US embassy cable - 89PRAGUE8311

LOCAL SOVIET VIEW OF CZECHOSLOVAK DEVELOPMENTS

Identifier: 89PRAGUE8311
Wikileaks: View 89PRAGUE8311 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Prague
Created: 1989-11-28 17:22:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PINR CZ UR
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 281722Z NOV 89
FM AMEMBASSY PRAGUE
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1941
INFO EASTERN EUROPEAN POSTS
AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS
C O N F I D E N T I A L PRAGUE 08311 
 
BRUSSELS FOR USEC-AMBASSADOR NILES 
 
E.O. 12356:  DECL: OADR 
TAGS:  PREL, PINR, CZ, UR 
SUBJECT: LOCAL SOVIET VIEW OF CZECHOSLOVAK 
         DEVELOPMENTS 
 
1.  CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.  SUMMARY.  IN NOVEMBER 28 CONVERSATION WITH 
SOVIET COUNTERPART, DCM WAS TOLD THAT USE OF FORCE 
OR INTERVENTION OF CZECHOSLOVAK MILITARY IN POLITICAL 
SITUATION HERE IS OUT OF THE QUESTION.  SOVIET 
EMBASSY EXPECTED AND IS RELAXED ABOUT CHANGES HERE, 
BUT WANTS TO SEE SOCIALISM PRESERVED.  THEY WOULD 
BE CONCERNED ABOUT ANY DEVELOPMENTS HERE WHICH 
SUGGEST "ANTI-SOVIETISM."  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.  IN CONVERSATION WITH SOVIET DCM, MARAT KUZNECOV, 
AT YUGOSLAV NATIONAL DAY RECEPTION NOVEMBER 28, 
DCM WAS TOLD THAT SOVIET EMBASSY IS CONVINCED 
THAT "NO MORE BATONS" WILL BE USED HERE AND THAT 
THE CZECHOSLOVAK MILITARY WILL NOT RPT NOT INTERVENE 
IN POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS.  KUZNECOV SERVED 
PREVIOUSLY IN BRATISLAVA AND WAS IN PRAGUE IN 
1968. 
 
4.  KUZNECOV SAID THAT SOVIET EMBASSY WAS AWARE 
THAT THERE WOULD BE CHANGE HERE AND AGREED THAT THERE 
SHOULD BE A MORE "HUMAN" APPROACH TO BUILDING SOCIALISM 
IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA.  HE THOUGHT IT NOTEWORTHY AND, BY 
IMPLICATION, POSITIVE THAT DUBCEK IN A WEEKEND ADDRESS 
IN PRAGUE HAD QUOTED GORBACHEV AS USING THE TERM 
(WHICH DUBCEK HIMSELF COINED IN 1968), "SOCIALISM 
WITH A HUMAN FACE."  HE SAID THERE WILL CERTAINLY 
BE A SERIOUS DIALOGUE WITH THE OPPOSITION, BUT SAID 
HE INVARIABLY REFUSED TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT 
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN NEXT IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. 
 
5.  ASKED WHETHER THE SOVIET EMBASSY IS RELAXED 
ABOUT DEVELOPMENTS HERE,KUZNECOV REPLIED THAT THE 
EMBASSY IS WATCHING CLOSELY TO SEE THAT CERTAIN 
OPPOSITION ELEMENTS DO NOT FOSTER A SPIRIT OF 
ANTI-SOVIETISM.  THE USSR WANTS SOCIALISM TO BE 
MAINTAINED IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA.  THE NEW CZECHOSLOVAK 
COMMUNIST PARTY LEADERSHIP HAS PEOPLE IN IT WHO 
RECOGNIZE THAT THE 1968 PARTY PROGRAM HAD MANY 
GOOD ELEMENTS FOR BUILDING SOCIALISM.  WHEN DCM 
REMARKED THAT THERE WERE VARIOUS DEFINITIONS OF 
SOCIALISM AND THAT GORBACHEV'S NOVEMBER 26 PRAVDA 
INTERVIEW (MOSCOW 33157) CONFIRMED THIS TO BE THE 
CASE, KUZNECOV SMILED BROADLY AND NODDED.  HOWEVER, 
HE SIMPLY REITERATED THAT IT IS IN THE SOVIET 
INTEREST TO KEEP CZECHOSLOVAKIA SOCIALIST AND TO 
AVOID ANTI-SOVIET AND ANTI-COMMUNIST SENTIMENTS. 
 
6.  KUZNECOV WAS MORE RELAXED AND FRIENDLY THAN 
USUAL AND JOKED THAT THE CHINESE AMBASSADOR HAD 
JUST BEEN PRESSING HIM, UNSUCCESSFULLY, FOR HIS 
VIEWS ON WHAT MIGHT HAPPEN HERE.  HE FIRST CHARACTERIZED 
THE SITUATION AS REFLECTING "TENSION" (NAPETI), 
BUT QUICKLY AGREED THAT "DIFFICULT" OR "COMPLEX" 
MIGHT BE BETTER TERMS AND THAT THERE WAS NO "TENSION" 
IN THE SENSE OF POSSIBLE USE OF VIOLENCE OR FORCE. 
HE EMPHASIZED THAT THE POSITIVE ASPECT OF DEVELOP- 
MENTS HERE INVOLVED A MORE "HUMAN" APPROACH TO 
SOCIALISM.  HOWEVER, HE EMPHASIZED THAT THE SOVIET 
POSITION IS THAT THEY WILL NOT INTERFERE IN THE 
INTERNAL AFFAIRS OF OTHER STATES. 
 
BLACK 

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