Skip to main content

New Evidence on Romania and the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1989

CWIHP e-Dossier No. 6 

Romania's position in the Warsaw Pact was initially one of utmost fidelity to its Soviet master but by the early years of the 1960s that servility had virtually disappeared. Romania's behaviour within the Pact reflected its increasingly autonomous foreign policy. This policy was pursued with consummate diplomatic skill within limits for which Romania's leaders judged they could gain acceptance from the Soviet Union. In testing those limits Romania stance attracted the descriptions 'ambiguous', paradoxical', and 'maverick'.

In 1956, during the Hungarian uprising, Romania was the Soviet Union's most active ally. Eight years later, in 1964, the Romanian Workers' Party publicly declared its right to follow its own path to Communism without interference from outside. This meant the exercise of choices, and those choices had economic and foreign policy implications. The architects of this autonomous policy were Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, secretary general of the RWP, and Ion Gheorghe Maurer, the prime minister. Upon Dej's death in March 1965 his successor Nicolae Ceausescu continued the policy. In adopting this stance Ceausescu was able not only to offer the West an opportunity to exploit an apparent breach in the Communist bloc, but also to draw on his people's dislike for their Soviet overlord. Romania was the first country in the Eastern bloc to establish diplomatic relations with West Germany (in 1967), and was the only country from the group to have diplomatic ties with Israel. In 1971, she adhered to GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and in the following year joined the Internaitional Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Romania's commercial position was further enhanced when she acquired preferential trading status with the European Common Market in 1973, whilst remaining a member of the CMEA (Council for Mutual Economic Assistance), popularly known as Comecon.

Ceausescu's political agility ensured him undisputed leadership of the Romanian Communist Party between 1965 and 1989. He appealed to Romanian nationalism in an effort to increase his regime's popularity and at the same time to put a distance between himself and the Soviet Union. His condemnation in August 1968 of the Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia was a courageous act which gained him and his country worldwide respect. In August 1969, Richard Nixon accepted Ceausescu's invitation to visit Bucharest, the first US President to make such a visit to a Warsaw Pact member-state. Ceausescu's autonomy in foreign affairs was encouraged and supported by the United States throughout the 1970s, and Ceausescu ably exploited this position in order to deflect criticism of his internal policies, criticism which the Romanian authorities termed 'intrusion into domestic affairs'. In 1979, Ceausescu attacked the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; in 1981, he counselled caution in the Warsaw Pact's response to the crisis in Poland; in the following year he opposed Pact plans to increase defence spending and in fact reduced Romania's defence budget. In 1983, he repeated his call for a halt to the arms race and advocated multilateral nuclear disarmament in Europe. In the following year, he proposed a moratorium on the deployment of new nuclear weapons in Europe and at the same time refused to join the Soviet-led boycott of the Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Ceausescu sought to use his unique position in international affairs to act as a broker on the world stage, thereby hoping to acquire the status of a world statesman, but his failure in the economic field led to domestic disillusionment with his regime.

Ceausescu's reaction to the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 drew its political justification from the Romanian Central Committee declaration of 1964. This declaration remained throughout the period of Ceausescu's rule the fundamental premise upon which Romanian autonomy within the Warsaw Pact and Comecon was based. Romanian foreign policy under Ceausescu thus showed a continuity after 1968 which, by contrast, domestic policy lacked. In foreign policy, Ceausescu demonstrated the same skill, sensitivity and resourcefulness that had been displayed by Gheorghiu-Dej and Maurer in taking Romania on its autonomous course. In domestic policy, he showed the opposite, becoming tyrannical and insensitive to the needs of the population.

To a certain extent, he became a victim of the regime's economic achievements of the 1960s. Expectations of an ever-brighter economic future were raised by the increasingly availability of consumer goods in the late 1960s and when cut-backs became the order of the day in the 1970s and 1980s, these hopes were rudely shattered. In the light of Ceausescu's admiration for Stalin, it is not surprising that economic policy should have been characterized by the former's obsession with industrialization and total opposition to any form of private ownership. He was, therefore, all the more irritated that the champion of economic reforms in the Eastern bloc in 1985 should be the new Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, and his implacable opposition to change was expressed at the November 1985 Central Committee meeting of the Romanian Communist Party.[1]

Ceausescu had turned to the West for loans but the country's creditworthiness had been assessed on over-optimistic estimates of its ability to repay through exports, for these proved to be of poor quality. Not only did the exports fail to generate the anticipated income, but the energy-intensive heavy industry plants became increasingly voracious due to inefficient running. In the mid-1970s, Ceausescu expanded Romania's oil-refining capacity in excess of the country's own domestic output and in 1976 was forced to begin the import of crude oil. When the price of oil soared on the international market in 1978 Romania was caught out and soon faced a major trade deficit. Her problem was exacerbated by the revolution in Iran, a chief supplier to Romania of oil, which put a halt to deliveries.

Nature was also against the régime. A severe earthquake of 1977, followed by floods in 1980 and 1981, disrupted industrial production and reduced the exports of foodstuffs which Ceausescu now looked to in order to pay off the foreign debt incurred through industrialization. In late 1981, the country's foreign debt rose to $10.2 billions - in 1977 it stood at only $3.6 billions - and Ceausescu requested its rescheduling. On the recommendation of the IMF imports were reduced and exports, especially of machinery, equipment and petroleum products, increased. The implications of this reduction of imports were not fully appreciated by foreign analysts at the time; since 1981 Romania had been a net importer of food from the West - food imports from the West in that year totaled $644 millions and exports $158 millions. In the same year, Soviet statistics show that Romania exported 106,000 tons of frozen meat to the Soviet Union. Cutting back on food imports, while at the same time continuing to export meat to the Soviet Union, forced Ceausescu to introduce meat rationing.

More importantly, the very act of having to accept conditions from the Western banks was a great blow to the Romanian leader's inflated pride. On its heels came political isolation which made him less dependent on the support of foreign governments that might have exercised some influence in persuading him to moderate his policies towards his people. He declared defiantly in December 1982 that he would pay off the foreign debt by 1990, and to achieve this introduced a series of austerity measures unparalleled even in the bleak history of East-Central European Communist regimes. Rationing of bread, flour, sugar and milk was introduced in some provincial towns in early 1982, and in 1983 it was extended to most of the country, with the exception of the capital. The monthly personal rations were progressively reduced to the point where, on the eve of the 1989 revolution, they were in some regions of the country one kilo of sugar, one kilo of flour, a 500-gram pack of margarine, and five eggs. At the same time, heavy industry was also called upon to contribute to the export drive, but because its energy needs outstripped the country's generating capacity drastic energy saving measures were introduced in 1981, which included a petrol ration of 30 litres (about 7 gallons) per month for private car owners. Other strictures stipulated a maximum temperature of 14 degrees centigrade (57 F) in offices and periods of provision of hot water (normally one day a week in flats). In the winter of 1983, these restrictions were extended, causing the interruption of the electricity supply in major cities and reduction of gas pressure during the day so that meals could only be cooked at night. During the severe winter of 1984-85 it was calculated from medical sources in the capital's hospitals that over 30 children had died as a result of unannounced power cuts affecting incubators.

In the face of the severe austerity measures which Ceausescu had introduced in order to pay off the country's foreign debt, most Romanians began to ask whether autonomy was worth the price. The question was put even more frequently after Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet party leader in March 1985. By the time Gorbachev visited Romania in May 1987, a remarkable one hundred and eighty degree turn had occurred in Romanians' perception of the Soviet Union and its relationship to Romania. This change in attitude hinged on the evolution of Ceausescu himself: if in 1965 Ceausescu presented a young, dynamic face of Communism compared with the ageing, reactionary Brezhnev, now, thirty years later, it was Gorbachev who had assumed Ceausescu's mantle and the latter that of Brezhnev. In a speech broadcast live during his visit to Bucharest on 26 May 1987, Gorbachev presented to the Romanian public his concepts of glasnost and perestroika and in doing so offered an implicit criticism of Ceausescu's resistance to reform. The enthusiasm for reform could be seen in the queues that formed in July 1988 in front of the Soviet airline Aeroflot offices in Bucharest as Romanians were admitted five at a time not to purchase airline tickets, but to pick up free copies in Romanian of the Soviet leader's report to the nineteenth conference of the Soviet Communist Party, coverage of which had been restricted in the Romanian media to those measures which had already been taken in Romania. Here was yet another irony of Ceausescu's continued rule: the arch-nationalist had succeeded in making Romanians look to Soviet Union for hope !

Ceausescu's 'neo-stalinism' also caused severe friction with the other superpower, the United States. Since the granting of Most-Favored-Nation tariff treatment in 1975, the US Congress had been able to hold Ceausescu's feet to the fire over human rights issues in Romania, most notably the right or opportunity to emigrate. It was in recognition of Ceausescu's success in 'tweaking the nose of the Russians'[2] that in early 1975, Congress, in passing the Trade Act of 1974, permitted the president to extend MFN to Communist countries. Section 402 of this act, known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, prohibited the extension of MFN to any country that denied its citizens the right to emigrate, but also allowed the president to waive this provision if he found that such a waiver would 'substantially promote the objectives of freedom of emigration'. The initial 18-month waiver could be renewed for 12-month periods by the president, but either house of Congress could reverse such a decision. This annual review of Romania's performance on emigration was to prove a key factor in Romania's relations with the United States in the 1980s. President Ford took the decision to grant Romania MFN status in 1975 after receiving an oral 'assurance' from Ceausescu that he would 'contribute to the solution of humanitarian problems on the basis of mutual confidence and goodwill.'[3] Quite apart from its considerable trade benefits to Romania - Romanian exports to the US almost doubled from $133 to $233 million between 1975 and 1977 - which the award of MFN brought, of even greater value to Ceausescu was the certificate of respectability that it implied not only for his emigration policies, but also for his treatment of wider human rights issues in Romania.

It was the deteriorating human rights situation in Romania that threatened US-Romanian relations in the early 1980s. The resulting US alienation from Romania in 1987 and Ceausescu's growing irritation with American expressions of concern about Ceausescu's treatment of his opponents, led Ceausescu in February 1988 to renounce MFN status before suffering the indignity of having it withdrawn by Congress or by President Reagan. Ceausescu's action showed that he would not submit to pressure from any direction, West or East. He appears, however, to have cherished hopes that Reagan would grant MFN treatment without the Jackson-Vanik but in doing so completely failed to appreciate how negative his image had become in Congress as well the constitutional impediments facing the US president.


Two criteria have guided the selection of the documents presented here. The first is that they provide a snapshot of the Romanian reaction to major crises which confronted the Warsaw Pact - Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Poland in 1981 - and offer an insight into Romanian reaction to the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Romania in 1958. In respect of 1968 and 1981, they illustrate how the Romanian declaration of 1964 remained throughout the period of Ceausescu's rule the cornerstone of Romanian autonomy within the Warsaw Pact. The second criterion is that while these documents have been previously published in Romanian secondary sources, they have not been available in English. Understanding Romania's unique position within the Pact requires a foray into the past.

Soviet military occupation in September 1944 brought Romania firmly within the orbit of the USSR and provided the underpinning for the imposition of Communist rule there. Under the terms of the Peace Treaty of February 1947 between Romania and the Allies, the right was recognized of the Soviet Union 'to keep on Romanian territory such armed forces as it may need for the maintenance of the lines of communication of the Soviet Army with the Soviet zone of occupation in Austria'.[4] That justification for the continued presence of Soviet troops on Romanian soil was removed by the conclusion of the Austrian peace treaty on 15 May 1955; Austria undertook not to join any military alliance, nor to permit the establishment by any foreign power of bases on her territory. The Soviet Union, in return, committed herself to the evacuation of her zone of occupation by 31 December 1955.

However, the presence of Soviet troops in Romania - and Hungary - buttressed the Communist parties there against any internal challenge to their rule. It was therefore in the Soviet Union's interest to find another mechanism for 'legalizing' a Soviet military presence in these two countries. The creation of the Warsaw Pact in May 1955 provided that mechanism. As a riposte to the establishment of the Western European Union in October 1954, the Soviet Union convened a meeting of its satellites in Warsaw on 11 May and four days later the Warsaw Treaty was signed. Under article 5 a unified command of the armed forces of the member states was created and the Soviet Marshal Koniev was appointed commander-in-chief. The Warsaw Treaty thus provided a legal framework for the continued presence of Soviet troops in Romania and Hungary.

The Hungarian uprising allowed the Romanian leadership to amply demonstrate its fidelity to the Soviet Union. The repercussions of the revolt, which began with a massive popular demonstration in Budapest on 23 October 1956 during which the Stalin monument was destroyed and the national flag hoisted with the emblem of the People's Republic removed, were soon felt in Romania. On 27 October, there were student and workers' demonstrations in Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi and Timisoara. The emphasis of the student protests was upon the abolition of the teaching of Russian in schools and universities. On 29 October, railwaymen in Bucharest held a protest meeting calling for improved conditions of work and in Iasi there were street demonstrations in support of better food supplies. An exceptionally poor harvest had drastically cut food production and queues in Bucharest and the other main towns were commonplace. Gheorghiu-Dej and a Romanian delegation cut short a visit to Yugoslavia on 28 October to address the crisis. Thousands of arrests were made in the centres of protest, especially amongst students who participated in meetings in the Transylvanian capital of Cluj and in Timisoara. One of the largest meetings took place in Bucharest. On 30 October, the Timisoara, Oradea and Iasi regions were placed under military rule as Soviet troops were brought in across the Romanian border in the east and concentrated on the frontier with Hungary in the west. To placate the workers the government announced on 29 October that the minimum wage would be raised, and special concessions were given to railway men in the form of free travel.

Convergence of interest with the Soviet Union and not just slavish obedience determined the stance adopted by Dej and his colleagues. They had two main concerns: a successful revolt in Budapest against Communist rule might spread to the almost two-million strong Hungarian community in Transylvania, thus sparking an anti-Communist rising in Romania; and a non-Communist Hungary might lay claim to parts of Transylvania. Their fears had been fuelled by the participation of Hungarian students and workers in demonstrations in Cluj, Timisoara and the Autonomous Magyar Region.

Khrushchev and Malenkov paid a secret visit to Bucharest on 1 November 1956 to discuss the Hungarian crisis with Romanian, Bulgarian and Czechoslovak leaders. The Romanian trio of Dej, Emil Bodnaras and Ceausescu that participated in the secret meeting pushed for firm military intervention against Imre Nagy's government - the Soviet troops based in Romania had been among the first to cross the Hungarian border on 26 October to reinforce the Soviet presence. A key figure in the Romanian Party's support for Soviet intervention in Hungary was Emil Bodnaras, who had been imprisoned before the war as a Soviet agent. During the uprising he was appointed Minister of Transport and Communications and in this capacity he supervised the widening of roads of strategic importance to Soviet troops for their transit through Romania. He was probably instrumental in making arrangements for the detention of Imre Nagy in Romania for on 21 November he and Dej paid a visit to Janos Kadar, the new First Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, and on the following day Nagy was abducted by KGB officers and flown to Bucharest where he was granted what the Romanian Foreign Minister Grigore Preoteasa termed 'asylum'. In fact, he was held, along with other members of his government, in a safe house in a locality just north of Bucharest, where their interrogation was coordinated by Boris Shumilin, chief KGB adviser 'for counter-revolutionary affairs', and not allowed the visits from UN officials promised by Preoteasa to prove that he was not under duress.[5] Shumilin permitted a senior RCP member, Valter Roman, who had fought in the International Brigade in Spain and was believed to be an NKVD officer, to question Nagy's associates.[6] Many other prominent supporters of Nagy were interrogated in Romania, among them the Marxist critic Georgy Lukacs.

Romania was the Soviet Union's most obedient ally during the Hungarian crisis. Its support of the Soviet Union went beyond the political arena into the domain of practical assistance and open encouragement. Dej and Bodnaras were the first foreign leaders to visit Budapest after the Soviet invasion and in their official communiqué they opined that the Soviet action 'was necessary and correct'.[7] The Romanian government echoed Soviet propaganda, denouncing the 'counter-revolution' as the work of 'reactionary Fascists' provoked by 'Western imperialists'. Additional bases were provided on Romanian soil to the Soviet forces, roads were widened, and railway traffic interrupted to carry military transport. Soviet satisfaction with Romania's role during October and November 1956 stood to the country's advantage two years later when Khrushchev decided to withdraw Soviet troops.

According to Khrushchev's memoirs it was Bodnaras who, as Minister of War, first raised the question of the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Romania during Khrushchev's visit in August 1955.[8] Khrushchev was convinced that the matter had already been discussed by the Romanian Party leadership and Bodnaras was no doubt chosen to broach the subject because of his impeccable credentials: his past services to the Soviet Union, the confidence and respect which Khrushchev acknowledged he enjoyed amongst the Soviet leaders; and the senior position - he was one of the first three Vice Prime Ministers - he occupied. Khrushchev records that Bodnaras justified the subject by pointing out that there was little threat to Soviet security interests because Romania was hemmed in by other Socialist countries and that there was 'nobody across the Black Sea from us except the Turks'.[9] The international situation in 1955 did not permit the Soviet leader to act on the idea straightaway but the idea of withdrawal had been planted in his mind and he used it at the time he regarded most appropriate.

That judgement had to be made first, in the context of a wider scenario composed by Khrushchev for his policy of a new opening towards the West, and second, with regard to the Romanian Party's ability to ensure internal security. The key foreign policy element was the unilateral Soviet move to withdraw a limited number of troops from Eastern Europe as a whole which, Khrushchev hoped, might prompt a similar response from NATO. Romania's strategic position, flanked as it was by other Warsaw Pact states, made it a safer proposition for the Soviet Union on security grounds for a troop withdrawal, and any fears about Romania's reliability as an ally had been dispelled by its actions during the Hungarian revolution. By the same token, the precautionary measure of keeping a large number of Soviet troops in Hungary after the revolution allowed Khrushchev to partially offset any overall reduction of Soviet troops in the area.

The most significant impact of Soviet withdrawal upon the Romanian leadership was its psychological one. Romania was still tied firmly within the Soviet bloc. Soviet divisions in southern Ukraine and across the Prut in the Moldavian Republic could descend at once in an emergency. Nevertheless, whatever the Soviet motives for the withdrawal, Dej could regard it as a concession wrought from the Soviets and with the confidence thus gained could embark, albeitly cautiously, on policies which placed Romanian above Soviet interests.

His campaign was at once active and reactive. It was not only in furtherance of a foreign policy aim to distance Romania from the Soviet Union, but was also a reaction to two major developments which posed a threat to Romania's new course. The first was Khrushchev's plan, presented in Moscow on 3-5 August 1961 to members of Comecon, to give the body a supranational planning role which, if accepted by Romania, would have obliged her to remain a supplier of raw materials, and to abandon her programme of rapid industrialization. The second was the Sino-Soviet rift, which first emerged at the Third Congress of the Romanian Communist Party in June 1960. Dej used the Chinese formula of equality of all socialist states to justify his own autonomous policies towards the Soviet Union and received Chinese backing for his rejection of the Comecon plan. The rift was indispensible to Dej's challenge to Khrushchev, but the Romanian leader was careful to preserve neutrality in the dispute. In an effort to mediate in the conflict a Romanian delegation visited Peking in February 1964, but it returned empty-handed and this led only to further arm-twisting by Khrushchev to bring the Romanians back into line. One source states that Khrushchev formally, but not publicly, raised the question of territorial revision in Transylvania during the Romanians' stopover in Moscow on their return from China, and even indicated a willingness to hold a plebiscite in Bessarabia as well as in Transylvania.[10] This linkage of the Transylvanian issue with the Sino-Soviet conflict unnerved the Romanians and pressure from Moscow was stepped up in the same month when a plan to create an economic region encompassing much of the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, half of Romania, and part of Bulgaria was launched in the Soviet capital. Known as the Valev plan after its author who was a professor of economics at Moscow university, it met with a hostile response from the Romanian government which publicly condemned it in the Romanian media.[11]

These signals from Khrushchev, coupled with the realization that the Chinese were unable to help the Romanians economically, drove the Romanians into a public declaration of their autonomy which, apart from pre-empting any move by the Kremlin, would also stake a claim to Western political and economic support against Moscow. The Romanian policy was formally legitimized in the 'Statement on the Stand of the Romanian Workers' Party Concerning the Problems of the World Communist and Working Class Movement' which was published in Scînteia on 23 April 1964. Khrushchev's removal on 14 October 1964 as Soviet leader offered Dej a further chance to consolidate his break with Moscow. According to Ion Pacepa, Dej exploited the change in the Soviet leadership by summoning the Soviet ambassador on 21 October and requested him to withdraw the KGB counsellors from Romania.[12] The discussions between Dej and Leonid Brezhnev in connection with the withdrawal of KGB counsellors went on until the end of November and also involved Aleksandr Shelepin, who until December 1961 had been KGB chairman and had been moved to head the Committee of Party and State Control which oversaw the work of the KGB. Eventually the Soviet leadership relented and in December 1964 the counsellors were withdrawn, being allowed to take all the contents of the flats which they had requisitioned. Thus the Romanian security and intelligence services became the first such agencies of a Warsaw Pact country to have its Soviet counselors withdrawn, and, as regards the Foreign Intelligence Directorate, the DGIE, the only foreign intelligence agency in the Eastern bloc to enjoy this privilege down to the collapse of Communism in 1989. This did not mean, of course, that it ceased to collaborate with the KGB.

The most forceful affirmation of independence from Soviet dictates was Ceausescu's refusal to participate in, and condemnation of, the Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia in 1968. In view of the Romanian party's policy of 'non-intervention in the domestic affairs of another state', propounded in 1964 during its rift with the Soviet Union, Ceausescu's refusal to join the other East European members of the Warsaw Pact in their invasion of Czechoslovakia on 21 August was hardly surprising; his denunciation of the invasion was. It was an act of courage for which he and his country gained a worldwide respect. Ceausescu's defiance of the Soviet Union seems all the more remarkable if we are to believe claims from Romanian military intelligence, the DIMSM, that at the meeting of Warsaw Pact heads of state in the Crimea in July, to which Ceausescu and the Czech Party leader Alexander Dubcek were not invited, a decision was taken to invade Romania as well as Czechoslovakia, on 22 August.[13] An invasion was averted only as a result of delicate crisis-management talks between Ceausescu and Leonid Brehnev, and their military chiefs of staff.

How seriously the threat of a Warsaw Pact invasion was taken by Ceausescu can be gauged from two decisions: his announcement on 21 August 1968, the day of the invasion, of the setting up of the Patriotic Guards, a workers' militia, in which the majority of adult men and women were mobilized, and his secret order given at the same time that an escape plan for him be drawn up by the Council of State Security. Work on the plan started immediately in Directorate XI (Technical Directorate) of the Council for State Security and was completed in 1970. The main thrust of the plan, codenamed Rovine-IS-70, was that in the event of an invasion, the CSS should organize armed resistance on a nationwide scale involving the whole population. If this failed, then Ceausescu would flee to a foreign country. Over the years the plan was continually modified, in particular when Ceausescu was told by his foreign intelligence service (DIE) of the Soviet plot, codenamed Dnestr, to replace him with a leader more sympathetic to Moscow.[14] Few could have predicted that within three years of his triumph of 1968, Ceausescu would reveal the autocratic, intolerant and capricious tendencies which were later to become dominant.


To go to the document, click on the title

Protocol No. 55 of the Meeting of the Political Bureau of the CC of the RWP, on the situation in Hungary and the measures to be taken in Romania

Protocol No. 58 of the Meeting of the Political Bureau of the CC of the RWP which adopted some measures to ensure order in Romania given the events taking place in Hungary

Letter addressed by N.S. Khruschev, First-Secretary of the CC of the CPSU, to the CC of the RWP concerning the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the Romanian territory

Letter of reply, from Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, First-Secretary of the CC of the RWP expressing agreement to the proposal made by the Soviet Union to withdraw its troops from Romania

Decision of the Council of Ministers of the People's Republic of Romania on the application of the Agreement concluded in Moscow on May 24, 1958 establishing the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Romania

Letter addressed by the CC of the CPSU to the CC of the RWP on the recall of Soviet advisors from Romania

Letter of reply addressed by CC of the RWP to the CC of the CPSU expressing agreement with the reasons and proposals advanced by the Soviet Government on the recall of Soviet advisors from Romania

Protocol No. 5 of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of the CC of the RCP, on the situation in Czechoslovakia

Report addressed by minister of the Armed Forces of the Socialist Republic of Romania, to Ion Gheorghe Maurer, chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Socialist Republic of Romania with regard to his participation to the summit of the defence ministers of partner states to Warsaw Treaty

Summary No. 10 of the Executive Bureau of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, 20 May 1970

Shorthand Record of the Meeting of the Executive Political Committee of the CC of the RCP December 13, 1981


[1] Scînteia, 21 November 1985.

[2] The phrase was used by Corneliu Bogdan, one-time Romanian ambassador to Washington, in describing one of the reasons for President Nixon's visit to Bucharest in August 1969, and borrowed by J.F. Harrington and B.J. Courtney for the title of their book Tweaking the Nose of the Russians: Fifty Years of American-Romanian Relations, 1940-1990 (Boulder: East European Monographs, 1991).

[3] R. Kirk, M. Raceanu, Romanian versus the United States. Diplomacy of the Absurd, 1985-1989 (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1994), p.5.

[4] Treaties of Peace with Italy, Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland (London: HMSO, 1947), article 21, p.83.

[5] C. Andrew and O. Gordievsky, KGB. The Inside Story of Its Foreign Operations from Lenin to Gorbachev (London: Sceptre, 1991), p.435.

[6] Judit Ember, Menedekjog-1956 (Budapest: Szabad Ter Kiado, 1989), pp.146-48.

[7] S. Verona, Military Occupation and Diplomacy. Soviet Troops in Romania 1944-1958 (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1992) p.103.

[8] Ibid., p.83.

[9] Ibid.

[10] S. Fischer-Galati, The New Rumania: From People's Democracy to Socialist Republic (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1967), pp.78-103.

[11] Valev's article, 'Problems of the Economic Development of the Danubian Areas of Rumania, Bulgaria and the USSR', Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta, no.2, March-April 1964, was reprinted in Romanian in Viata economica, no.24-1964, with a critical commentary by the journal's editor C. Murgescu (quoted from G. Schöpflin, 'Rumanian Nationalism', Survey, no.2/3, Spring-Summer 1974, p.80, note 7.)

[12] I. Pacepa, Mostenirea Kremlinului (Bucharest: Editura Venus, 1993), p.253.

[13] Maj Gen P. Sarpe, 'Consideratii cu privire la evolutia organului militar român de informatii de-a lungul vremii. Directia Cercetare: Locul si rolul sau în structura actuala a armatei române', 133 Ani de Existenta a Serviciului Militar Român de Informatii 1859-1992 (Bucharest, 1992), p.9.

[14] In its updated form it was given the name 'plan Z' by the Romanian press which published details of the 1987 version of it in the summer of 1993. Hand-written in order to ensure maximum security the plan consisted 'mainly in the clandestine and protected removal from the capital of the senior Party leadership, and their passage along previously established routes.' «Evenimentul Zilei, 7 July 1993, p.3»

This introduction was first published on the Romania and the Warsaw Pact, 1955-1989 CD-Rom produced by the Institute for Political Studies of Defense and Military History, Bucharest Romania)


About the Author

Dennis Deletant

Dennis Deletant

Ion Ratiu Romanian Scholar;
Emeritus Professor of Romanian Studies, University College, London
Read More

Cold War International History Project

The Cold War International History Project supports the full and prompt release of historical materials by governments on all sides of the Cold War. Through an award winning Digital Archive, the Project allows scholars, journalists, students, and the interested public to reassess the Cold War and its many contemporary legacies. It is part of the Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program.  Read more