that he would no longer be determining policy.

[103] Ibid.

[104] Mohamed ElBaradei, The Age of Deception: Nuclear Diplomacy in Treacherous Times, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2011, p. 42.

[105] See e.g. Petre T. Frangopol, Mediocritate Si Excelenta: O Radiografie a Stiintei si Invatamantului din Romania [Mediocrity and Excellence: An X-Ray of Science and Education in Romania], volume II, Cluj-Napoca, Casa Cartii de Stiinta, 2005, pp. 125-126. See also “Baietul’ lui Ceausescu, Mort in Fasa” [Ceausescu’s ‘Little Boy,’ Dead in the Womb,” Evenimentul Zilei, Dec. 10, 2002, http://www.evz.ro/articole/detalii-articol/513785/Baietelul-lui-Ceausescu-mort-in-fasa/.

[106] Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service, The Nuclear Potential of Individual Countries, 6 April 1995, at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/svr_nuke.htm. The “disclosure” was made in 1995, when Romania suddenly appeared as a viable candidate for first-round NATO admission.

[107] Ibid. See also “Officer Died at Explosion of Nuclear Object in Romania,” Otkpытaя Элecтproнная Газeтa [Open Electronic Newspaper], February 25, 2009, http://forum-msk.org/english/material/eng_news/769077.html and “Ceausescu Effort to Build Nuclear Bomb Reported,” Bucharest, Evenimentul Zilei, May 19, 1992, in FBIS-EEU-93-092, May 14, 1993, p. 14. (“Romania Planned Atom Bomb”, Rompres, 26 May 1993 is a synopsis of this article). See also “Baietul’ lui Ceausescu, Mort in Fasa” [Ceausescu’s ‘Little Boy,’ Dead in the Womb,” Evenimentul Zilei, Dec. 10, 2002, http://www.evz.ro/articole/detalii-articol/513785/Baietelul-lui-Ceausescu-mort-in-fasa/.

[108] As one authority reported, the Romania’s Safeguards Agreement with the IAEA provided “for material up to certain quantities to be exempted from safeguards” and the “Romanians had asked the IAEA to exempt a small quantity of spent fuel and had then conducted plutonium separation experiments in a hot cell.” Trevor Findlay, “Proliferation Alert! The IAEA And Non-Compliance Reporting,” Project On Managing the Atom, Report #2015-04, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School, October 2015, p. 5, footnote 87. Under the Safeguards Agreement (INFCIRC/180) reporting the presence of one or more grams of plutonium was mandatory (at the time 8 kg were thought necessary for a bomb). In its “definitions” section of the agreement on transferring spent fuel to Romania for experimentation, the IAEA identified the “units of account” as “grams of contained plutonium” and “kilograms of contained thorium, natural uranium or depleted uranium.” See the agreement concerning the IAEA’s “Assistance to Romania for the Transfer of Enriched Uranium for Irradiation Studies in a Research Reactor,” INFCIRC/307, December 1, 1983, article 98, point d., pp. 10, https://www.iaea.org/publications/documents/infcircs/text-agreement-1-july-1983-concerning-agencys-assistance-romania. The December 1985 experiment produced only one-tenth that amount (100 milligrams), granting more room for interpretation then the finding of non-compliance suggested. Moreover, INFCIRC/307 allowed that Romania could remedy any determinations of non-compliance – “take fully corrective action within a reasonable time” – before the IAEA Board would “take other measures.” See article VI “Safeguards,” point 4., in Ibid, pages 3-4. Hans Blix signed INFCIRC/307.

[109] Ibid; Findlay (2015), p. 5.

[110] According to the preamble, “arrangements have been made between the Agency and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (hereinafter called the “Soviet Union”) for the provision of uranium dioxide powder containing enriched uranium for use in the project.” See also Article II, 1. & 2., INFCIRC (1983), p. 2.

[111] Findlay (2015), p. 53; Ann MacLachlan, “Romania Separated Tiny Amount of Plutonium in Secret in 1985,” Nucleonics Week, Vol. 33, No. 26, June 25, 1992, p. 16.

[112] MacLachlan, “Romania Separated Tiny Amount of Plutonium in Secret in 1985” (1992), p. 16

[113] Suzanna Van Moyland, Sustaining a Verification Regime in a Nuclear Weapon-Free World, Research Report No 4, London, Verification Research, Training and Information Centre, June 1999, pp. 14-15, http://www.vertic.org/media/Archived_Publications/Research_Reports/Research_Report_4_Van_Moyland.pdf; Leonard S. Spector, Mark G. McDonough with Evan S. Medeiros, Tracking Nuclear Proliferation, New York, Carnegie Endowment, 1995, pp. 83, 86.

[114] Van Moyland (1999), pp. 14-15. Van Moyland’s third hypothesis, that the IAEA remained silent in order to protect a source, is improbable given that the IAEA would still have monitored the country more closely or at least recorded its suspicions and would not have ignored the transgression.

[115] Alex Mihai Stoenescu, In sfirsit, adevarul … General Victor Atanasie Stanculescu in dialog cu Alex Mihai Stoenscu [Finally, The Truth … General Victor Atanasie Stanculescu in Dialogue with Alex Mihai Stoenescu, Bucharest, RAO, 2009, pp. 210-214.

[116] Ibid.

[117] Stoenescu (2009), pp. 210-211. According to Stanculescu, “the Unit in Bacau, the 404th Reconnaissance, was designated and instructed to handle a bacteriologic attack against our major cities and in case the large water reservoirs were hit.”

[118] Author’s interview with General Ioan Talpes, former Director of Romanian Foreign Intelligence (SIE) during 1992-1997, June 16, 1995.

[119] Proliferation specialists are divided on how to classify Romania given the wide gap between Russian intelligence sources and Romanian media insisting Ceausescu was pursuing and on the verge of acquiring a bomb and the lack concrete evidence to that effect. Some place it in the same category as Sweden, Switzerland, West Germany, Italy, Norway, Australia, Japan, Argentina, Algeria, Egypt, Indonesia and Taiwan, all states that seriously studied the possibility and desirability of acquiring a nuclear weapon and then renounced the effort. See for example, Matthew Kroenig, “U.S. Nuclear Weapons and Nonproliferation: Is There A Link?” Georgetown University, October 30, 2014, p. 22, footnote 14, p. 38, http://www.matthewkroenig.com/Kroenig_U.S.%20Nuclear%20Weapons%20and%20Nonproliferation.pdfSee also Sonail Singh and Christopher Way, “The Correlates of Nuclear Proliferation,” Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 48, no. 6 (2004): 859-885. Others, relying on the Romanian media, and/or Russian intelligence and/or the defector Ion Mihai Pacepa (who admits that he was a Soviet agent working for the KGB while deputy head of Romanian foreign intelligence), classify it along with those pursing a nuclear bomb, even while acknowledging that details of the program are woefully “incomplete.” See e.g. Jacques E. C. Hymans, “Estimating the DPRK’s Nuclear Intentions and Capacities: A Comparative Foreign Policy Approach,” EAI Working Paper Series #8, East Asia Institute, April 2007, p. 23. Still others start out citing Romania as a case study of non-compliance only to consign it to a mere footnote because of the lack of evidence or identifiable logic behind such an alleged program. See e.g. Nuno P. Monteiro and Alexandre Debs, “The Strategic Logic of Nuclear Proliferation,” International Security, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Fall 2004), pp. 21, 23 and footnote 28.  See also Jacques Hymans, Achieving Nuclear Ambitions: Scientists, Politicians, and Proliferation, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 67, 241.

[120] Findlay (2015), pp. 24, 37-38; IAEA, Record of GOV/OR Meeting 780, Tuesday, June 16, 1992, 10:05 a.m.

[121] Findlay (2015), p. 38. See also J.B. Poole and R. Guthrie, editors, Verification 1993: Peacekeeping, Arms Control and the Environment, London, Brassey’s/VERTIC, 1993, pp. 11–22.

[122] Szűrös interview by Ratesh in Shafir (1989a), pp. 5-6; Douglas Clarke, “The Romanian Military Threat to Hungary,” RAD Background Report/130, RFER, 27 July 1989b, OSA, Box 143, Folder 4, Report 53, pp. 1-6; Devlin (1989), pp. 1-2; Clarke (1989b), pp. 1-8.

[123] Soviet troops formally began their partial withdrawal from Hungary on 25 April 1989 in view of invited foreign journalists and “Hungarian-born representative of the Italian parliament, Ilona Staller.” Jeremy King, “The Partial Soviet Troop Withdrawal From Hungary,” RAD Background Report/166, RFER, 11 September 1989, p. 3. Of passing interest regarding this orchestration, Staller, an adult film star better known as “Cicciolina,” later claimed to have been recruited by Hungarian intelligence in her youth. APN New Archives, 29 January 1998, http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1999/Porn-Queen-Was-a-Communist-Spy/id-0f5c185abfb46ef9b6f28a672426e241.

[124] Writing in January 1989, one analyst noted that: “In reality, the chance of Hungary coming to blows with its socialist ally and neighbor Romania is greater today” than any offensive against Austria, Yugoslavia or NATO. David Clarke, “The USSR Cannot Expect Greater Military Efforts from Hungary,” RAD Background Report/13, RFER, 27 January 1989a, OSA, Box 120, Folder 2, Report 135, p. 2. At the start of the decade another analyst noted that the Hungarian Army would be most enthusiastic in a fight against Romania, and that the most likely scenario for the employment of the Hungarian army in an East-West conflict was “against Romania as a pressure point and a threat vis-à-vis Transylvania.” Istvan Volgyes, “Hungary,” in Daniel N. Nelson, editor, Soviet Allies: The Warsaw Pact and the Issue of Reliability, Boulder, Westview, 1984, p. 214.

[125] See General Kárpáti’s interview on Radio Budapest, 0645 hrs, 1 July 1989; Clarke (1989a), p. 8.

[126] See e.g. MTI in English, 12 June 1989; Clarke (1989a), p. 8, footnote 15; Jeremy King (1989), p. 3.

[127] Zoltan D. Barany, Soldiers and Politics in Eastern Europe, 1945-90: The Case of Hungary, New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1993, p. 145. Many of those troops were deployed to the Eastern half of Hungary, towards Romania. Budapest and Moscow were similarly good at masking Soviet nuclear missile deployments in Hungary, of which only a handful of Hungarian Communist leaders were informed.

[128] Douglas Clarke, “The USSR Cannot Expect Greater Military Efforts from Hungary,” RAD Background Report/13, RFER, 27 January 1989, OSA, Box 120, Folder 2, Report 135, p. 1.

[129] Ibid. For the more accurate reports see e.g. David C. Isby, Weapons and Tactics of the Soviet Army, 2nd edition, London, Jane’s Publishing, 1988, pp. 124-129.

[130] For example, Bulgarian intelligence reported having successfully deceived Western military attachés during the massive RHODOPI exercises near the Romanian border in 1967, in a counterintelligence operation codenamed MULNIA (Thunderbolt). Jordan Baev, “The Communist Balkans Against NATO In The Eastern Mediterranean Area. 1949-1969,” paper presented at the conference, “The Cold War in the Mediterranean,” Cortona, 5-6 October 2001, pp. 9-10, Journal of History, International Relations and Security, http://documents.mx/documents/baev1.html; Bulgarian Archive of the Ministry of Interior (AMVR), Fond 1, Opis 10, File 258, pp. 112-138 as cited in Ibid.

[131] Aboimov interview with Marina Kalashnikova, “The Country’s Leadership Regarded the GDR as Self-Supporting Unit,” Vlast (Moscow), 26 April 2005, www.kommersant.com. See also “Communique Published” in JPRS ARMS CONTROL, JPRS-TAC-89-029, 19 July 1989, p. 14; Pravda, 9 July 1989. Hungarian President Szűrös’s announcement of his country’s support for the “autonomy” and “independence” of Transylvania in the midst of the revolution appears to support Aboimov. Arpad Zengo interview with Szűrös on Budapest domestic radio, 20 December 1989, 0545 hrs GMT, in FBIS-EEU-89-243, 20 December 1989, p. 47.

[132] Aboimov was a Hungarian specialist when named to the post of Warsaw Pact Secretary General in 1989. Afterwards, he served as Soviet/Russian ambassador to Hungary (and, later, Ukraine). The first professional Soviet diplomat appointed ambassador to post-revolution Romania was also a non-Romanian speaking Hungarian specialist who served with Aboimov in Budapest during the late 1970s. “New Soviet Ambassadors Profiled,” New Times (Moscow), no. 16, 1-7 May 1990, pp. 44-45 in JPRS-UIA-90-009, 5 June 1990, pp. 1-2.

[133] Jacques Levesque, The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997, p. 133.

[134] Likewise, on 1 December 1989, Hungarian Prime Minster Miklos Nemeth publicly announced that “a major proportion of the armed forces is to be regrouped from the western part of the country,” which suggested, as one RFE analyst noted, “that troops will be transferred to the Romanian border.” Zoltan Barany, “Major Reorganization of Hungary’s Military Establishment,” RAD Background Report/230, RFER, 28 December 1989, p. 5, OSA, Box 37, Folder 6, Report 191. The analyst further pointed out that over “the last two years, Hungarians have been concerned not about potential invasion from the West but about a conflict in the southeast,” with Romania. Op. cit., p. 4.

[135] The partial exceptions being short-term deception during tactical operations and long-term incremental deception such as the slow concealed build-up of forces. For a detailed discussion of this see Cynthia M. Grabo, “Soviet Deception in the Czechoslovak Crisis: A Study in Perspective,” Studies in Intelligence, vol. 14, no. 1 (Spring 1970), pp. 20-21. See also Cynthia M. Grabo, Anticipating Surprise: Analysis of Strategic Warning, Washington D.C., Center for Strategic Intelligence Research, National Intelligence University, 2002, chapter 7.

[136] Clarke (1989b), p. 3.

[137] See the article of Ion Ardelean in Lupta Intregului Popor (Bucharest), no. 4, 1988. The ethnic Romanian presence in Hungary diminished from an official 160,000 after the war to some 22,000 by the 1970s, with no corresponding out-migration to account for that decline.

[138] The article cited the observation that Romanian settlements “were left on Hungary’s territory” from a 1944 publication by American journalist Milton Lehrer, Ardealul: Pământ Românescu (Problema ardealului văzuta de un American) [Transylvania: A Romanian Land (The Problem of Transylvania as Seen by an American)], Bucharest, 1944. See also, Milton Lehrer, Transylvania: History and Reality, Silver Springs, MD, Bartelby Press, 1986. See also Clarke (1989b), p. 3.

[139] John Reed, The War in Eastern Europe, New York, Charles Scribner & Sons, 1916, pp. 302-308.

[140] Szűrös interview by Ratesh in Shafir (1989a), p. 5.

[141] Ibid.

[142] Ibid; Clarke (1989b), p. 7. Szűrös likewise stressed “that Romanian troops had been in Budapest twice in this century, whereas Hungarian troops had never been in Bucharest,” and that “the first time Romanian troops entered Budapest, they were helping ‘suppress’ the Hungarian Soviet Republic” of Bela Kun (an action of which Szűrös evidently disapproved). According to Szűrös, the Romanians were dangerously unpredictable in their international behavior such that “anything is possible.”  In point of fact, Hungarian military personnel belonging to the Austro-Hungarian Army actually had been part of the occupying force in Bucharest along with German imperial forces – as part of the Central Power alliance against the Entente – during the two-year occupation of most of Romania in the First World War.

[143] Kamm (1989); Clarke (1989b), p. 3. Gyula Horn reiterated these claims on Radio Budapest, 0645 hrs, 26 July 1989.

[144] Clarke (1989b), pp. 1-6 and Devlin (1989), pp. 1-2.

[145] Szűrös interview by Ratesh in Shafir (1989a), pp. 5-6; Clarke (1989b), OSA, Box 143, Folder 4, Report 53, pp. 1-6; Devlin (1989), pp. 1-2. Douglas Clarke examined each of the military threat allegations and found them baseless. Clarke (1989b), pp. 1-8. It is noteworthy that these accusations were made publicly by leaders of reform in Hungary (i.e. Mátyás Szűrös, Gyula Horn, Imre Poszgay and Csaba Tabadji). These men were thus of the highest credibility and enjoyed the greatest access to senior leadership circles in the United States and Western Europe. In contrast, Romanian authorities from Ceauşescu on down, were no longer considered fit partners for discussion anywhere in the West. Szűrös, Horn and Tabadji all worked in the HSWP CC International Department at the time. Shortly before Hungary’s NATO accession in 1999, Szűrös and Horn were forced to resign from government service because of inappropriate ties with the (presumably Soviet) intelligence services. See Zsofia Szilagyi, “Ex-Judge: Top Hungarian Socialist Leaders Were Former ‘Agents’,” RFE/RL Newsline, vol. 1, no. 188, part II, September 27, 1996; M.S.Z., “Hungarian Screening Panel Calls for Speaker’s Resignation,” RFE/RL Newsline, vol. 1, no. 164, part II, November 20, 1997; and M.S.Z., “Hungarian Socialist Deputy Urged to Resign,” RFE/RL Newsline, vol. 1, no. 168, part II, November 26, 1997.

[146] Indeed, the only military connection was that the 1988 journal was published by the defense ministry.

[147] Szűrös interview by Ratesh in Shafir (1989a), p. 5. See also the Szűrös interview by Arpad Zengo on Budapest domestic radio, 20 December 1989, 0545 hrs GMT, in FBIS-EEU-89-243, 20 December 1989, p. 47

[148] King (1989), p. 3; Clarke (1989c), p. 2.

[149] For Hungarian denials see Radio Budapest, 0645 hrs, 1 July 1989; General Kárpáti’s interview on Radio Budapest, 0645 hrs, 1 July 1989; Clarke (1989a), p. 8 and footnote 15; MTI (Budapest) in English, 12 June 1989. As noted, the possibility of a Hungarian-Romanian military clash was openly discussed in the international media by the beginning of 1989. Clarke (1989a), p. 2. See also Barany (1989), p. 4.

[150] Radio Bucharest, 14 April 1989, 9:00 P.M. See also Romania Situation Report/4, Radio Free Europe Research, 4 May 1989, item 4; Clarke (1989b), p. 3.

[151] Douglas Clarke, “Hungary Proposes Border Security Zones,” RAD Background Report/181, RFER, 27 September 1989c, pp. 3-4, OSA, Box 37, Folder 6, Report 146; Henry Kamm, “Hungary Cites Military Threat from Romania,” The New York Times, 11 July 1989; Socor (1989), item 4. Szűrös’s claim that Ceauşescu was engaging in nuclear “blackmail” was hardly credible given Romania’s lack of nuclear weapons. See Szűrös interview by Ratesh in Shafir (1989a), p. 5. For allegations of the Romanian nuclear “threat” in 1988 see Mátyás Szűrös in Reuter (Budapest), 15 November 1988 and Istvan Csurka in Hitel (Budapest), December 14, 1988.

[152] Clarke (1989b), p. 6. Clarke noted that the frequent comments by Hungarian authorities ostentatiously insisting on downplaying or denying any Romanian threat in fact served the opposite purpose, emphasizing it by using a “of course…but then…” approach. As Clarke noted, “none of the three threats enumerated by Horn” during his July 10, July 15 and July 26 public statements were “very convincing,” nor were they any more convincing when Imre Poszgay and Csaba Tabajdi made them in mid-June, or when Mátyás Szűrös repeated them on 19 July. Clarke (1989b), pp. 5-6.

[153] During the 1930s the Soviet Front Bessarabian Societies had as one of their primary missions that of persuading American and European public opinion that Romania was an “aggressive encampment” and that Soviet military intervention against it would also serve humanitarian purposes. The 1970s and 1980s campaign falsely depicting Romania as engaged in “ethnocide” and “cultural genocide” also served this purpose, although the solution advocated was international (UN or Warsaw Pact) rather than purely Hungarian intervention.

[154] King (1989), p. 7. For the Soviet military railroad in Eastern Hungary see Allgemeine Schweizerische Militärzeitschrift, September 1984, p. 483; and Österrelchische Militärische Zeitschrift, May 1984, p. 473.

[155] King (1989), p. 7.

[156] As one analyst phrased it, “some Soviet troops are redeploying from Hungary’s Austrian frontier to bases near Romania, but the changes hardly seem connected with any Romanian threat, in line with the creation of a so-called ‘zone of peace’ along the Austrian border.” See e.g. Clarke (1989a), p. 8, footnote 15. Another analyst noted that the declaration of the Hungarian Prime Minister that troops would re-deploy from the Austrian border suggested “that troops will be transferred to the Romanian border,” but concluded that “it is more likely that the remark is a sign of friendship toward Austria.” Barany (1989), p. 5.  Vienna, which had long-standing and profound ties to Hungary, also had arguably better relations with Moscow and the Soviet loyalist allies than did Bucharest.

[157] There were solid policy reasons for the United States not to emphasize this in 1989; the primary one being that irritating Moscow (which support for Romanian invariably managed to do) would have been counterproductive to the overriding goal of ending the Cold War. Unfortunately, policy considerations rational at the time distorted political and historical analyses long afterwards. For example, at the start of the new millennium one analyst overlooked Gorbachev’s adoption of Romania’s long-held positions on arms and spending reductions, troop withdrawals, Middle East policy, and the approach to international relations more generally to claim that the disappearance of the Warsaw Pact was the “only Romanian postulate to be partly realized,” that “Romania always fell short of defying the most important Soviet policies,” admitting only that its positions “sometimes foreshadowed” – rather than inspired – “that of the other Warsaw Pact members.” Anna Locher, “Shaping the Policies of the Alliance: The Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Warsaw Pact, 1976-1990” May 2002, p. 18, in “Records of the Committee of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs,” pp. 14-15, in Parallel History Project on Cooperative Security (PHP), www.php.isn.ethz.ch, by permission of the
Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich on behalf of the PHP network (hereafter: PHP). In contrast, the Israeli Ambassador to Romania in 1985-1989 noted that Gorbachev adopted “the political principles of Romania’s foreign policy, some of which were not acceptable to his predecessors.” See e.g. Yosef Govrin, Israeli-Romanian Relations at the End of the Ceausescu Era, New York, Routledge, 2002, p. 133, footnote 3.

[158] Communique of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee Conference, 9 July 1989, pp. 2-3, PHP; Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS), Daily Report, Soviet Union, 10 July 1989, “Communist Relations,” pp. 12-15; Pravda, 9 July 1989.

[159] Communique (1989), pp. 4-5. PHP.

[160] Ibid, p. 3.

[161] Ibid.

[162] Ibid, p. 5.

[163] Ibid, p. 3.

[164] Ibid.

[165] Ibid, pp. 3-4.

[166] Ibid.

[167] Ibid, p. 4. As per established practice, very little of the positive elements that could be directly attributed Romania were reflected in “closely cooperating” reporting. See, e.g., the excerpted Information from the Bulgarian Foreign Minister (Mladenov) to the Politburo of the CC of the BCP regarding the Political Consultative Committee Meeting in Bucharest, 12 July 1989, pp. 1-5 in Jordan Baev and Anna Locher, “Belated Attempts at a Warsaw Pact Perestroika, 1987-1989,” 2000, PHP.

[168] See, e.g., Possible Structural Reorientation of WP National Armed Forces Towards More Defensive Stance in the next Two to Three Years (Presentation), 17 December 1988, and Principles for Improving the UAF by the Year 2000 while Maintaining Basic Defense Capabilities (Summary), 27 November 1989 in Christian Nuenlist, “The End of the Cold War, 1985-1990,” 2001, PHP.

[169] Records of the PCC Meeting in Bucharest: Speech by the General Secretary of the PCR (Nicolae Ceauşescu), July 7, 1989, PHP, pp. 2-5

[170] Ibid, pp. 3-4, 8.

[171] Ibid, p. 9.

[172] Interview of Hungarian Foreign Minister and forrner senior HWSP CC International Department official, Gyula Horn, by Henry Kamm, “Hungarian Accuses Rumania of Military Threats,” New York Times, 11 July 1989; Magyar Hirlap, 10 July 1989; MTI (Hungarian Telegraph Agency) in English, 10 July 1989.

[173] Ibid. The fact that so many observers were persuaded as to the unprecedented nature of “such a negative assessment of relations between Warsaw Pact allies” indicated the degree to which Soviet active measures managed to obscure the bitter clash between Romania and both the USSR and Hungary up to that point.

[174] Joint Memorandum of the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of National Defense on the Future of the Warsaw Treaty, 6 March 1989, p. 10; Minutes of Meeting of the HSWP Political Committee on 16 May 1989-Excerpt on WP issues, 16 May 1989, in Csaba Békés and Anna Locher, “Hungary and the Warsaw Pact, 1954-1989: Documents on the Impact of a Small State within the Eastern Block,” October 2003, pp. 1-2, 4, 10, PHP.

[175] Memorandum of Meeting between the General Secretary of the BCP (Todor Zhivkov) and the General Secretary of the CPSU (Mikhail Gorbachev), 23 June 1989, in Parallel History Project on NATO and the Warsaw Pact (PHP), www.isn.ethz.ch/php, by permission of the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich and the National Security Archive at the George Washington University on behalf of the PHP network. See also See also Speech by the General Secretary of the BCP (Todor Zhivkov), July 7, 1989, PHP.

[176] Jordan Baev, “The End of the Warsaw Pact, 1985-1991: Viewed from the Bulgarian Archives” in Baev and Locher (2000), PHP.

[177] Kamm (1989).

[178] Andrea Tarquini, “Ceauşescu is Buying Missiles to Aim at Hungary,” La Repubblica, 16/17 July 1989; MTI (Rome), 17 July 1989, p. 15; Douglas Clarke, “The Romanian Military Threat to Hungary,” RAD Background Report/130, Radio Free Europe Radio (RFER), 27 July 1989, Open Society Archives (OSA), Box 143, Folder 4, Report 53, p. 8.

[179] Michael Meyer, The Year That Changed The World: The Untold Story Behind The Fall Of The Berlin Wall, New York, Scribner, 2009, pp. 92-93. Meyer, Newsweeks bureau chief for Germany and Eastern Europe, also “airlifted into Bucharest with the German Luftwaffe during the fighting that deposed [Ceaușescu] and watched his execution in the company of the secret police that did him in.” Ibid, p. x.

[180] Arpad Szoczi, “Former Hungarian PM Reveals Role Of Hungarian Secret Service In Toppling Ceaușescu,” January 30, 2015, https://arpadoliverszoczi.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/december-16-2014-former-hungarian-pm-reveals-role-of-hungarian-secret-service-in-toppling-ceausescu/.

[181] Ibid. See also Arpad Szoczi, Timisoara: The Real Story Behind The Romanian Revolution, Bloomington, iUniverse, 2013, pp. 315-316.

[182] Interview of Csaba Tabajdi and Imre Poszgay by Guido Rampoldi, “Amici di Mosca, ma padroni del nostro esercito” [Friends of Moscow, but in Command of our Army], La Stampa, 14 June 1989; Interview of Hungarian Parliamentary spokesman and former HSWP CC International Department chief Szűrös by Nestor Ratesh in Michael Shafir, “Matyas Szűrös’s Interview with RFE’s Romanian Service,” RAD Background Report/127, RFER, 20 July 1989,  p. 5.

[183] See “XXIII. Bucharest, 7-8 July 1989,” in “Records of the Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee, 1955-1990,” edited by Vojtech Mastny, Christian Nuenlist, Anna Locher, and Douglas Selvage, May 2001, PHP. The well over one thousand pages of Romanian documents regarding the 1989 Warsaw Pact Political Consultative Committee meeting in Bucharest were first made available in March 2015. See e.g. ANR, Fond Tratatul de la Varsovia. Ministerul Afacerilor Externe, dosar 179/1989, 7 volumes; and dosar 185/1989, pp. 1-160.

[184] See for example, Mark Kramer, Neo-Realism, Nuclear Proliferation and East-Central European Strategies, PONARS Working Paper 005, Washington, D.C., Center for Strategic and International Studies, May 15, 1998, pp. 16, 25.

[185] Somewhat paradoxically, Ceauşescu exalted the cooperation of the left with bourgeois parties in Portugal in 1975 in order to prevent the Portuguese left from becoming a Soviet instrument (as Portuguese communist leader Cunhal then appeared to be.) In consequence, Romania became the only Warsaw Pact member to sign a treaty of friendship and cooperation with a NATO member state during the Cold War. See “Romania: Ceauşescu’s remarks during visit to Portugal bound to irk Kremlin” in US Intelligence Board, National Intelligence Bulletin, 3 November 1975, p. 8, CIA.

[186] Minutes of Meeting of the HSWP Political Committee on 16 May 1989-Excerpt on WP issues, 16 May 1989, pp. 5, 9, in Békés and Locher (2003), PHP.

[187] Records of the PCC Meeting in Bucharest: Speech by the General Secretary of the PCR (Nicolae Ceauşescu), 7 July 1989, German language version, pp. 151-152, PHP. Author’s emphasis. Unfortunately, this portion of his speech is replaced by an ellipsis in the English translation on the PHP website. For the entire document see the German language version. According to the Bulgarians, Ceauşescu sought to include both Warsaw Pact members and “other socialist countries” for a “joint analysis” of “the problems of socialist construction and ways to overcome the difficulties.” Ceauşescu proposed “that a meeting be held, not later than October this year” to “analyze problems of social and economic development and the construction of socialism and would work out a real program for common action.” Report to the Bulgarian Politburo by the Bulgarian Minister of Foreign Affairs (Petar Toshev Mladenov) on the PCC Meeting, 12 July 1989, PHP.

[188] “Dokumenty Polska-Rumunia,” Gazeta Wyborcza, 29 September-1 October 1989. Gazeta Wyborcza specifies that this is a recounting of an “oral declaration.” The Polish rendition of the last sentence is: “Kierownictwo RPK postanowiło zwrócić się do kierownictwa PZPR, do biur politycznych, do kierownictw partii krajów UW i innych krajów socjalistycznych, by wyrazić poważne zaniepokojenie oraz aby wspólnie zadziałać w sprawie zapobieżenia poważnej sytuacji w Polsce, w sprawie obrony socjalizmu i narodu polskiego.” The original Romanian declaration has not yet been published. However, it was discussed in the RCP newspaper the following day. “De la Varşovia” [From Warsaw], Scânteia, 20 August 1989. See also Florin Anghel, “Considerente asupra România în discursul public din Polonia, în 1989” [Considerations of Romania in Public Discourse in Poland in 1989], Institutul Revoluţiei Române Din Decembrie 1989, Caietele Revoluţie [Journals of the Revolution], no. 4, vol. 6 (2006), pp. 45-53.

[189] A Polish version is in “Dokumenty Polska-Rumunia,” Gazeta Wyborcza, 29 September-1 October 1989. See also Anghel (2006), pp. 45-53.

[190] See e.g. “Romania has called for military intervention in Poland,” Polityka Weekly News Roundup, Warsaw, Polityka  in Polish, no. 38, 23 September 1989 (excerpts), p. 2, JPRS-EER-89-130, 27 November 1989, p. 19; Levesque (1997), p. 120. The allegation has been repeated so many times in so many works it has now assumed the status of “common knowledge.” The fact that the allegations both originated with and were confirmed by the same group of former Warsaw Pact members, primarily former Soviet, Polish and Hungarian sources, in the absence of Romanian evidence did not unduly concern an analytical community oriented by cognitive biases and laboring under the influence of overwhelming disinformation to believe them.

[191] Transcript of  C.C. Political Executive Committee meeting, 21 August 1989, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Cancelarie, dos. nr. 56/1989; Clio 1989 (Bucharest), no. 1-2 (2005), pp. 168-170; Ioan Scurtu, “Nicolae Ceauşescu şi Evenimentele din Polonia (1981, 1989),” 12 December 2011 at http://www.ioanscurtu.ro/nicolae-Ceauşescu-si-evenimentele-din-polonia-1981-1989/.

[192] Ibid.

[193] This state of affairs also attested in the reporting of Colonel Kuklinski earlier in the decade and re-confirmed after 1989 by the investigations of Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance. See e.g., Kuklinski’s references to Jaruzelski and Romania in The Soviet Union’s Control of the Warsaw Pact Forces: An Intelligence Assessment (SOV 83-10175CX), October 1983, pp. 18-19, CIA. See also CIA Intelligence Information Report: (November 1979) Twelfth Session of the Committee of Defense Ministers of the Warsaw Pact Member States, 20 February 1980, pp. 3, 6, CIA; CIA Intelligence Information Report: (December 1979) Draft Statute of Warsaw Pact Armed Forces and Their Control Organs in Wartime, 25 February 1980, p. 4, CIA. Regarding Jaruzelski’s recruitment by Soviet military intelligence see Marek Jan Chodakiewicz, “The Jaruzelski Case: The Ascent of Agent ‘Wolski’,” World Politics Review, 12 December 2006, “The General’s Dark Past” Warsaw Voice, 15 June 2005; Fakty, TVN (Warsaw), 8 June 2005.

[194] See e.g. Polityka, 23 September 1989 in JPRS-EER-89-130, 27 November 1989, p. 19; Levesque (1997), p. 120.

[195] Documents on Hungarian reaction are reproduced in Dumitru Preda and Mihai Retegan, 1989 Principiul Dominoului: Prăbuşirea regimurilor comuniste europene [1989 The Domino Principal: The Collapse of the European Communist Regimes], Bucharest, Fundaţia Culturală Română, 2000, pp. 165-167, 170-171.

[196] Ibid.

[197] Ibid.

[198] Anatoly Dobrynin, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents, Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1995, p. 632. The aide referred to by Dobrynin was apparently Sergei Tarasenko, who was disseminating this story to all of his American contacts. See footnote 16 below.

[199] Mark Kramer, “The Collapse of East European Communism and the Repercussions within the Soviet Union (Part I),” Journal of Cold War Studies, vol. 5, no. 4 (Fall 2003), pp. 197-198. Kramer apparently relied on non-Romanian sources for his conclusion, the formulation of which suggests Romanian preparations for such an operation. He cites as source for this revelation his June 1990 interview with Rafail Fyodorov, first deputy chief of the CPSU International Department during 1989–1990. However, given that Fyodorov claimed at the height of the “2 + 4” negotiations that “no one in the FRG wanted re-unification,” and that he was a military (GRU) counterintelligence agent with long experience working against Western targets, his reliability is questionable. See e.g. Gordon M. Hahn, Russia’s Revolution From Above 1985-2000: Reform, Transaction and Revolution in the Fall of the Soviet Communist Regime, New Brunswick, Transaction, 2002, p. 285.

[200] The foreign ministry official, Sergei Tarasenko, told this to Raymond Garthoff, then working at the Brookings Institute “think tank”. Raymond L. Garthoff, The Great Transition: American-Soviet Relations and the End of the Cold War, Washington D.C., Brookings Institute, 1994b, p. 604. Elsewhere in the same volume Tarasenko is described as “Shevardnadze’s closest advisor.” Ibid, p. 289. Tarasenko also mislead Philip Zelikow and Condoleeza Rice by implying that Budapest did not have prior Soviet approval to open its borders for fleeing East Germans in 1989. Philip Zelikow and Condoleeza Rice, Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1998, p. 69.

[201] See e.g. Minutes of the Meeting between Nicolae Ceauşescu and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Moscow, 4 December 1989 in Mircea Munteanu, “The Last Days of a Dictator,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin, no. 12/13(Fall-Winter 2001), pp. 217, 220.

[202] The “Black Legend” closely approximated the methods and goals of Soviet active measures and disinformation (or, rather, visa versa).” It comprised “the careful distortion of the history of nation, perpetrated by its enemies, in order to better fight it. And a distortion as monstrous as possible, with the goal of achieving a specific aim: the moral disqualification of the nation…in every way possible.” Alfredo Alvar, La Leyenda Negra [The Black Legend], Ezquerra, Ediciones Akal, 1997, p. 5. The term derives from the late 1500s targeting of Spain by “political and religious propaganda that blackened the characters of Spaniards and their ruler to such an extent that Spain became the symbol of all forces of repression, brutality, religious and political intolerance, and intellectual and artistic backwardness for the next four centuries.” Philip Wayne Powell, Tree of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations With the Hispanic World, New York, Basic Books, 1971. Many Spaniards aware of their dismal reputation abroad were persuaded by the weight of propaganda that it must be true, thus becoming unwitting accomplices in their own marginalization in Europe.

[203] See e.g. Jonathan Eyal, “Romania: Between Appearances and Realities,” in Jonathan Eyal, editor, The Warsaw Pact and the Balkans: Moscow’s Southern Flank, New York, St. Martin’s, 1989, especially pp. 39-73, 99, 107. For a critical analysis of such interpretations see Ashby B. Crowder, Legacies of 1968: Autonomy and Repression in Ceauşescu’s Romania, 1965-1989, Athens, OH, Ohio University, August 2007, Thesis, at http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Crowder%20Ashby%20B.pdf?ohiou1186838492.

[204] See e.g. Whitaker Chambers, Witness, New York, Random House, 1952. Chamber’s autobiography remains extremely influential.

[205] Chambers (1052), p. 770; Lock K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz, editors, Strategic Intelligence: Windows Into A Secret World, An Anthology, Los Angeles, Roxbury, 2004, p. 311.

[206] In one striking, almost unique, exception, the analyst placed Romanian moves and statements in their proper context and concluded that the regime appeared to be “seeking the convening of a congress of communist parties, rather than military intervention.” Peter Siani-Davies, The Romanian Revolution of December 1989, Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2005, p. 49.

[207] For example, in his monumental work using both documentary evidence and oral testimony, Jacques Levesque relied on Soviet, Hungarian and Polish sources regarding Romanian aggressive intentions exclusively. Jacques Levesque, translated from the French by Keith Martin, The Enigma of 1989: The USSR and the Liberation of Eastern Europe, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1997, pp. 119-121.

[208] When this author pointed out this methodological problem to Mark Kramer at the annual conference of the American Society for East European and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) in San Antonio, November 2014, Prof. Kramer insisted on the validity of relying on Soviet sources as “categorical proof” of Romanian intention. This led to a written exchange in which Kramer misrepresented the conclusions of two Romanian historians and claimed that this author was a “poor scholar.” For that exchange see Larry L. Watts, Dennis Deletant and Adam Burakowski, Did Nicolae Ceauşescu Call for Military Intervention Against Poland in August 1989?, Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) e-Dossier No. 60, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, February 3, 2015, at https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/did-nicolae-Ceauşescu-call-for-military-intervention-against-poland-august-1989; and Mark Kramer and Larry Watts, Continuing Debate: Ceauşescu’s Appeal for Joint Warsaw Pact Action on 19 August 1989, CWIHP e-Dossier no. 61, February 3, 2015 at https://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/continuing-debate-Ceauşescus-appeal-for-joint-warsaw-pact-action-19-august-1989.

[209] See e.g. Mark Kramer “The Collapse of East European Communism and the Repercussions within the Soviet Union (Part I),” Journal of Cold War Studies, vol. 5, no. 4 (Fall 2003): 23; and Mark Kramer, “The Demise of the Soviet Bloc,” Europe-Asia Studies, vol. 63, no. 9 (November 2011): 1585. Kramer cites two New York Times articles for these assertions but neither article makes any allusion to Romanian threats on the nuclear facilities of its neighbors, leaving the claim unsourced.

[210] Arpad Szőczi, Timisoara: The Real Story Behind The Romanian Revolution, Bloomington, iUniverse, 2013, pp. 315-316. The author, a journalist and activist with the Hungarian émigré organization that accused Romania of genocidal practices during the 1970s and 1980s, cites an intelligence report of December 13, 1989 from the Hungarian embassy in Romania, which also offered up the more specific claim that there were 7 (seven) missiles so targeted. See also interview with former Prime Minister Miklos Nemeth in Arpad Szőczi, “Former Hungarian PM Reveals Role Of Hungarian Secret Service In Toppling Ceaușescu,” January 30, 2015, https://arpadoliverSzőczi.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/december-16-2014-former-hungarian-pm-reveals-role-of-hungarian-secret-service-in-toppling-Ceauşescu/.

[211] See e.g., Col. Adrian Stroea and Lt. Col. Gheorghe Băjenaru, Artileria Română în Date şi Imagine [Romanian Artillery in Statistics and Images], Bucharest, Editura Centrului Tehnic-Editorial al Armatei [Army Technical Publications Center], 2010, pp. 112-116.

[212] Actually, only 12 were permanently trained southward. One, at the missile instruction center at Ploesti, was used for training purposes.

[213] According to Ceausescu’s October 1976 instruction: “a draft program will be elaborated for adding, in parallel with tactical missiles, a missile with a maximum range of 500 km into the fabrication process.” For discussion of this see http://suntemromania.blogspot.ro/2013/10/285cum-facea-ceausescu-afacerile-pentru.html.

[214] Alex Wagner, “U.S., Bulgaria Reach Deal To Destroy Missiles,” Arms Control Today, July/August 2002, at http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2002_07-08/bulgariajul_aug02; Vojtech Mastny and Malcom Byrne, editors, A Cardboard Castle? An Inside History of the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1991, Budapest, Central European Press, 2005, p. 31.

[215] Russian Federation Foreign Intelligence Service, The Nuclear Potential of Individual Countries, 6 April 1995, at http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/svr_nuke.htm; Hungarian intelligence report in Szőczi (2013), pp. 315-316. China had reportedly assisted North Korea in modifying the SCUD-B to a maximum range of 500 km, which Pyongyang re-baptized the “HWASONG-5”. In reality, the HWASONG-5 had a range of only 320 km. A later version, the HWASONG-6, did have a maximum range of 500 km but was first tested only in 1990. None had been sold or transferred to Romania.

[216] The United States monitored Romanian heavy military equipment including missiles with technical intelligence means during the Cold War just as it did all of the Warsaw Pact members.  Shortly after the revolution U.S. and NATO experts checked Romanian military inventories for WMD, ballistic missiles capable of carrying such warheads, and advanced conventional weapons. A second round of verification was carried out during 1992-1993, prompted by new rumors of secret WMD programs. Author’s interview with former Presidential National Security Advisor and Romanian Foreign Intelligence (SIE) Director, General Ioan Talpeș, June 14, 1993. Talpeș had been chief military advisor to the defense minister from mid-February to July 1990, and then national security advisor to the president during July 1990-April 1992 before being appointed SIE Director.

[217] Interview with General Victor Stănculescu in Stefan Both, “Exclusive Document Secret. Diversiunea maghiara inainte de Revolutie: Romania a indreptat 7 rachete spre Ungaria. General Stănculescu: “Nem igaz!” [Exclusive Secret Document. Hungarian Deception Before the Revolution: Romania Directed 7 Rockets Against Hungary. General Stanculescu: “Not True!”], Adevarul, December 17, 2015, 1957 hours, http://adevarul.ro/locale/timisoara/exclusiv-document-secret-diversiunea-maghiara-revolutia-89-romania-indreptat-7-rachete-ungaria-generalului-stanculescu-nem-igaz-1_5672e3187d919ed50e53d58d/index.html. Stănculescu, however, may not have been telling the full story. The SCUD-Bs were evenly divided (6 each) between the Tecuci base and the Ineu military base, which was very close to the Hungarian border (there was also one SCUD-B for training purposes in the south of the country, again, however, well out of range of Paks.) Like the missiles at Tecuci, the Ineu missiles were dedicated to Warsaw Pact missions and Hungarian intelligence reported no threat from that quarter. There is a chance that Stănculescu’s failure to mention Ineu did not reflect a lack of candor. Persistent unconfirmed rumor held that those missiles were removed and sold to Iran at the end of the 1980s. In any case, all of the SCUD-Bs were removed shortly after the 1989 revolution on the basis of a U.S.-Romanian agreement, with most of them reportedly finding their way to Israel. As of this writing neither the American nor the Romanian military records on this period had been declassified.

[218] Ibid.

[219] Describing a phenomenon similar to that recorded by Chambers, the 18th century forger of Shakespeare plays, William Henry Ireland, observed “how willingly people will blind themselves on any point interesting to their feelings. Once a false idea becomes fixed in a person’s mind, he will twist facts or probability to accommodate it rather than question it.” Lock K. Johnson and James J. Wirtz, editors, Strategic Intelligence: Windows Into A Secret World, An Anthology, Los Angeles, Roxbury, 2004, p.304. Commenting on mainstream assessments made during the Romanian December revolution, one analyst noted that it was “a little ironic that a revolution which sought to reassert rationality in Romania created an apparent collective loss of the same facility in the outside world.” Siani-Davies (2005), p. 282.

[220] This is true of the digital archive collections of the Cold War International History Project and the Parallel Project on Cooperative Security. See for example the speeches and reports at “XXVI. Warsaw, 26-27 October 1989,” “Records of the Warsaw Pact Committee of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs: 1976-1990,” PHP. See also Meeting of the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw, 26-27 October 1989 at ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 181/1989, f. 1-93.

[221] See the presentations and reports at “XXIV. Budapest, 27-29 November 1989,” “Records of the Warsaw Pact Committee of the Ministers of Defense: 1969-1990,” PHP.

[222] The Tratatul de la Varsovia. Ministerul Afacerilor Externe [Warsaw Pact Organization. Ministry of Foreign Affairs] collection at the Romanian National Archives (ANR) was made publicly accessible on March 26, 2015. See http://www.arhivelenationale.ro/stiri.php?id_stire=249&lan=0.

[223] The entire defense system of Romania, including military indoctrination and modifications of Marxist-Leninist ideology, was oriented against foreign intervention and interference. That stance was also the basis of Ceauşescu’s influence in the Developing World and Non-Aligned Movements. Even if military non-intervention were not such a fundamental aspect of Romanian policy, it is difficult to imagine by what means Bucharest would persuade the USSR or Hungary to allow the passage of its troops. Not only were Moscow, Budapest and Warsaw working closely and publicly together, Hungary had recently gone very publicly on record as Romania’s adversary and the security organs of the USSR had treated Romania as such even longer. While this confrontation was largely clandestine and unknown to many in the West, the Romanians and the other Pact leaderships were very much aware of it.

[224] Vasiliy Mitrokhin, The KGB in Afghanistan, Cold War International History Project Working Paper No. 40, July 2002 (updated July 2009), pp. 105-106, https://www.wilsoncenter.org/sites/default/files/WP40-english.pdf. For Romanian disapproval of the intervention see also Report for the Czechoslovak Party Presidium on the PCC Meeting, 27 May 1980, PHP; Vojtech Mastny, “XVII. Meeting of the PCC, Warsaw, 14-15 May 1980. Editorial Note,” 24 January 2003, PHP; and Report by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Petur Toshev Mladenov) to the Politburo of the CC of the BCP, 27 May 1980, PHP. The clearest and most comprehensive expression of Romanian objections is in Transcript of Conversation of Comrade Nicolae Ceausescu with A. A. Gromyko, Member of Political Bureau of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U., 31 January – 1-2 February 1980, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 15/1980, ff. 12-39. In this case, “file” refers to both sides of a page. The original numbering is pages 19-59.

[225] In 1980 Romania stood alone in protesting a Warsaw Pact military intervention against Poland. In 1981 Hungary joined Romania in blocking the use or threat of intervention but it did so not by open opposition but by making its approval contingent on that of Romania. For Bucharest’s failed attempt to enshrine the principle that Polish affairs were for Poles themselves to resolve without outside intervention, see Regarding the Documents Prepared for the PCC Meeting in Prague, 3 January 1983, note prepared by Polish Foreign Minister M. Dmochowski, PHP.

[226] “Information of the Romanian Embassy in Budapest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” 24 August 1989, 1415 hrs, Document 74 in Dumitru Preda and Mihai Retegan, 1989 – Principiul Dominoului: Prabusirea Regimurilor Comuniste Europene [1989 – The Domino Principle: The Collapse of the European Communist Regimes], Bucharest, Editura Fundatiei Culturale Romane, 2000, pp. 170-171; Archives of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Budapest/1989, vol. 5, pp. 130-132.

[227] Resolution of the CPSU CC Politburo No. 132, “Regarding the Appeal of Cde. Ceauşescu”, August 21, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, RGANI, F. 3, Op. 103, D. 180, L. 63, and RGANI, F. 3, Op. 103, D. 181, Ll. 140-141. Translated for CWIHP by Mark Kramer. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121621

[228] See Soviet Ambassador Evghenni Mikhaillovich Tiazhelnikov’s journal entry in Stefan Karner, Efim Iosifovich Pivovar, Natalya Georgievna Tomilina, and Alexander Oganovich Chubarian, Конец эпохи. СССР и революции в странах Восточной Европы в 1989– 1991 гг. Документы [The End of An Epoch: The USSR and The Revolutions in the Eastern European Countries in 1981-1991. Documents], Moscow, Rosspen, 2015, Document 241.

[229] See Soviet Ambassador Evghenni Mikhaillovich Tiazhelnikov’s journal entry in Stefan Karner, Efim Iosifovich Pivovar, Natalya Georgievna Tomilina, and Alexander Oganovich Chubarian, Конец эпохи. СССР и революции в странах Восточной Европы в 1989– 1991 гг. Документы [The End of An Epoch: The USSR and The Revolutions in the Eastern European Countries in 1981-1991. Documents], Moscow, Rosspen, 2015, Document 241.

[230] Minutes of the Meeting between Nicolae Ceauşescu and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Moscow, 4 December 1989 in Munteanu (2001), pp. 217, 220.

[231] “Warsaw Pact: Condemning Invasion of Czechoslovakia” in National Intelligence Daily, Tuesday, 5 December 1989, p. 10, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, http://www.foia.cia.gov/sites/default/files/document_conversions/89801/DOC_0000259069.pdf.

[232] “Ryzhkov – Sending Troops ‘Unacceptable’,” AFP in English, 23 December 1989, 1500 GMT in Foreign Broadcast Information Service, Soviet Union (FBIS-SOV-89-246), Washington, D.C., U.S. Government Printing Office, 26 December 1989, p. 13.

[233] Don Oberdorfer, From the Cold War to the New Era: The United States and the Soviet Union, 1983-1991, Baltimore, The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998, p. 386. The true irony was that virtually all U.S. analysts believed the Romanians had renounced their quarter-century-long policy, and that the hostile Soviet-Romanian relationship was preserved intact only with both assuming diametrically opposite roles.

[234] According to one, for example, Ceauşescu refused to sign the resolution condemning the invasion and refused to repudiate the Brezhnev Doctrine, suggesting that the Romanian leader now favored the use of military intervention. Ceauşescu’s argument that to do so would have been to accept responsibility for an invasion that Romania had always condemned was considered by the analyst to be a “lame excuse.” Tom Gallagher, Outcast Europe: The Balkans 1789-1989: From the Ottomans to Milosevic, Amsterdam, Harwood Academic Publishers, 2003, pp. 256-257.

[235] Dascălescu had been Prime Minister since 1982. Stoian had been C.C. Secretary for Foreign Relations from 1984 until the beginning of November 1989, when he was appointed Foreign Minister. Olteanu had been C.C. Secretary for Press and Propaganda since May 1988 before he became C.C. Secretary for Foreign Relations at the beginning of November 1989.

[236] Report of the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs [F. Somogyi] for the Council of Ministers about the Meeting of the leaders of the Warsaw Pact on 4 December, December 06, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Obtained by Béla Révész; translated and edited by Barnabás Vajd, Laura Deal, and Karl P. Benziger. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121893; Rezső Nyers’s handwritten Notes on Gorbachev’s Briefing on the Malta Summit at the Meeting of the Warsaw Pact Leaders in Moscow on 4 December, December 04, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121884.

[237] “Warsaw Pact: Condemning Invasion of Czechoslovakia” in National Intelligence Daily, Tuesday, 5 December 1989, p. 10, CIA.

[238] Transcript of the Executive Political Committee Meeting, November 27, 1989, at ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Cancelarie, dosar 66/1989, f. 22. This file contains both Gorbachev’s announcement of the upcoming Malta meeting and the detailed agenda of what he intended to discuss as well as Ceauşescu’s detailed response, which, unless other Pact members gave the same advice, influenced the Soviet leaders presentation to President Bush. See Ibid, f. 19-39. Interestingly, Ceauşescu appears to have been unaware of Gorbachev’s tacit agreement with the Czechoslovaks to discuss the withdrawal of Soviet forces from their country. Thus, the Soviet leader’s decision not to inform his Romanian counterpart may have led inadvertently to the clash that ensued.

[239] This may have come as a surprise to Stoian and Olteanu but the Soviet ambassador had informed Ceauşescu of this intention when he transmitted the written invitation in November 1989. The account of former Foreign Minister Ion Stoian is reproduced in the Romanian Ministry of Defense’s collection of documents related to the Romanian Revolution from a 1994 newspaper interview. See Costache Codrescu, coordinator, Armata Română în revoluţia din decembrie 1989: Studiu documentar [The Romanian Army in the Revolution of December 1989: A Documentary Study], revised 2nd edition, Bucharest, Editura Militară, 1998, pp. 41-42. Olteanu’s account is from a June 20, 2005 interview in Alex Mihai Stoenescu, Istoria loviturilor de stat in România: “Revoluţia din decembrie 1989” – o tragedie româneasca [History of the Coup d’Etat in Romania – “The Revolution of December 1989” – A Romanian Tragedy], vol. 4, part II, Bucharest, RAO, 2005, p. 695.

[240] Constantin Olteanu, O viaţă de om: Dialog cu jurnalistul Dan Constantin [A Man’s Life: Dialogue with Journalist Dan Constantinescu], Bucharest, Niculescu, 2013, p. 547. Regardless of this ambiguity within the Pact discussions, Gorbachev’s public statement issued after it took a broader, Romanian-style approach: “The illegal disruption of the process of democratic renewal in Czechoslovakia had long-term consequences. History showed how important it is, even in the most complex international situations, to use political means for the solution of any problems, and to observe strictly the principles of sovereignty, independence and non-interference in internal affairs, which is in accordance with the tenets of the Warsaw Pact.”

[241] See e.g. Ladka Bauerova and Lenka Ponikelska, “Russian 1968 Prague Spring Invasion Film Angers Czechs, Slovaks,” Bloomberg, June 1, 2015, 1415 hrs EEST, http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-06-01/slovaks-condemn-russian-documentary-on-1968-warsaw-pact-invasion. The film justifying the intervention appeared on ROSSIYA 1 TV.

[242] Interview with former Foreign Minister Ion Stoian in Vocea României, no. 202, 1 August 1994 and Codrescu et. al. (1998), pp. 41-42.

[243] “Cuvintul tovarasului Nicolae Ceauşescu” [The Speech of Comrade Nicolae Ceauşescu]. Scânteia, 22 August 1968.

[244] Ibid.

[245] Interview of General Olteanu in Stoenescu (2005), p. 695; Constantin and Olteanu (2013), pp. 547-548.

[246] Gorbachev gave some vent his irritation in his memoirs, where, as one analyst has observed, “he dedicates almost three pages heaping scorn on Nicolae Ceauşescu.” Fredo Arias-King, “Soviet Domestic Politics and Collapse of the Outer Empire, 1989,” Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization, vol. 7, no. 2(1999): 288. See Mikhail Gorbachev, Memoirs, New York, Doubleday, 1996, pp. 473-476.

[247] Stoenescu (2005), p. 695; Constantin and Olteanu (2013), p. 547. Gheorghe-Dej had provoked the same response, astonishment followed by a sudden break in the proceedings, when he recommended to Khrushchev that the Soviet Union withdraw all of its troops from Romania in 1955, and again, on several occasions during 1962-1964, when he recommended the withdrawal of Soviet espionage networks from all of the socialist countries. See, for example, Transcript of Conversations Between Delegations of the Romanian Workers Party C.C. and the CPSU C.C., Moscow, July 1964 (Excerpts), Meeting of 7 July 1964, Document 7 in Larry L. Watts, Romanian Security Policy and the Cuban Crisis, Cold War International History Project e-Dossier No. 38, February 2013, http://www.wilsoncenter.org/publication/e-dossier-no-38-romania-security-policy-and-the-cuban-missile-crisis; ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 35/1964, vol. II, filele 1-237; Document No. 4 in Vasile Buga, O vară fierbinte în relaţiile româno-sovietice: Convorbirile de la Moscova din iulie 1964 [A Hot Summer in Romanian-Soviet Relations: Conversations in Moscow during July 1964], Bucharest, Romanian Academy, National Institute for the Study of Totalitarianism, 2012, pp. 194-197. Ceauşescu managed to provoke this reaction on numerous occasions and his continuing ability to do so, while prompting admiration in the CIA – and warning that to ponder what Romania might do next was “often to consider the far-fetched” – in equal measure prompted exasperation and fury in the Kremlin, since “only the devil” knew what the Romanian leader might do next. Special Memorandum 6-68: The USSR and Eastern Europe (1968), pp. 8-11; Transcript, Meeting of East German leader Erich Honecker and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, Crimea, USSR, 25 July 1978, Document 8, “U.S.-Soviet Relations and the Turn Toward Confrontation, 1977-1980 – New Russian & East German Documents,” Cold War International History Project Bulletin, no. 8/9 (Winter 1996), p. 123.

[248] Constantin and Olteanu (2013), p. 547. In an earlier interview, General Olteanu recalled Ceauşescu as having proposed the withdrawal of Soviet troops “from all of the Socialist countries.”  Stoenescu (2005), p. 694.

[249] Ibid. Olteanu’s recollections of 2005 differ with those of 2013 in identifying the East German leader that acted as Moscow’s cat’s-paw in the discussion. In 2005 he identified Hans Modrow as the speaker, while in 2013 he identified Egon Kreuz. Both were present. Modrow, in particular, was the Gorbachev-designated heir apparent at the time. On the alleged grooming of Modrow by the KGB see Dirk Banse, “KGB Suchte Schon 1987 Nachfolger für Honecker” [The KGB Sought A Replacement For Honecker Since 1987], Berliner Morgenpost, 13 August 2009. Moscow, or at least the KGB, apparently sought to run former Stasi foreign intelligence chief Markus Wolf in tandem with Modrow as the new reformist leadership, but those hopes were dashed when Wolf was overwhelmingly booed by the East German crowd during his first public speaking attempt as a “reform communist.” See e.g. “Soviet Union Wanted To Topple Honecker in 1987,” Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) Intelligence Notes, no. 30-09, 18 August 2009, https://www.afio.com/sections/wins/2009/2009-30.htm#honecker; “Soviet Union Wanted Stasi Chief To Help To Topple Honecker of East Germany In 1987,” Eurasian Secret Services Daily Report, 13 August 2009. See also Frank Sieren and Günther Schabowski, Wir Haben Fast Alles Falsch Gemacht: Die Letzten Tage Der DDR [We Had Almost Everything Wrong: The Last Days Of The GDR], Berlin, Econ Verlag, 2009.

[250] See e.g. Yosef Govrin, Israeli-Romanian Relations at the End of the Ceausescu Era, New York, Routledge, 2002, pp. 109, 115.

[251] See Ceauşescu’s report to the 14th Party Congress, ANR, Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Fond C.C. al P.C.R., Secţia Cancelarie, dosar 76/1989, f. 115-116. See also Govrin (2002), pp. 109, 115. The report was also published in Scânteia, 21 November 1989.

[252] “‘Soviets Go Home’ Slogans, Rallies Reported,” Zölnierz Wolnosci, 18 December 1989, p. 2 in FBIS-EEU-89-246, 26 December 1989.

[253] “Kárpáti To Hold Talks on Soviet Troop Withdrawal,” MTI [Hungarian Telegraph Agency] in English, 1855 GMT, 21 December in FBIS-EEU-89-245, 22 December 1989.

[254] “Calfa Interviewed on Talks With Gorbachev,” Prague Domestic Service, 1900 GMT, 20 December 1989 in FBIS-EEU-89-247, 27 December 1989; “Dienstbier: Accord on Soviet Presence ‘Invalid’,” CTK [Czech News Agency] (Prague) in English, 2042 GMT, 26 December 1989 in FBIS-EEU-89-247, 27 December 1989.


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