The History of the Soviet Bloc 1945–1991


Edited by

Research Chair, Center of Social Sciences, Institute for Political Science,
Hungarian Academy of Sciences;
Founding Director, Cold War History Research
Center, Budapest;
Professor of History, Corvinus University of Budapest
Institute of International Studies

Associate editor

University of Szeged


Assistant editors




Izabel ÁCS, Chiara BERTUCCO, Noah BUYON, Megan DIBBLE, Marco GIACOMAZZI, Anusha GURUNG, Solveig HANSEN, Zsálya HAADI-NAGY, Konrad HYZY, Tomas KOLAR, Thomas KOLLMANN, Roman KOZIEL, Annamária KÓTAY-NAGY, Réka KRIZMANICS, Andrej KROKOS, Sára LAFFERTON, Marja LAHTINEN, Joseph LARSEN, András Máté LÁZÁR, Zsófia MADÁCSI, Csaba Zsolt MÁRTON, Anikó MÉSZÁROS, Oleksandr MURASHEVYCH, Tímea OKOS, Balázs OLTVÖLGYI, Roland PAPP, Dominika PROSZOWSKA, Rashid RAHIMLI, Martin ROMAIN, François  ROPARS, Vjenceslav RUPCIC, Lili SIKLÓS, Marcello TOMASINA, Zita Bettina VASAS, Aniello VERDE, Dóra VERESS, Patrick Stephen WAGER, Jonathon WOODRUFF, Maciek ZAWADA, András ZÁM

© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2016

The publication and the preceding research were sponsored by the Hungarian Cultural Fund


At the Cold War History Research Center we have been working on an extensive chronology of the Soviet Bloc for a number of years. The third part of the timeline contains information dealing with the period from 1968 to 1980. The years 1980–1991 will be available by the end of 2017.

The entries were compiled using mainly secondary sources so far, nevertheless, we are determined to further improve and continuously extend the chronology by including information from archival documents in the years to come. The chronology also presents data dealing with Austria, Finland and Yugoslavia. Although these countries were obviously not part of the Soviet Bloc, we still wanted to involve them since they maintained special relations with the Soviet Union and its Eastern European allies.

1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980


List of Sources


© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2016

ISBN 978-963-12-7940-5


Chronology 1969


Czechoslovakia / Poland – 1969 (HDP)
A group of ”Tatra Mountaineers” arrested. ”Tatra Mountaineers” consists of young people, who in cooperation with the Czechs, organized the smuggling of copies of Kultura from Paris to Poland across the Tatra mountains.

Romania / U.S. – 1969 (RCN) --- see August 2-3. same content
Richard Nixon took the Office of the President of the US. He meets the Apollo moon mission members in the Pacific, and returns home via Romania, the first American-Romanian summit meeting in the near 100 years history of American-Romanian relations. Nixon does not promise most-favoured-nation status but emphasizes the importance of improving relations between the two countries.

Romania / U.S. – 1969 (RUR)
The tenth party congress is held. The policy of industrialization is initiated. The international prestige of Romania increases. Nixon visits Romania in the summer of 1969. Nationalist slogans, populist appeals and party appointments are used to consolidate Ceauşescu’s position. By 1969, a period of collective leadership in Romania ends, and Ceauşescu begins constructing his cult of personality.

January 1969

Czechoslovakia / Hungary January, 1969 (HC)
The Czechoslovak Hungarian Madách Publishing House begins operating in Bratislava.


Czechoslovakia – January 1, 1969 (VVR / PSC / KCA)
Czechoslovakia becomes a Federation, according to a law signed on October 27, 1968. Ludvík Svoboda is appointed president of the CSSR. (Svoboda had been president already since April 1968. He retained his post after federalization as president of the republic). Oldřich Černík is appointed prime minister. The federal state consists of the Czech Socialist Republic and the Slovak Socialist Republic. Federal Prime Minister Cernik states, “the foreign policy of Czechoslovakia would be based on sovereignty and the rule of the people.” In addition, he advocates for political freedom of speech.

Czechoslovakia – January 2, 1969 (PSC)
The Presidium of the Slovak National Council is appointed, with Sádovský as chairman of the first government of the Slovak Socialist Republic.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – January 9, 1969 (PSC)
Dubček receives Konstantin Katushev, the CPSU CC official responsible for intra-bloc relations. Katushev is in Czechoslovakia as the head of a Soviet delegation from December 27 to January 10.

Hungary – January 10, 1969 (HC)
The representatives of Hungary and Romania approve the 1969-1970 plan of cultural and scientific cooperation and the agreement on the exchange of university and college students and aspirants of the two countries.

Yugoslavia / France – January 10-17, 1969 (GOD)
President of the Federal Executive Council Mika Špiljak visits France. Two agreements are signed, one regarding economic, industrial and technical cooperation, and the other regarding visa liberalization.


Hungary/ Soviet Union – January 13, 1969 (HC)
The inaugural meeting of the Hungarian-Soviet historian joint committee takes place in Budapest. (The chairman of the Soviet section is academician A. A. Guber. The chairman of the Hungarian section is academician Zsigmond Pál Pach.)

Czechoslovakia – January 16, 1969 (PSC)
In front of the National Museum on Wenceslas Square in Prague, Jan Palach, a student at the Faculty of Philosophy at Charles University, attempts suicide by self-immolation. He dies three days later.

Czechoslovakia – January 16, 1969 (PSCZ)
Jan Palach, a protester of Soviet occupation, commits suicide. He is widely mourned as a martyr for liberty and freedom. Jan Zajíc does the same on February 25.

Czechoslovakia – January 16-17, 1969 (PSC)
At a CPCz plenary session, Peter Colotka is appointed chairman of the Federal Assembly and Smrkovský is appointed vice-president.

Hungary / France – January 18, 1969 (HC)
A French-Hungarian agreement is accepted concerning the reception/takeover of the French SECAM-system during the airing of a colored TV broadcast by the Hungarians.

Comecon / East Germany - January 20, 1969 (HC)
The 22nd session of the Comecon takes place in Berlin. (The 20-year existence of the organization is celebrated.)

Soviet Union / U.S. – January 20, 1969 (BUS / KCA) 
The Soviet Government announces that it is ready to negotiate with the US on nuclear missiles. Leonid Zamyatin, head of the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s press department, reaffirmed the readiness of his Soviet government to start “a serious exchange of views” with the US government on the mutual restriction and subsequent reduction of strategic means of delivery of nuclear weapons, including defensive system. Moscow proposes the limitation, then reduction of strategic nuclear delivery vehicles. Two days prior to the Soviet announcement, US Secretary of Defense Clifford, announces in Congress that the USSR significantly increased the number of its ICBMs, and came close to parity with the US in this respect.

Soviet Union / Jordan – January 20, 1969 (KCA)
At the conclusion of an 11-day visit to Moscow by the Jordanian Minister of National Economy, the Soviet Union and Jordan sign (1) the first agreement on technical and economic co-operation between the two countries; (2) a trade agreement under which each country undertakes to accord most-favored nation treatment to the other in all aspects of trade and shipping; (3) a protocol under which the Soviet Union will render Jordan technical assistance in geological prospecting for oil, gas, and minerals, and in the construction of vocational schools and a technical school. The USSR technologically and economically supports Jordan in return for friendship and access to their export market.


Soviet Union – January 23, 1969 (KCA)
Four Soviet astronauts, including the first man to conduct a spacewalk, Alexei Leonov, were the victims of an attempted assassination. Official Soviet reports state the perpetrator was a “schizophrenic.”

Hungary – January 23, 1969 (KCA)
The Roman Catholic Church makes new Episcopal appointments. Ten new archbishops, bishops, and apostolic administrators take the oath of allegiance under the Hungarian constitution.

Finland/Soviet Union – January 24, 1969 (RVO)
Joining the OECD Convention is introduced to President Kekkonen. Soviet Union replies with threatening Kekkonen by stating that regular consultations would start taking place between the two countries.

Romania / Soviet Union – January 27, 1969 (RCW)
The ministry of armed forces informs Ceauşescu that from January 15 till January 18, 1969, five Romanian navy officers led by Navy Commander vice-admiral Martes Gheorghe took part in military game organized by the Black Sea USSR Navy.

Yugoslavia – January 29, 1969 (HR)
The Assembly of the Federal Republic of Serbia accepts multiple amendments to the Federal Constitution. Those amendments closely define the rights and obligations of the FRS in the areas of foreign policy, defense, state security, and the autonomous provinces.


East Germany/China, January 28-31, 1969 (CWIHP).
East Germany reports on Interkit meeting in Berlin, during which the group discussed coordination in anti-Maoist propaganda to counter China’s increasing anti-Sovietsm.

Hungary / Soviet Union – January 31, 1969 (HC)
A Hungarian-Soviet inter-trade protocol is signed in Moscow.


February 1969

Yugoslavia – February, 1969 (HR)
At the 12th meeting of the Central Committee of the LCY, held on the 4th of February, there are talks regarding the nationalistic activity in Kosovo and Metohija, and Macedonia. The "Conclusions about the current questions of realization of equality of nations" are accepted, which disregard the goals of the Autonomous provinces to become republics. The Assembly of the AP Vojvodina and AP Kosovo accept the constitutional amendments, which define AP as socialist democratic socio-political communities in the FR of Serbia and constitutional elements of the SFRY.


Eastern Bloc – February, 1969 (HC)
The military representatives of the Warsaw Treaty member states hold a meeting in the German Democratic Republic.

Finland / U.K. – February 1969 (SKS)
A British military report states that after the Prague Spring, neither? the British nor the whole of NATO could do much for Finland if the Soviet Union demanded joint military exercises or even in the case of a military invasion. NATO’s counter-attack plans focus mainly on Austria and Yugoslavia, with certain caution in mind.

Yugoslavia – February 1, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian Studies Institute starts to operate at the faculty of humanities of the University of Újvidék/Novi Sad (Yugoslavia). (Its primary task is to carry out scientific research.)

Yugoslavia / Romania – February 1-2, 1969 (KCA / PER)
Yugoslav President Tito and Romanian leader Ceauşescu meet in Timişoara to discuss the Soviet “Limited Sovereignty” doctrine. They advocate many values of the U.N. charter, most especially “territorial integrity.” They both condemn the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Brezhnev Doctrine.

Hungary / Yugoslavia – February 5-10, 1969 (HC)
During a non-official amicable visit, Mika Špiljak, the Yugoslav Premier (President of the Federal Executive Council), makes a stay in Hungary and carries on discussions.

East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – February 6, 1969 (KCA)
In reaction to the decision to hold the West German Presidential elections in West Berlin, the Foreign Ministry in Bonn receives a lengthy teletyped note from the East German Government. In the note, the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the GDR protests at what it describes as the “misuse of West Berlin for the policy of annexation and revenge of the ruling circles in the Federal Republic,” and denouncing the holding of the presidential elections in West Berlin as a “deliberate, serious provocation.” The note also said that if the election was held in Berlin the Federal Government would have to bear “full responsibility for the consequences that would follow the measures which the authorities of the GDR would be forced to take.”

Hungary / Soviet Union – February 6-10, 1969 (HC)
János Kádár, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of MSZMP, takes an amicable visit to Moscow and carries on discussions with Soviet leaders.

Finland / Soviet Union – February 7, 1969 (UKP)
The Soviet newspaper Pravda publishes an article on the right-wing politics in Finland.

Hungary / Czechoslovakia – February 8, 1969 (HC)
József Bíró and Ján Tabaček, the Hungarian and Czechoslovak Ministers for Foreign Trade, carry on discussions in Budapest.

East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – February 8, 1969 (KCA)
At the request of the GDR Government (in continuation to the events of March 6, 1969), the East German Minister of the Interior issues a directive (effective from February 15), which (a) bans all members of the West German Federal Assembly -- the body which elects the West German Federal President -- from traveling across the territory of the GDR until further notice; (b) halts the transport through the GDR of all working material for the proposed West German presidential election in Berlin; and (c) prohibits all members of the West German armed forces and members of the defense committee of the West German Federal Assembly from crossing GDR territory to or from West Berlin.

Soviet Union / Peru – February 8, 1969 (KCA)
Peru formally establishes diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union (see February 17, 1969).

Yugoslavia / West Germany – February 9-15, 1969 (GOD)
A delegation of the Federal Executive Council led by Toma Granfil visits West Germany and signs an agreement regarding industrial and economic cooperation.

East Germany (GDR) / France / U.K. / U.S. / West Germany (FRG) – February 10, 1969 (KCA)
The American, British and French Ambassadors in Bonn issue a joint statement (in response to the events of February 6 and 8, 1969), pointing out that: (1) a precedent exists for holding the West German presidential elections in West berlin; (2) the U.S., British and French Governments have been duly consulted by the German Federal Government before the decision; (3) there is therefore no justification for the measures announced on February 8 (see above) by the East German authorities; (4) free and unhindered access to Berlin for persons and goods remains not an East German responsibility but a Soviet one.

Yugoslavia / West Germany (FRG) – February 10, 1969 (KCA)
An economic agreement between Yugoslavia and West Germany is signed. Trade for industrial goods rises considerably, increasing from DM 1,170 million in 1967 to DM 1,360 million in 1969. Improved cultural ties add further harmony to the relations.

Yugoslavia – February 11, 1969 (HR)
The law about national defense is passed. It defines the new status of the Territorial defense as well as duties of Yugoslav republics, provinces, and municipalities.

East Germany (GDR) / France / U.K. / U.S. / West Germany (FRG) – February 12, 1969 (KCA)
The Government of the GDR announces that it has sent identical Notes to the U.S., British, and French Governments strongly protesting at the intention of the West German authorities to hold the presidential election in West Berlin (see February 6, February 8, and Februray 10, 1969).

Soviet Union / East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – February 13, 1969 (KCA)
The Soviet Ambassador in Bonn, Tsarapkin, calls on the Federal Chancellor, Kiesinger, and presents a strongly-worded statement by the Soviet Government protesting against what was termed the „provocative intention” of the Government of the German Federal Republic to hold the presidential election in West Berlin (see February 6, February 8, February 10, and February 12, 1969).

East Germany (GDR) / Soviet Union – February 17, 1969 (KCA)
Walter Ulbricht, the East German leader, has a meeting in Moscow with Leonid Brezhnev. A TASS statement, while making no direct reference to Berlin, says that Brezhnev and Ulbricht have „noted the heightening activity of militaristic, revanchist, and neo-Nazi circles in West Germany who are seeking, to the detriment of the interests of peace, to create a focus of dangerous tensions in Europe.”

Soviet Union / Peru – February 17, 1969 (KCA)
A trade agreement between the Soviet Union and Peru is concluded. Details on the agreement are not released.

Austria / Italy – February 18, 1969 (KCA)
For the first time in almost fifty years, the first joint meeting between the leaders of Austrian and Italian Socialist parties occurs in Merano. in  The meeting is held to discuss the dispute over South Tirol and the German-speaking population there. No agreement is reached.

Comecon / Hungary - February 18-21, 1969 (HC)
The ministers of domestic trade of the Comecon member states hold a meeting in Budapest.

Poland – February 20, 1969 (KCA)
Leaders of the nationalist faction of the PUWP are purged and imprisoned. The Times reports, that  Gomułka has personally intervened to end the “anti-Zionist” campaign (see spring and summer 1968), and that the “Jewish Department” in the Ministry of the Interior has been dissolved. This department has been responsible for compiling dossiers on all Poles of Jewish origin, and is believed to have angered Gomułka by assembling a file on his wife.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – February 21-March 2, 1969 (PSC)
Defense Minister Martin Dzúr heads a 10-member military delegation to the USSR, where he is received by Brezhnev on February 27.

Czechoslovakia – February 27-March 12, 1969 (PSC)
A delegation of the CPSU Central Auditing Commission, headed by Arvid Pel’she, visits Czechoslovakia as part of the process of overseeing “normalization”.

Bulgaria / U.K. – February 28, 1969 (KCA)
A five-year agreement for co-operation in the field of applied sciences and technology is signed by the British and Bulgarian Governments.

Yugoslavia / Czechoslovakia – February 27- March 2, 1969 (HRN)
An unofficial economic delegation of Czechoslovakia visits Yugoslavia.


March 1969


Romania – March 2, 1969 (KCA)
General election to the Grand National Assembly is held. The Socialist Unity Front puts forward one candidate for each seat. The front states that 99.75 % of the candidates receive votes cast. Elections to the new local government bodies are taken place at the same time.

Soviet Union – March 2-29, 1969 (KCA)
Fighting erupts between Soviet and Chinese Frontier Guards on the Far Eastern Border. The frontier was regulated by the Treaty of Aigun of 1858, imposed on China after it had been weakened by colonial European powers. The treaty gave the Russian Empire 230,000 square miles north of River Amur and 150,000 miles east of Ussuri. This annexation of land had been a longstanding grievance for Chinese nationalists, particularly the Soviet occupation of the Damansky Island. Numerous incidents have occurred during the 1960s between the Soviet Union and China. Accurate information on the fighting is limited. However, skirmishes are fought on March 2 over the disputed border with an estimated 31 Chinese casualties. Consequently, national fervor flared up in China and Russia. The People’s Daily in China described the Soviet leaders as a “herd of swine.”  On March 29, the Soviets state firmly that they will not relinquish their sovereignty over Damansky Island (see below August 13, 1969; September 11, 1969 and October 20, 1969).

Soviet Union/Poland – March 3-4, 1969, (CWIHP)
At Polish-Soviet talks in Moscow, Gomułka and Brezhnev discuss Sino-Soviet border skirmishes. Brezhnev claims that the Chinese are preparing for their Congress and trying to “cement the moods of enmity toward the USSR”. They also discuss the possibility of improved Sino-American ties.

East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – March 4-5, 1969 (KCA)
In opposition to the intention to hold the West German presidential election in East Berlin, the inter-zonal Autobahn is sealed at both ends for two hours. Even Allied military traffic is being stopped, and at various times traffic was  held up by Soviet and East German military vehicles, including tanks, moving across the Autobahn. On March 5 – the date of the West German presidential election (see above February 6, February 8, February 10, February 12, and February 13) – the East German authorities twice close the Helmstedt-Marienborn checkpoint. At the same time Soviet and East German military maneuvers build up to their climax. Gustav Heinemann is later elected president of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Hungary / Soviet Union – March 5, 1969 (HC)
Hungarian-Soviet agreement is signed about the visa-free travel for official or private citizens of the two countries.

Eastern Bloc / Hungary – March 5-7, 1969 (HC)
The leaders of the Writers’ Association of the socialist countries hold a meeting in Budapest.

Romania / Australia / Malaysia / New Zealand / Singapore – March 5-22, 1969 (PER)
The Romanian delegation visits Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore for the first time.

Yugoslavia – March 11-16, 1969 (KCA)
In the Ninth Congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia, Tito expresses the pressure the Soviet Union has exerted on Yugoslavia since WWII, particularly under Stalin’s leadership. Tito calls for the Communist world to respect sovereignty. Furthermore, Tito announces a new Executive Bureau, made up of fifteen people. This body consists of two members from all six of the Federal republics, two more from the Autonomous Provinces, and Tito himself. The Central Committee is abolished, the first Communist country to do so.

Romania – March 13, 1969 (KCA)
The new Assembly (see March 2, 1969) unanimously re-elects Nicolae Ceauşescu as President of the Council of State and Ion Gheorghe Maurer as Prime Minister. Also, it approves a new Council of Ministers of 43 members on the same day.

Romania – March 14, 1969 (KCA)
The Assembly (see March 2, 1969) unanimously adopts a Bill establishing a Defense Council headed by the President, Nicolae Ceauşescu, and responsible to the Council of State, providing that foreign troops cannot enter Rumania for any purpose without the Assembly’s prior approval.

Soviet Union / China – March 14–15, 1969 (CAC)
After an incident on March 2, 1969, clashes between Soviet and Chinese troops along disputed border on the Ussuri River.

Hungary – March 15-17, 1969 (MMS)
Multilateral meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers in Budapest.

Hungary / Romania – March 17, 1969 (PER)
The Romanian delegation led by Nicolae Ceauşescu visits the Political Assembly of the Warsaw Pact countries in Budapest.

Eastern Bloc / Hungary - March 17, 1969 (HC / MMS / BUS / CAC)
The Political Consultative Committee of the members of the Warsaw Treaty holds a meeting in Budapest. A declaration is made on convening an all-European conference on European security and peaceful cooperation. The PCC strengthens the unified command and establishes a committee of defense ministers and a military council.

Hungary / Czechoslovakia – March 17, 1969 (HC)
Hungary / Romania – March 17, 1969 (PER)
The Romanian delegation led by Nicolae Ceauşescu visits the Political Assembly of the Warsaw Pact countries in Budapest.

Soviet Bloc – March 17, 1969 (LBC)
At a meeting in  Budapest,  the member states of the Warsaw Pact, a declaration is made on convening an all-European conference on European security and peaceful cooperation. October 16-21 1969; October 31 1969.

Hungary – March 17-19, 1969 (HC)
An international academic conference takes place in Budapest on the 50th anniversary of The Hungarian Soviet Republic.

Soviet Union – March 18, 1969 (KCA)
Breakthrough communication links between Washington and Moscow, after the first ever private-line teleprinter is connected.

Central Committee / Soviet Union - March 18-22 (HC)
The preparatory meeting of the conference of the communist and workers’ parties takes place in Moscow.

Hungary - March 21, 1969 (HC).
The memorial of The Hungarian Soviet Republic is inaugurated in Budapest.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – March 21-28, 1969 (PSC)
Celebrations due to the Czechoslovak’s ice hockey team’s victory over the Soviets at the World Championships in Stockholm spark spontaneous anti-Soviet demonstrations throughout the CSSR.

Romania / Turkey – March 24-29, 1969 (PER)
Nicolae Ceauşescu and Elena Ceauşescu hold discussions with the Turkish President, Cevdet Sunay in Turkey.

Soviet Union / Algeria / Morocco – March 26-April 1, 1969 (KCA)
The President of the Soviet Union, Nikolai Podgorny, makes an official state visit to Algeria and Morocco. Trade with these countries has quadrupled over the last three years and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Podgorny wants to continue this trend. Le Monde highlights trade between Algeria and France remains 16 times more than trade with the Soviet Union. Relations are cordial, and President Boumedienne of Algeria thanks the Soviet Union officially for its aid during the “War of Liberation.” A joint communiqué is presented, in which Israel has been ordered to withdraw forces from all occupied territories. In Morocco, King Hassan has accepted an invitation to visit the Soviet Union. President Pdogorny declares that the Soviet Union is “firmly on the side of the Arab States and peoples” and is doing everything to contribute towards a just solution of the Middle East problem.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – March 31, 1969 (PSC)
Following an extraordinary session of the CC CPSU Politburo the previous day, Marshal Grechko and Vice-Foreign Minister Semyonov arrive in the Czechoslovakia without notice. They meet Czechoslovak officials to discuss the demonstration of March 28-29. Semyonov and Dubček hold numerous meetings over the next 10 days. On April 10, Grechko orders the transfer of nearly 8,000 Soviet soldiers from the GDR to Czechoslovakia.


April 1969


Soviet Union / France – April 1969 (KCA)
After a meeting of delegations of French and Soviet space experts they announced plans for future co-operative efforts including a project for French laser reflectors by a Soviet lunar probe, and the launch of small French satellites via Soviet rockets.

Finland / Soviet Union – April 1969 (SKS / RVO)
The Soviet Union offers Finland an active role in organizing the CSCE (Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe); an opportunity for Finland to show her neutral role in international relations. The CSCE is treated also as a way for the Soviet Union to get rid of international unpopularity and the negative stigma that followed the Prague Spring.

Hungary - April 1, 1969 (HC)
An international academic conference on trade takes place in Budapest.

Hungary / Sweden – April 1, 1969 (HC)
Hungarian-Swedish barter trade agreement is signed in Stockholm.


Soviet Union / China – April 1-24, 1969 (KCA)
At the Ninth Communist Party of China Conference, Marshall Lin Piao presents a 24,000 word document on the future of the Cultural Revolution and Chinese foreign policy. Lin reaffirms the CCP’s support for both Leninist theory and the inevitable conflict against capitalism. Lin Piao quotes Lenin, “The transition from capitalism to Communism represents a history epoch. Until this epoch has been terminated, the exploiters will inevitably cherish the hope of restoration.” However, China mocks the Soviet Union, labeling it a “paper tiger and denounces Brezhnev’s theory of “limited sovereignty” as being “revisionist and bogged down in political and economic crises.” The recent Soviet border conflict was also discussed. The Soviet Union is now perceived as the PRC’s enemy.

Czechoslovakia - April 8, 1969 (HC)
Government order no. 103 of 1969 is published in Slovakia, according to which a Council of National and Ethnic Minorities is established as a consultative body of the government.members out of the 15 are Hungarian.)

Soviet Union / U.S. – April 10-11, 1969 (BUS)  
President Richard Nixon’s speech in NATO: a new process of détente is possible with the Soviet Union, but it depends on the actions of Eastern European countries. “Living in the real world of today means unfreezing our old concepts of East versus West, while never losing sight of great ideological differences.” Nixon says that the West must be prepared to change the alliance’s fist “into a hand of friendship” toward the Soviet bloc nations.

NATO – April 11, 1969 (LBC)
According to NATO’s communiqué, “the Allies propose to… explore with the Soviet Union and the other countries of Eastern Europe which concrete issues best lend themselves to fruitful negotiation and early resolution.” The communiqué stresses that the precondition for détente is unlimited access to West Berlin, and the peaceful solution of the German question. “…Any improvement in international relations presupposes full respect for the principles of the independence and territorial integrity of states and noninterference in their domestic affairs….”


Soviet Union / West Germany – April 11, 1969 (BUS)
According to NATO’s communiqué, “the Allies propose to… explore with the Soviet Union and the other countries of Eastern Europe which concrete issues best lend themselves to fruitful negotiation and early resolution.” The communiqué stresses that the precondition for détente is unlimited access to West Berlin, and the peaceful solution of the German question. “…Any improvement in international relations presupposes full respect for the principles of the independence and territorial integrity of states and noninterference in their domestic affairs….”

Romania / Sweden – April 11-15, 1969 (PER)
The Swedish Prime Minister, Tage Erlander visits Romania.

Soviet Union / Kenya – April 12-13, 1969 (KCA)
Victor Eliseev, First Secretary at the Soviet Embassy in Nairobi, and Mikhail Domogatskih, a correspondent of Pravda, are served with deportation orders by the Kenyia Government and leave the country on April 12 and 13 respectively.

Soviet Union / Latvia / Czechoslovakia – April 13, 1969 (KCA)
Ilya Rips, a Jewish student, sets himself on fire in Riga in a public protest against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet policy towards Jews. Rips’ suicide attempt is unsuccessful.

Yugoslavia / Austria – April 15, 1969 (JBT)
President Josip Broz Tito receives Austrian Defense Minister Georg Prader.

Hungary - April 16-19, 1969 (HC)
An international agricultural trade union conference takes place in Budapest.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – April 17, 1969 (KCA / PSC)
Gustáv Husák replaces Dubček as First Secretary of Communist Party, who was forced to resign following riots at the ice hockey championships in Stockholm, which have become a platform for Czechoslovaks to protest against the Soviet Union. Grechko, the Soviet Defense Minister, visits Prague. This visit is widely viewed as a political maneuver from Moscow to reinforce Soviet commitment to Czechoslovakia and warn Husák. Husák calls for unity of the state and leadership.

Hungary / Czechoslovakia / Finland – April 17, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian Parliament ratifies the Hungarian-Czechoslovak agreement of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance. (Act no. I. of 1969)
Hungary and Finland sign a cultural agreement for 1970-1971 in Budapest.

Hungary - April 18, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian Parliament adopts act no. 2 and 3 of 1969 about the patent protection of inventions and copyright.

Romania - April 18-19, 1969 (HC)

Romania / Switzerland – April 18-22, 1969 (PER)
The President of the Swiss Confederation, Willy Spühler, visits Romania.

Soviet Union – April 20-23, 1969 (MMS)
23rd session of the COMECON summit in Moscow.

Hungary - April 21-22, 1969 (HC)
The 6th congress of the Democratic Alliance of South Slavs in Hungary takes place in Budapest.

Hungary / U.K. – April 23, 1969 (BUS) 
The Bank of London and South America announces that Hungary received a 15 million Eurodollar loan to aid expansion of the Hungarian Aluminum Corporation.

Comecon / Soviet Union - April 23-26 (HC)
The Comecon is in session in Moscow.

Hungary - April 25-26, 1969 (HC)
The congress of the Democratic Alliance of Slovaks in Hungary takes place in Budapest.

Czechoslovakia – April 28, 1969 (KCA)
Alexander Dubček, lately First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, is elected President of the Federal Assembly at a joint session of its two Houses at Hradcany Castle. The session is attended by Husák, who has succeeded Dubček as First Secretary on April 17.

Hungary - April 28-29, 1969 (HC)
The 3rd congress of the Democratic Alliance of German Workers in Hungary takes place in Budapest.

Poland – April 29, 1969 (KCA)
The following changes in the Polish Government are approved by the Seym: (a) Janusz Burakiewicz as Minister of Foreign Trade; (b) Jerzy Szopa as Minister of Shipping. Both Ministers belong to the Polish United Workers’ Party.

Soviet Union – April 29-August 5, 1969 (KCA)
Crimean Tatar leaders are tried and sentenced to up to four years in prison on anti-Soviet agitation charges. These trials are part of the Soviet Union’s attempts to stop the Crimean Tatar movement for rights and permission to return to the Crimea after why were deported to Central Asia in 1944.

Finland – April 30, 1969 (PRF)
Keinonen, the commander of the Finnish army, is forced to retire due to a comment on the FCMA Treaty (YYA-sopimus). President Urho Kekkonen states that Keinonen had given a false picture of the Finnish armed forces, and also blamed Keinonen for not being aligned with the general opinion that Finland's security is dependent on Soviet forces.

East Germany (GDR) / Iraq – April 30, 1969 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Baghdad that the Iraq Government has decided to give full recognition to the German Democratic Republic and to establish full diplomatic relations with it.


May 1969


Romania – May, 1969 (KCA)
The worst floods to occur in Romania for more than a century affect nearly all parts of the country during May, causing the loss of over 160 lives, making more than a quarter of a million people homeless, inundating  over 1,000 cities, towns and villages, and causing heavy losses and damage to both agricultural production and industrial installations.

Romania – May 1, 1969 (KCA)
Cornel Burtica, the Romanian ambassador in Rome, is appointed Minister for Foreign Trade.
Warsaw Treaty Organization – May 1969 (KCA)
Finnish government sends out memorandum to all European Countries, the United States, Canada and the U.N., offering to act as host to a European Security Conference. However, Warsaw Pact countries make it clear that such a meeting should be exclusive to only European States.

Hungary – May 3-6, 1969 (HC)
The meeting of the executive committee of the World Federation of Democratic Youth takes place in Budapest.

Czechoslovakia – May 4, 1969 (KCA)
Štefan Sádovský is elected First Secretary of the Slovak Communist Party, replacing Husák who took over Dubček’s role as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

Finland – May 5, 1969 (SKS)
Finland officially volunteers to be the host for CSCE. Findland sends a memo considering the CSCE to 34 countries.

Hungary - May 5-7, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has its 129th general assembly.

Finland – May 7, 1969 (KCA)
The Finish Government sends a memorandum to all European countries, including East – and West Germany, the U.S. Government, the Canadian government, and the U.N. Secretary General, U Thant, offering to act as host to a European security conference.

East Germany (GDR) / Cambodia / West Germany (FRG) – May 7, 1969 (KCA)
The decision of the Cambodian Government to establish full diplomatic relations with Eastern Germany at ambassadorial level leads to a crisis in the relations between Cambodia and West Germany. Eventually Cambodia severs diplomatic relations with the Federal Republic of Germany.

Hungary / Soviet Union – May 12, 1969 (HC)
Soviet cultural minister J. A. Furceva arrives in Hungary for a four-day visit. (Negotiations about the Hungarian-Soviet cultural agreement take place.)

Poland – May 12-16, 1969 (MMS / CAC)
Warsaw Pact defense ministers and chiefs of staff meet in Warsaw to discuss mobilization readiness

Bulgaria / Hungary / Romania / Soviet Union - May 14-19, 1969 (HC)
The land forces of Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and the Soviet Union perform an army exercise on the Soviet Union’s territory.

Czechoslovakia / Hungary - May 15, 1969 (HC)
First secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party Gustáv Husák arrives in Budapest for a 2-day informal visit.
On the same day, two of Czechoslovakia’s leading liberal weeklies, Listy and Reportér are banned. Both magazines have played a leading role in denouncing and helping to overthrow the bureaucratic Novotny regime; both were among the strongest supporters of the liberal and progressive reforms of Dubček.

Finland – May 15, 1969 (RVO)
Simonen, Minister of Justice, returns to Finland from Moscow and delivers a speech in which he states that Soviet leaders were afraid of Finland “becoming more right-wing”.

Yugoslavia / France – May 16, 1969 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito receives French economic delegation.

Poland – May 17, 1969 (KCA)
Gomułka calls for a European conference on collective security and peace.  He also calls for Europe to be an atom free zone.

Finland / Soviet Union – May 19, 1969 (OJD / UKP)
Alexei Kosygin and Urho Kekkonen meet in Leningrad. They discuss general things related to the Nordek plan (Nordic Economic Union), with Kekkonen criticizing the Soviets for presenting a negative opinion on Finland joining the Nordek. 

Yugoslavia – May 19, 1969 (HR)
The famous American musical Hair is premiered in Atelje 212 theatre in Belgrade. The Yugoslav production (directed by Mira Trailović and Zoran Ratković) is notable for being the 4th international production of Hair (after London, Paris and Munich) and the first Hair to be produced in a communist country.

Austria – May 20, 1969 (KCA)
It is announced that the Minister of Agriculture in the Kreisky cabinet, Hans Öllinger, has resigned and succeeded by Oskar Weihs, a member of the Nationalrat for Graz.

Albania / Egypt / Syria – May 20, 1969 (CWIHP)
President of United Arab Republic - Gamal Abdel Nasser sends a letter to Haxhi Lleshi, the Chairman of the Presidium of the People’s Council of the People's Republic of Albania, explaining his appreciation for the support toward UAR against Imperialism and Zionism. Nasser explains the principle of the non-alignment policy in decreasing hostilities and increasing the prospect of peace between the two blocs. In addition, UAR asks for foreign bases and troops to be removed. Moreover, the UAR explains how a Soviet ship in UAR port does not imply that Soviet Union can use it as its own base. Furthermore, US support to Israel and the Soviet Union’s presence in the Mediterranean are discussed

Eastern Bloc / East Germany – May 20-21, 1969 (HC / MMS / CAC)
The deputy foreign ministers of the Warsaw Treaty member states hold a meeting in Berlin discussing a common strategy in regards to the European security conference.

Austria – May 22, 1969 (KCA)
An extraordinary congress of the People’s Party held in Vienna elects Hermann Withalm as Party Chairman in succession to Josef Klaus, who resigned from all his party posts after the recent general elections.

Yugoslavia / Austria – May 22, 1969 (JBT)
Josip Broz Tito welcomes Australian communist leader Laurence Arons,

Soviet Union / France – May 26, 1969 (KCA)
France and the Soviet Union sign a new five-year trade and economic co-operation agreement. Lasting from 1970 to1974, this agreement is aimed at doubling the volume of trade between the countries from 3,560 million F to 7,000 million F. Principally, trade will be based around infrastructure and raw materials. In addition, Renault, the car manufacturing company, will supply the Soviet Union with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

Czechoslovakia – May 27, 1969 (KCA)
President Ludvík Svoboda announces an amnesty for all Czechoslovak citizens who have left the country “illegally” during the last year (from May 9, 1968). The amnesty lasts until September 15, 1969.

East Germany (GDR) / Sudan – May 27, 1969 (KCA)
After the overthrow of the Sudanese Government by the Revolutionary Council, the new government announces that it will officially recognize the German Democratic Republic and establish diplomatic relations with GDR as soon as possible because of its  favorable view of Arab affairs, and its stand on “Israeli aggression against Palestinian territory.”

Yugoslavia/ Italy – May 27, 1969 (AY)
Talks between Foreign Ministers Pietro Nenni and Mirko Tepavac take place in Belgrade. These talks are a part of the two countries’ rapprochement initiated after the Prague Spring which leads to the subsequent solution of the most salient issue in Yugoslav-Italian relations regarding the border between the two countries, which is to be solved in 1975. During the meeting the two foreign ministers also discuss the question of international defense, the situation in the Mediterranean, and the conflict in the Middle East. On April 28th President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives Pietro Nenni.


Hungary – May 28, 1969 (HC)
The presidency of the National Council of the People’s Patriotic Front is in session. (Agenda: the tasks of the people’s front in developing socialist democracy.)

Austria – May 29, 1969 (KCA)
The Austrian Minister of Education, Theodor Piffl-Percevic, resigns and is succeeded by Alois Mock, chef de Cabinet to the Federal Chancellor. On the same day, Karl Pisa, State Secretary for Information, resigns and is succeeded by Heinrich Neisser.

East Germany / Yugoslavia / West Germany – May 30, 1969 (BUS) 
The FRG announces that it will not sever relations with the countries that maintain diplomatic relations with the GDR. The so called Hallstein doctrine is first used in 1957 concerning Yugoslavia. (The doctrine is named after a West German politician and it states that the FRG breaks off diplomatic relations with states that recognize the GDR).

Soviet Union / Ivory Coast – May 30, 1969 (KCA)
The Ivory Coast Government officially announces that it has broken off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, and that all the staff of the Soviet Embassy in Abidjan will have to leave the country by June 1.

East Germany (GDR) – May 30-31, 1969 (MMS / HC)
The member states of the Warsaw Pact hold a meeting for the Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Berlin.

Czechoslovakia – May 31, 1969 (KCA)
Gustáv Husák, the successor to Alexander Dubček as First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party, announces a purge of what he describes as “opportunistic elements” in the party. Among the seven persons dropped from the party’s Central Committee are two leading liberals and supporters Dubček: Ota Šik and František Kriegel.


June 1969


Hungary / Soviet Union - beginning of June, 1969 (HC)
Designated staffs and units of Hungarian and Soviet troops perform army exercises in Hungary.

Poland – June 1, 1969 (HPB / KCA)
Polish General Elections for the Sejm take place. Voters are given a wider choice with 622 candidates listed for 420 seats. According to official sources, 97.61% of the electorate vote. PUWP wins 255 seats, United Peasant Party wins 117 seats, Democratic Party wins 39 seats, and independents win 49 seats.  191 candidates are elected for the first time, and there are now 62 female members rather than the previous 57. In addition, Cyrankiewicz is re-elected as Prime Minister.

Soviet Union – June 1, 1969 (KCA)
A petition to the Supreme Soviet for improvement in conditions in prison camps, signed by the writers Yuli Daniel, Yuri Galanskov, Alexander Ginsburg and three other inmates of the Potma camp, reaches Western correspondents in Moscow.

East Germany (GDR) / Syria – June 4, 1969 (KCA)
It is announced in Damascus that Syria has decided to recognize the German Democratic Republic and that an agreement for the establishment of full diplomatic relations has been concluded by both countries.

Soviet Union / Finland – June 4, 1969 (KCA)
The Finnish Government decides “in principle” to order the first nuclear power plant for Finland from the Soviet Union.

Hungary / Belgium / Netherlands / Luxembourg – June 5, 1969 (HC)
As the outcome of the negotiations between Hungary and the Benelux countries a barter traffic agreement is signed in Brussels.

Soviet Union / Socialist Bloc – June 5-17, 1969 (KCA / HC)
The International Conference of Communist and Workers’ Parties is held in the Kremlin. The conference is attended by less parties than the previous (1960) conference, due to the fact, that only parties sympathetic to the Soviet Union are invited from countries with more than one communist party. About 100 changes are made to the conference’s main document (entitled: Tasks at the present stage of the struggle against imperialism and united action of the Communist and Workers’ parties and all anti-imperialist forces”). Although Leonid Brezhnev makes an appeal for unity when opening the conference, differences quickly arise over the questions of China and Czechoslovakia.
Czechoslovakia – June 10, 1969 (KCA)
The Union of Czech Writers, meeting on June 10 for the first time as an all-Czech body, elect a 30-man central committee which includes some leading liberal writers and journalists in the country. It also adopts statutes which omit the customary professions of allegiance to Marxism and Socialism, neither term being mentioned.

Hungary / Finland – June 10, 1969 (HC)
A Hungarian- Finnish barter traffic agreement is signed in Budapest.

Hungary – June 13, 1969 (HC)
The thermal power station and oil refinery are opened in Százhalombatta (Fejér County).

Hungary / Cuba – June 14, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian-Cuban economic and technologic-scientific cooperation agreement is signed in Budapest.

Hungary / Sweden – June 15, 1969 (HC)
A Hungarian-Swedish scientific and cultural work plan is signed in Stockholm.

Eastern Bloc / Soviet Union – June 15-17, 1969 (HC / MMS / CAC)
A conference of 75 communist parties meet in Moscow, but China, Yugoslavia, North Korea, Vietnam, and Albania boycott the meeting. These countries call for a new European security system and for a simultaneous dissolution of NATO and Warsaw Pact.

Yugoslavia / Benelux – June 17, 1969 (GOD)
Yugoslavia signs visa liberalization treaties with Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands.


Finland – June 17-18, 1969 (JHN)
The new SAK (Confederation of Finnish trade unions) is founded. This is done by dividing the leadership between the Social Democrats and the Communists, making the leading trade union organization stronger.


Czechoslovakia – June 20, 1969 (KCA)
The Union of University Students in Bohemia and Moravia (S.V.S.) is dissolved by the Ministry of the Interior on the grounds that the union’s activity has violated a law, passed in September 1968, concerning “provisional measures to strengthen public order.”

Yugoslavia / Switzerland, June 26-17, 1969 (GOD)
Yugoslav Foreign Minister Mirko Tepavac visits Switzerland.

USA/France– June 27, 1969 (CWIHP)
Ambassador Shriver and Henry Kissinger discuss a potential visit by President Georges Pompidou to the US. Kissinger further states that he does not know if the President wants to aid France, militarily or by nuclear means. Finally, Kissinger notes that the US does not need French aid in negotiations with the Soviets, but would not be opposed to French help in talks with the Israelis.

Romania – June 27, 1969 (KCA)potential
Following recent shortages of meat and vegetables, the Food Minister, Simion Bughici, is dismissed and replaced by Gheorghe Moldovan.

Hungary / Romania – June 27-July 2, 1969 (HC)
A Hungarian military delegation pays a visit to Romania, led by General and Minister of Defense, Lajos Czinege.

Yugoslavia – June 30, 1969 (HR)
Chief of Yugoslav Military Mission in Berlin Anton Kolendić is wounded in an attack organized by Croatian anti-Yugoslav terrorist organization, publicly referred to as “Ustaše” (due to their ideological and personal connections with the Ustaša movement).


July 1969


Hungary - July 1, 1969 (HC)
One-man operated trams and buses are introduced in Budapest.

Soviet Union / U.S. – July 1, 1969 (KCA)
The Soviet Government issued a nine-point plan for disarmament, including the limitation and subsequent reduction of strategic nuclear weapons’ delivery mechanisms. On the same day, President Johnson of the United States announced in Washington that the U.S. and Soviet Union had reached agreement to make discussion on the limitation and reduction of nuclear weapons delivery systems and defense against ballistic missiles. 

Soviet Union / U.S. – July 3-October 10, 1969 (KCA)
The Conference of the Committee Disarmament meet in Geneva, discussing a joint U.S.-Soviet draft treaty banning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction from the sea bed.

Yugoslavia / Non-Aligned Movement – July 7, 1969 (HN)
A consultative meeting of the leaderships of 52 non-aligned states (45 members and 7 observers) takes place in Belgrade. A decision is made to foster cooperation on bilateral, regional, and global level. Once again they underline the importance of the UN in international relations.

Bulgaria / Hungary - July 8-11, 1969 (HC) – see July 10.
A Hungarian party and government delegation led by first secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár pays a visit to Bulgaria. An agreement of friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance is signed.

Hungary / Soviet Union - July 8, 1969 (HC) 
The exhibition displaying the life of Budapest is opened in Moscow.

East Germany (GDR) / United Arab Republic – July 9, 1969 (KCA)
The decision of the United Arab Republic to extend full diplomatic recognition to Eastern Germany and to exchange ambassadors with the GDR is announced by the semi-official Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram, and confirmed officially in Cairo the following day.

Soviet Union/ Yugoslavia / U.S. – July 9-21, 1969 (BUS)
Former U.S. Vice President Hubert Humphrey’s unofficial visits the USSR, where he is invited on a wild bear hunt. He meets deputy premier Kuznetsov, the editors of Pravda and Izvestia and is received by Prime Minister Kosygin. The main theme of the talks is the issue of disarmament. Kosygin’s message to Nixon is that Moscow is ready to cooperate with Washington for the cause of peace. Following his visit to the USSR, Humphrey travels to Belgrade. After his return to the U.S. he discloses in the Senate that the Soviets are worried not so much about the US’s ABM system but its MIRV-ed ICBMs.

Bulgaria / Hungary – July 10, 1969 (KCA) – see July 8—11., same content
A 20-year Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance between Bulgaria and Hungary is signed in Sofia, during a visit by a Hungarian party and governmental delegation led by János Kádár, First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Worker’s Party.

East Germany (GDR) / South Yemen – July 10, 1969 (KCA)
An agreement is signed in Aden with an East German delegation providing for the exchange of ambassadors between South Yemen and the GDR and for the strengthening of co-operation between the two countries in various fields.

Soviet Union / U.S. / West Germany (FRG) – July 10, 1969 (BUS / GEW / KCA) 
Foreign Minister Gromyko tells the Supreme Soviet that a turning point had been reached in Soviet Relations with the Federal Republic. Furthermore, he states that if Russia’s former wartime Allies were to make an approach on the problem of Berlin, “they would discover on the part of the Soviet Union a readiness to exchange opinions with the object of eliminating now and forever complications around West Berlin.”
On Soviet foreign policy, Gromyko posits that the friendly relations with the U.S. “correspond to the interest of both the Soviet and the American peoples.” He refers to Nixon’s statement, which states that after “a period of confrontation the era of negotiations has arrived” and found that “when it comes to problems of safeguarding peace the Soviet Union and the United States can find a common language.” Gromyko says that the strategic arms race “is mankind’s most serious problem.” According to Gromyko, Moscow is ready for strategic arms reduction together with Washington and shows interest in a “well-prepared” summit proposed by Nixon. He stresses that the Warsaw Pact would never permit an encroachment on the “gains of socialism” and denounced as slander Western interpretations of the “Brezhnev doctrine of limited sovereignty.” He denies that “Socialist countries come out not for complete sovereignty of states but for limited sovereignty,” and adds that “Nothing can attach fuller content to the concept of sovereignty than the right of people to defend to the end of the chosen road…Nobody can deprive such people of the right to rely on the help of friends loyal to their internationalist duty and the treaty obligations.”

China / U.S. - July 11, 1969 (KCA)
A report by four Chinese marshals considers a U.S. attack against China unlikely, noting that the USSR poses a greater threat.

U.S. – July 16-24, 1969 (HC)
The American spacecraft Apollo 11 performs a space flight. (Astronauts: N. Armstrong, E. Aldrin and M. Collins). July 20: the lunar module Eagle lands on the Moon, where it stays for 24 hours. July 21: Neil Armstrong is the first man to step on the Moon.

Poland – July 18, 1969 (PSN)
The Radio and Television Center is opened in Warsaw. It is seen as an important source of official political propaganda with over 3.6 million TV sets in the country.

Yugoslavia / U.K. – July 19, 1969 (JBT)
President Josip Broz Tito receives an official delegation of the British Labour Party

Soviet Union / U.S. – July 22, 1969 (KCA)
The Soviet Union and United States establish consulates in Leningrad and San Francisco.

Soviet Union / U.K. – July 24, 1969 (KCA)
The Soviet government has released Gerard Brooke in exchange for the release of Peter and Helen Kroger.

Poland– July 28, 1969 (CWIHP)
Zenon Kliszko receives an overview of past efforts to meet and discuss the China question, as well as a proposal for a similarly focused meeting to take place in October 1969.

Yugoslavia / West Germany – July 27-29, 1969 (AY)
Yugoslav Minister of Foreign Affairs Mirko Tepavac visits West Germany and meets with German Foreign Minister Willy Brandt. This is one in a series of talks about the compensation for the Yugoslav victims of Nazi persecutions. This issue was opened up by the Yugoslav side in 1962 but it could not have been solved before the diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established (in January 1968). Only after the FRG’s Foreign Minister and vice-chancellor Willy Brandt visited Yugoslavia in 1968 a dialog on this question was made possible.

Soviet Union / U.K. – July 28-30, 1969 (KCA)
Pro-liberal reformer and writer Anatoly Kuznetsov defects from the Soviet Union to Britain. He opposes the invasion of Czechoslovakia and the severe restrictions over freedom of speech. The Soviet Union demands the return of Kuznetsov, which the UK rejects.

Yugoslavia – July 31, 1969 (HR)
The "road scandal" in Slovenia. The Executive Committee of the FR Slovenia accuses the Federal Government for withholding the funds from the international loan necessary for the construction of roads.


August 1969


Romania / Egypt / Iraq / Israel / Sudan / Syria – August, 1969 (PER) see August 17 and August 18, 20, 24
Romania and Israel improve their diplomatic relations at the embassy level. This causes the Iraq government to call back their representative from Bucharest. The Sudan and the Syrian governments also break their diplomatic relations with Romania, and the Egyptian government calls back his ambassador from Bucharest.

Romania / Soviet Union / U.S. – August, 1969 (BUS) --- see August 7.
Soviet Union’s reaction to the Ceauşescu speech: the U.S. policy of bridge-building is the “perfidious tactic of imperialism” which aims at driving a wedge between the socialist countries to support anti-socialist forces and counter-revolutionary conspiracies. According to Moscow the success or failure of a socialist state influences all the socialist states.

Romania / U.S. – August 2-3, 1969 (BUS / PER / HOR) see page 1, [1969]
American President Nixon visits Romania. The visit is part of the President’s world tour in which he pays a visit to eight countries. The U.S. and Romania agree about re-launching talks on a consular agreement and express hope that on a suitable occasion talks on a civil aviation agreement can be resumed. An agreement is made during the opening of an American library in Romania and on the establishment of a Romanian library in the U.S. This is the first time an American President has visited a socialist country.

Hungary / China – August 5, 1969 (HC)
Hungary becomes a member of the Disarmament Committee of Geneva. On the same day, a barter agreement with China is signed.

Romania – August 6-12, 1969 (KCA / ADC / CEC / BUS)
The 10th congress of the Romanian Communist Party is held in Bucharest and there are 1,915 delegates attending the congress. There are also 66 delegates of foreign Communist parties joining the congress, according to the invitation from the Romanian government. The Chinese, North Korean, Albanian, and Cuban parties decline the invitation.
General Secretary Ceauşescu explains that Romanian foreign policy rests on the principles of national independence, equal rights and mutual advantages. He rejects the principle of a “socialist commonwealth” declaring that this is not a bloc in which the countries surrender their national sovereignty and unite. He stresses that Romania wishes to develop its economic relations and pursues the policy of peaceful cooperation with all countries of the world, but the basic principle of Romanian foreign policy is friendship towards the Soviet Union.

Romania / Soviet Union – August 7, 1969 (KCA)
Katushev, the delegate of Soviet Union, addresses the Romanian congress, indirectly defending the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia and criticizing the Romanian Government’s invitation to President Nixon to visit Bucharest.

USSR / Romania / US – August 7, 1969 (LBC)
The Soviet Union’s reaction to the Ceauşescu speech: the US policy of bridge-building is the “ perfidious tactic of imperialism” which aims at driving a wedge between the socialist countries to support anti-socialist forces and counter-revolutionary conspiracies. According to Moscow the success or failure of a socialist state influences all the socialist states.

Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – August 7, 1969 (KCA)
The British, French and U.S. Ambassadors, after consultation with the German Federal Government, propose talks with the Soviet Union on improving the situation in Berlin arising out of the diviosion of the city , access to West Berlin, and general relations between Western and Eastern Germany.

Romania – August 12, 1969 (KCA)
At the conclusion of the congress, the delegates adopt a general resolution approving the main points in the Ceauşescu’s report about the country’s policies, including his condemnation of “the abuses and illegalities of the past”. Also, they approve that the central committee will be elected by secret ballot, whereas the general secretary will be elected by the congress, and the congress will be held every five years.

Soviet Union / China – August 13-16, 1969 (KCA)
Tension escalates between the Soviet Union and China after a serious clash on the Sinkiang border. Accounts are ambivalent, with both sides accusing the other of striking first. It is believed that a Soviet attack on Chinese territory is imminent.

Hungary - August 15, 1969 (HC)
The founding stone of the pioneer town is laid in Zánka, at the Northern shore of Lake Balaton (Veszprém County).

Hungary / U.S. – August 15, 1969 (BUS)
Hungary and the U.S. announce a four point agreement aiming at the improvement of bilateral relations. According to the agreement, Hungary is setting up commercial representation in New York so as to expand U.S.-Hungarian trade (in 1968 Hungary’s export to the U.S. was 3,8 million dollars, its import was 1,2 million); the staff of their embassies will be raised; U.S. social security will pay pension to 300 eligible Hungarian citizens; agreement is made on the payment of post war surplus property credit debt.

U.S. – August 15, 1969 (BUS)
Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird announces that the U.S. will reduce its military expenditure for 1970 by three billion dollars. The reduction means that military expenses will amount to 74.9 billion dollars. The measure is part of the 3.5 billion dollar budget reduction announced by Nixon.

Soviet Union / U.S. – August 15, 1969 (BUS)
The U.S. and the Soviet Union sign the so called Seabed Pact which prohibits the deployment of weapons of mass destruction outside the twelve mile coastal limit as defined in the 1958 Geneva Convention on the Territorial Sea.

Yugoslavia / Romania – August 16-20, 1969 (GOD)
Romanian Foreign Minister Corneliu Mănescu visits Belgrade.

Romania / Israel – August 17, 1969 (KCA) – see August
It is announced in Bucharest and Jerusalem that the two countries have raised their respective legations in each other’s capitals to the rank of embassies. Romania is the only Communist country in Europe to have maintained relations with Israel after the June 1967 war in the Middle East.

Romania / Iraq / Sudan / Syria – August 18, 20, 24 1969 (KCA) – see August
Iraq breaks-off diplomatic relations (August 18) after the agreement between Romania and Israel to raise their respective diplomatic missions to embassy status (see August 17, 1969). Sudan (August 20) and Syria (August 24) take similar actions.

Romania – August 19, 1969 (KCA)
A major Cabinet reshuffle takes place.

Czechoslovakia – August 19-21, 1969 (PSC /KCA)
Demonstrations take place in 31 towns on the first anniversary of the invasion; Prague and Brno are the sites of the largest protests. After 35,000 members of the National Militia and Czechoslovak People’s Army are called in to suppress the demonstrators, clashes ensue, leaving five persons dead, 33 seriously wounded, and 287 arrested.

Bulgaria / Congo (Kinshasa) – August 20, 1969 (KCA)
It is officially announced in Kinshasa that the Republic of Congo has severed diplomatic relations with Bulgaria, following the expulsion of the Bulgarian Ambassador and of M. André Lacroix, the French Consul in Kinshasa.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – August 21-28, 1969 (KCA)
100,000 Czechoslovaks congregate in Prague, chanting “Russians go home,” and calling Husák a traitor.  The Central Committee responds by issuing a declaration stating that the invasion of 1968 was “in no way an aggressive act against the Czechoslovak people.” It is clear that the Communists are trying to negate the impact of the invasion.

US – August 21, 1969 (LBC)
Secretary of defense Melvin R. Laird announces that the US will reduce its military expenditure for 1970 by three billion dollars. The reduction means that military expenses will amount to 74,9 billion dollars. The measure is part of the 3,5 billion dollar budget reduction announced by Nixon.

Czechoslovakia - August 21,1969 (PSCZ)
Massive demonstration against the occupation are held in several cities. During the subsequent suppression, some participants are killed.


East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) / Soviet Union / South Africa – August 23, 1969 (KCA)
Brigadier P. J. Venter, chief of the South African security police, confirms that the South African Government has handed Yuri Nikolaevich Loginov, an alleged Soviet spy, over to a non-Communist country.. On the previous day, the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (the West German news agency) reported that according to “informed sources” Loginov was exchanged in July for ten West German agents held by Eastern Germany.


September 1969


Romania / Hungary – September, 1969 (HC)
The Faculty of Hungarian language and literature starts to operate again at the University of Bucharest.

Romania – September, 1969 (KCA)
During a visit to Teheran early in September by a high-level Romanian delegation led by President Ceauşescu, a long-term economic and technical aid agreement is signed under which Romania will take nearly $100 million worth of Persian crude oil over the next 10 years, and in return deliver industrial plants, machinery, and equipment to assist in Iran’s industrialization programme.

West Germany (FRG) – September 1969 (GEW)
National West German election takes on a historic dimension as the various platforms
become public.

Yugoslavia / Soviet Union – September 2-6, 1969 (AY)
Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Andrei Gromyko visits Yugoslavia. Meetings are organized between Gromyko and Mirko Tepavac, and Gromyko and Tito. The purpose of this visit is to overcome the existing problems caused by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Yugoslav side insists that the basis of Yugoslav-Soviet relations should be the declarations signed in Belgrade (1955) and Moscow (1956). Alongside bilateral relations, main topics of conversations held in Yugoslavia include the situation in Czecholovakia, European security and cooperation, the policy of non-alignment, the German question, the Sino-Soviet conflict, etc.

Czechoslovakia – September 8, 1969 (KCA)
The resignation of the entire presidium of the Czechoslovak Journalists’ Union and the dissolution of the Prague City Journalists’ Association, is reported by the Ceteka news agency.

Hungary – September 9, 1969 (HC)
The European conference of the World Health Organization takes place in Budapest.            

Soviet Union / Finland – September 9, 1969 (KCA)
A protocol is signed in Helsinki by Bäinö Leskinen, the Finnish Minister of Industry, and Semyon Skachkov, chairman of the Soviet State Committee for Economic Relations with Foreign Countries, providing for the building of an atomic power station in Finland with technical assistance from the Soviet Union.

Soviet Union / China – September 10, 1969 (KCA) --- see September 11
Following the death of Ho Chi Minh, Zhou Enlai meets ‘officially’ with a Soviet delegation headed by Kosygin. They issue a draft of a 5-point peace plan. Since the meeting, there have been no further border incidents between the Soviet Union and China.

Hungary / Libya – September 11, 1969 (HC)
The People's Republic of Hungary recognizes the Libyan Arab Republic.

Soviet Union / China - September 11, 1969 (CAC)   ---see Sept. 10.
Soviet Premier, Kosygin, and Chinese Premier, Zhou Enlai, meet at the Beijing airport to try to defuse Sino-Soviet tension, but their discussion ends inconclusively (see October 20, 1969).

Romania / Austria – September 11-17, 1969 (PER)
The President of Austria, Franz Jonas, visits Romania.

Soviet Union / France / U.K. / U.S. – September 12, 1969 (KCA)
In reply to a note by the Ambassadors of France, the U.K. and the U.S. (see August 7, 1969), the Soviet Union agrees that the question of Berlin should be discussed by the four Powers, but does not suggest a place and time, nor make any proposals.

Yugoslavia – September 13, 1969 (RYA)
Yugoslav archaeologists uncover one of the most important Mesolithic and Neolithic settlements in Europe at Lepenski Vir, east of Belgrade.

Yugoslavia / India – September 17, 1969 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito welcomes Indian Foreign Minister Dinesh Singh.

Soviet Union / U.N. / U.S. – September 18, 1969 (KCA)
American President Nixon delivers a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on American-Soviet Relations. Nixon calls for the era of confrontation to evolve to an era of negotiation. “We can achieve mutual respect … we will not be encumbered by prejudice”, Nixon claims.  Nixon expresses that ending the war in Vietnam is a foreign policy priority for the United States.

Eastern Bloc / U.N. – September 19, 1969 (HC)
The 24th session of the UN General Assembly takes place. (The delegations of Belarus, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, Mongolia, Romania, the Soviet Union and Ukraine hand over a draft agreement to Secretary General U Thant about the banning of chemical and bacterial weapons.)

Czechoslovakia – September 20, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian Pedagogue Training Institute in Slovakia and the Hungarian Pedagogical Faculty in Nyitra / Nitra celebrate their 10-year anniversaries.

Yugoslavia / Romania – September 20, 1969 (AY)
Josip Broz Tito visits Romania on the occasion of opening a hydroelectric power plant Djerdap I on the Yugoslav-Romanian border. During the official meeting, Josip Broz Tito and Nicolae Ceausescu discuss mainly bilateral issues. Ceausescu mentions the possibility of Romania joining the Non-Aligned Movement.

Finland / Romania – September 22-26, 1969 (PER)
The President of Finland, Urko Kekkonen visits Romania.

Hungary - September 25, 1969 (HC)
The Parliament adopts act no. VI of 1969 about the training of skilled workers and act no. VII of 1969 about the usage of gas energy.

Czechoslovakia – September 25-26, 1969 (PSC / KCA / PSCZ)
A plenary session of the CPCz CC disavows the August 21, 1968 resolution of the CPCz CC Presidium condemning the invasion of Czechoslovakia, and starts the “purge” process in the CPCz and Czechoslovak society. It cancels all measures approved by the Congress in Vysočany.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – September 25-28, 1969 (KCA / HC)
Alexander Dubček is dismissed from the Party Presidium. Czechoslovakia undertakes a serious purge against ‘liberals’ from the leadership of the Communist Party. The most notable change is the removal of Dubček from all senior political positions; he is excluded from the Central Committee's Presidency, he loses his Parliamentary Chairman office and his mandate, however, he still retains his membership of the Central Committee. Many see the change as a takeover by Moscow ‘hard liners,’ the leader being Husák. In addition, several ministers from the Central Committee renown for holding pro liberal views have been dismissed. The purge of ‘liberals’ continues through to the regional levels of government. Simultaneously, the Central Committee also announces a number of changes in the Czechoslovak Federal Government and in the Government of the Czech Socialist Republic.

Finland / Hungary – September 26, 1969 (HC)
President of Finland Urko Kekkonen arrives in Hungary for a 6-day visit.


October 1969


Yugoslavia – October, 1969 (HC)
The Hungarian Language Cultivation Association in Yugoslavia organizes the first “Gábor Szarvas language cultivation days” in Ada (Vojvodina).

Czechoslovakia – October 1, 1969 (KCA)
Jiří Pelikán, former Director-General of Czechoslovak Television, announces in London that he had decided not to return to Czechoslovakia until free speech has been restored.

Hungary / Finland – October 1, 1969 (HC)
Urho Kekkonen, the Finnish Head of State visits Hungary. An agreement is signed on mutual visa-free travel.

Czechoslovakia / Australia – October 1, 1969 (KCA)
The Australian Department of External Affairs announces that Karel Franc, Counsul-General in Sydney and Czechoslovakia’s most senior diplomat to Australia, has permission to remain in Australia as an immigrant.

Soviet Union / Poland– October 1-3, 1969 (CWIHP)
During a Soviet-Polish meeting in Moscow, Brezhnev describes China as anti-Soviet and anti-Communist and refers to it as a source of ideological divergence between the two states

Yugoslavia / Italy – October 2-6, 1969 (AY)
Italian President Giuseppe Saragat and Foreign Minister Aldo Moro visit Belgrade. In talks with the Yugoslav representatives they address the problematic question of Yugoslav-Italian frontier, the economic cooperation between the two countries, as well as a series of international issues with an emphasis on the Middle East crisis.

Yugoslavia – October 2-7, 1969 (HR)
An international children’s festival Joy of Europe (Radost Evrope) takes place in Belgrade for the first time.


Finland / Czechoslovakia – October 4, 1969 (TFD)
President Kekkonen visits Prague. The Finnish communists had earlier condemned the Soviet troops for entering Prague in 1968, but Kekkonen discusses how smaller states should find their national roles within the international contacts in a way that avoids conflicts.

East Germany (GDR) – October 5-8, 1969 (HC)
Celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the existence of the German Democratic Republic take place in Berlin.

Poland - October 6, 1969 (CAC)
The Polish Foreign Ministry prepares a proposal for a European collective security treaty and a draft charter for a European security organization.

GDR– October 6, 1969 (CWIHP)
Rakhmanin, First Deputy Head of the CPSU Central Committee’s International Department, and Bruno Mahlow discuss the topics addressed by Zhou Enlai and Comrade Kosygin in a recent meeting: Chinese/Soviet border lines, propaganda issues, Chinese domestic disturbances and other foreign policy issues

Yugoslavia – October 7, 1969 (HR)
The Belgrade Music Festival (BEMUS), nowadays the oldest and the most prominent international music festival in Serbia and one of the most distinctive classical music festivals in the South-Eastern Europe, founded in Belgrade.

Czechoslovakia – October 9, 1969 (KCA)
There is an announcement that all visas issued to Czechoslovaks to visit capitalist countries have been cancelled. The citizens of Czechoslovakia are forbidden to travel to the West except as members of groups organized by Čedok (the national travel agency).

 see below
Soviet Union / France – October 9-14, 1969 (KCA)
The French Foreign Minister, Maurice Schumann, visited Moscow, and met with  Brezhnev, First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party and other Soviet Leaders.

Soviet Union / Turkey – October 10, 1969 (KCA)
A construction deal between Soviet Union and Turkey at Iskenderun in the Black Sea is signed. The state-owned steel work plant will be funded in part by the Soviet Union.

Hungary / India – October 10-21, 1969 (HC)
Pál Losonczi, the President of the Presidential Council, takes an official visit to India.

Yugoslavia / Austria – October 12, 1969 (AY)
The new bridge over the Mura River in Gornja Radgona, a town in Slovenia near the Yugoslav-Austrian border, is ceremonially opened by presidents Josip Broz Tito and Fanz Jonas.

Romania / India – October 13-18, 1969 (PER)
Nicolae Ceauşescu and Elena Ceauşescu visit India to hold discussions with the President of India, Varahagiri Venkata Giri and with the Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi.

Soviet Union – October 13-18, 1969 (KCA)
Three Soviet spaceships are launched into earth’s orbit: Soyuz 6, 7 and 8. Reports state the mission was successful.

Soviet Union / North Vietnam – October 14-15, 1969 (KCA)
Following talks in Moscow, agreements are signed on the latter day by the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union and the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, respectively Kosygin and Pham Van Dong. The agreements include free Soviet economic and military assistance in 1970, as well as the granting of long-term credits.

Yugoslavia / Tanzania – October 14-16, 1969 (JBT)
Tanzanian leader Julius Nyerere visits Yugoslavia, and meets Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. The main topic in talks between the two statesmen is the future of the Non-Aligned Movement and the forthcoming summit conference. They agree that the next conference should be held in Africa.

Finland – October 14-18, 1969 (PRF)
Podgorny visits Finland, and the Soviet side deletes all references to Finnish neutrality from the final communiqué. This was the first time since 1956 that an official visitation between the two countries was concluded without a direct reference to Finland's neutrality. Kekkonen threatened to resign if Finland's neutrality was not recognized, and the Soviet side agreed to his conditions.

Czechoslovakia – October 15, 1969 (KCA)
Rudé právo announces that Dubček has been succeeded as Chairman of the Federal Assembly by Dalibor Hanes, former Chairman of the Chamber of Nations, and that Soňa Pennigerová has succeeded Josef Smrkovský as chairman of the House of the People.

Hungary / Italy – October 15, 1969 (HC)
A long-term Hungarian-Italian trade and economic agreement is signed in Budapest.

Soviet Union / Belgium / Canada / U.S. – October 16-21, 1969 (BUS)
The Brussels meeting of NATO. NATO secretary general, Manlio Brosio states that the Warsaw Pact’s proposal for an all-European security conference has three dangers: the Soviet Union excludes the U.S. and Canada, or forces them to participate in a different status from the rest of the participants; NATO will be replaced by a different security organ; Moscow may try to use the conference to cement German division. - Senator Mansfield, the leader of the Senate majority prepares to table a draft on the significant reduction of the U.S. army in Europe. According to British Secretary of Defense Denis Healy the reduction of the American army would mean that Europe would need to rely on nuclear arms to a greater extent, thus the nuclear threshold would be lower, which in turn would reduce strategic flexibility.

Poland / East Germany (GDR) – October 18, 1969 (KCA)
The GDR and Poland reach agreement for the construction of a second oil pipeline which will transfer oil and gas from the Soviet Union into both countries. The intention is to widen the production of raw material and chemical industries.
Yugoslavia – October 18-20, 1969 (AY, HR)
American astronauts visit Belgrade on their world tour Giantstep Apolo 11 during which they visit 22 countries including Yugoslavia as the only communist state. The visit is organized at the highest official level, and the astronauts are received by President Tito himself

Austria – October 19, 1969 (KCA)
Land elections are held in Voralberg and Lower Austria; elections to the Landtag in Salzburg.

Hungary / Denmark – October 20, 1969 (HC)
József Bíró, the Minister of Foreign Trade, signs a Hungarian-Danish economic cooperation agreement in Copenhagen.

Soviet Union / U.S. – October 20, 1969 (KCA)
Dobrynin, the Soviet Ambassador in Washington, informed U.S. President Nixon that the Soviet Government was ready to proceed with the talks, which William P. Rogers, the U.S. Secretary of State, had previously informed the Soviet Ambassador that the U.S. Government decided July 31 was a “target date” for a disarmament talk, but there was no reply from the Soviet Government at that time.

Soviet Union / China – October 20, 1969 (KCA)
Negotiations on the border question (see March 2-29, 1969; August 13, 1969 and September 11, 1969) open in Beijing.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – October 20-28, 1969 (BUS/ KCA)
Soviet leaders’ nine-day visit in Prague. President Svoboda reaffirms the commitment of Czechoslovakia to the Soviet Union and Marxist-Leninist doctrine. Moreover, the Soviet Union will increase its deliveries of oil, pig iron, cotton and other commodities. It is announced that cooperation and friendship between the Czechoslovak Army and the provisionally stationed Soviet units will begin. In the end, a joint statement announces that both countries intend to create a new Treaty of Friendship, Co-Operation, and Mutual Assistance by May 1970.


West Germany – October 21, 1969 (CAC)
Following West German elections on September 28, Willy Brandt becomes Chancellor and soon initiates a new policy toward the East: Ostpolitik.

Czechoslovakia / Eastern Germany / Poland / Soviet Union - October 22–28, 1969 (CAC)
The Warsaw Pact conducts the “Oder–Neisse 69” exercise. It is the largest joint military exercise to date. The USSR, GDR, PPR, and ČSSR armies, except for strategic missile units, participate.

Czechoslovakia – October 24, 1969 (KCA)
Rudé právoannounces the expulsion from the Communist Party of Colonel Emil Zátopek, the famous Olympic athlete due to his lack of understanding of the fundamental problems of the developments of the socialist party and the need to defend it on the basis of the principles of Marxism-Leninism, and proletarian internationalism.

Soviet Union / U.S. – October 24, 1969 (HC)
The Soviet Union and the United States ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty which comes into force 5 March 1970.

Soviet Union / U.S. – October 25, 1969 (BUS) 
According to a joint Soviet-American announcement, the two countries will commence preliminary talks in Helsinki on the limitation of the strategic arms race (aka. SALT talks). Both the MIRV and the ABM systems will be included in the discussions..

Hungary / Romania – October 26, 1969 (HC)
A Hungarian-Romanian cultural agreement is signed in Budapest about the establishment of the Romanian Institution in Budapest and of the Hungarian Institution in Bucharest.

Yugoslavia – October 26-27, 1969 (KCA)
The Bosnian city of Banja Luka is largely destroyed by two earthquakes. Nine people died from the incident and hundreds of people injured.  40,000 of the population are made homeless and 70 percent of the city’s buildings are destroyed or badly damaged.

Romania / Netherland – October 27-30, 1969 (PER)
The President of the Netherlands, Piet de Jong visits Romania.

Austria – October 28, 1969 (KCA)
In order to reduce the effect of the Deutsche Mark revaluation (at midnight on October 26-27, 1969) on domestic prices, the Cabinet decides to cut certain import duties for important consumer goods; to lower the equalization tax on certain goods; and increase import quotas on certain Japanese and Eastern European goods.

Poland / West Germany (FRG) – October 28, 1969 (KCA)
Steps are taken to normalize relations between Poland and West Germany. Newly elected West German leader, Willy Brandt, initiates talks. Gomułka announces his intention to improve relations on the condition that West Germany recognizes “the existing frontier on the Oder and Neisse as final and inviolate.”

East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – October 28, 1969 (KCA)
West German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, says in his policy statement that the Federal Government is ready to offer to the Government of the German Democratic Republic “negotiation at governmental level without discrimination on either side, which should lead to contractually agreed co-operation” between Western and Eastern Germany.

Soviet Union / U.S. – October 28, 1969 (KCA)
Joseph J. Sisco, U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs had submitted new American proposals over the Middle East problems to Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador in Washington.

Czechoslovakia / West Germany (FRG) – October 30, 1969 (KCA)
An agreement outlining West Germany’s payment of DM 7.5 million for Czechoslovak victims of Nazi experiments in German concentration camps is signed by a delegation of both countries in Bonn.

Warsaw Treaty Organization – October 30-31, 1969 (KCA / HC / MMS / CAC)
The Foreign Ministers of the Warsaw Pact meet in Prague, publishing a declaration stating “a pan-European conference could be held in Helsinki in the first half of 1970”. The focus would be to foster economic and security networks and arrangements across Europe. They call for bilateral and multilateral preparatory meetings, accept U.S. and Canadian participation, and draft agreements on the renunciation of force and expanded cooperation.


November 1969


Hungary / Romania – November, 1969 (HC)
A Hungarian broadcast begins airing in Romania for a total of 90 minutes per week.
The publisher for ethnic and national minorities of Romania, the Kriterion Publishing House in Bucharest opens. (A chief editorial office opens in Cluj-Napoca – Hungarian name: Kolozsvár.)

Hungary - November 1, 1969 (HC)
The Presidential Council approves the renaming of the Budapest University of Medicine to Semmelweis Medical University.

Yugoslavia / Algeria – November 5-9, 1969 (AY, HN)
Josip Broz Tito visits Algeria to discuss the mutual economic cooperation. The visit also serves as a preparatory meeting for the forthcoming summit conference of the non-aligned countries. Presidents J.B. Tito and H. Boumediene also discuss the most important international issues, including the Middle East crisis and the war in Vietnam, thus accusing power politics and advocating the principles of equality, sovereignty, independence, and harmonious economic development.

Poland / Ecuador – November 7, 1969 (KCA)
Diplomatic relations between Poland and Ecuador resume. The legations are to be elevated to ambassadorial level.

Soviet Union / United Arab Republic – November 9, 1969 (KCA)
General al Nemery visits Moscow. He signs a trade agreement providing for increased exchanges with the Soviet Union. It is also announced that the General was received by Brezhnev, and their talks were “marked by cordiality and mutual understanding.”

Hungary / India / Iran – November 10-17, 1969 (HC)
Chairman of the Presidential Council Pál Losonczi travels to India and Iran.

East Germany / West Germany – November 12, 1969 (KCA)
Willi Stoph, the East German Prime Minister, expresses the readiness of the German Democratic Republic to negotiate with the Government of the German Federal Republic for a normalization of relations between the two states, insisting that it is “an indispensable necessity”.

Soviet Union/Hungary– November 12, 1969 (CWIHP)
The Hungarian Ambassador in the DPRK discusses with Soviet officials Soviet-DPRK relations and Korea’s stance on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

Romania – November 17, 1969 (KCA)
The Assembly adopts a Bill providing for the introduction of “collective leadership” in Ministries and other national administrative bodies. Also, the Bill establishes a “collegium” in each ministry, consisting of the Minister, the heads of departments, experts and representatives of trade unions and other organizations.

Soviet Union / U.S. – November 17-December 22, 1969 (KCA / CAC)
In Helsinki, preliminary talks on SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) between the US and Soviet Union resume after two years, stalling due to the Soviet led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. SALT is a Soviet initiative. Semyonov of the USSR and Gerard Smith of the U.S. lead the discussions. Both leaders promise to negotiate a plan for the sake of international peace.

Bulgaria – November 18-20, 1969 (KCA)
National Assembly of Bulgaria approves the extension of its own term and the term of People’s Councils and the extension of the mandate of current Assembly and People’s Councils until 1971. This implies that the next general and local elections, due in 1970, can take place after the 10th Congress of the Bulgarian Communist party, which is to lay down the basic principles for the further development of the socialist society and State.

Soviet Union / West Germany (FRG) – November 24, 1969 (KCA)
Rudolf Hess, former Deputy Führer of National Socialist Germany and the last of the Nazi war criminals to remain in Spandau Prison, is taken to the British military hospital in West Berlin to be treated for a stomach ulcer.

Romania / U.K. – November 24-29, 1969 (PER / BUS)
Ion Gheorghe Maurer visits Great Britain to discuss with Prime Minister, Harold Wilson. He is also received by Queen Elizabeth II.

Czechoslovakia – November 26, 1969 (KCA)
The Ceteka news agency announces the expulsion of nine deputies from the Czech National Council (the parliament of the Czech Socialist Republic), the resignation of 53 others, and the election of 62 new deputies in their places. Among those who resign is ČestmírCísař, the chairman of the Czech National Council.

Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany (GDR) / Hungary / Poland / Soviet Union – November 27, 1969 (HC)
Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic and the Soviet Union release a joint statement about the situation in the Middle East.

Soviet Union / U.K. / France / U.S. – November 28, 1969 (KCA)
The U.S., U.K., the Soviet Union, and France  aim to hold talks to settle the problems in the Middle East. The talks were in recess since the beginning of July. The talks were expected to resume on December 2, 1969.

Soviet Union / West Germany – November 28, 1969 (KCA)
An agreement on Soviet gas supplies to West Germany is initialed.

Romania / U.K. – November 24-29, 1969 (KCA)
The Prime Minister of Romania, Ion Gheorghe Maurer, and the Foreign Minister, Corneliu Mănescu, visit London at the invitation of the British Government. A communiqué is issued at the end of the Romanian Ministers’ visit.

Austria / Italy – November 30, 1969 (KCA)
The eighth and final ministerial meeting on South Tirol is held in Copenhagen. The ministers of both countries, Aldo Moro from Italy and Kurt Waldheim from Austria, agree to sign an agreement between the two countries for settlements of any future dispute between the two countries.


December 1969


Albania / Turkey – December 1, 1969 (KCA)
An Albanian Consulate-General is opened in Istanbul. It is the first time that the Albanian Government has established consular relations with Turkey. The Turkish Government does not demand reciprocity in opening a consular office in Albania.

Soviet Union / Bolivia – December 1, 1969 (KCA)
Diplomatic relations are established between Bolivia and the Soviet Union. Previously, on September 26, 1969, a bloodless military coup installed a new “Revolutionary Government” in Bolivia with General Alfredo Ovando Candía as its leader.

Yugoslavia / Bulgaria – December 2-12, 1969 (GOD)
Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivan Hristov Bashev visits Yugoslavia.


Warsaw Treaty Organization – December 3-4, 1969 (KCA / HC / MMS / CAC)
Warsaw Pact members meet in Moscow to focus on “European Security.” A principle point of the meeting is to expand the number of states to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty). They also try to decide on common responses to West Germany’s new “Ostpolitik”.

Finland – December 5, 1969 (JHN)
The Nordek plan attracts Finland, but as the EEC offers both Denmark and Norway to apply for membership, Prime Minister Koivisto decides not to sign the Nordek plan and cancels the meeting in order to maintain good Eastern relations. Soviet Union states that joining the Nordek would be Finland's first step towards EEC membership.

Soviet Union / West Germany (FRG) – December 7, 1969 (KCA)
Talks between Soviet Union and West Germany about the renunciation of violence begin.

Soviet Union / West Germany (FRG) – December 8, 1969 (KCA / HC)
An agreement on German delivery of steel pipes to the Soviet Union was initialed.

Soviet Union – December 9-10, 1969 (MMS / CAC / HC)
Reunion of Warsaw Pact Military Council in Moscow, they discuss shortening the alarm times needed to achieve combat readiness.

Soviet Union / United Arab Republic – December 9-12, 1969 (KCA)
A party and governmental delegation from the United Arab Republic visits Moscow, for talks with Soviet leaders, including Brezhnev, Kosygin, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet Podgorny. The UAR delegation is led by Anwar Sadat, personal representative of President Nasser and member of the supreme executive committee of the Arab Socialist Union, and included the Egyptian Ministers of War and Foreign Affairs, respectively General Fawzi and Riad.

Soviet Union / Italy – December 10, 1969 (KCA)
Italy and the Soviet Union sign a long-term trade deal after years of protracted negotiations. The Soviet Union will supply Italy with 100,000 million cubic meters of Soviet methane gas. In return, Italy will contribute to the building of the supply line.

Czechoslovakia / Hungary - December 16, 1969 (HC)
First secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár arrives in Czechoslovakia for a 3-day visit.

Austria – December 16, 1969 (KCA)
The statement on settlement of Austria’s dispute with Italy over South Tirol by Josef Klaus, the Austrian Federal Chancellor, is approved by the Nationalrat in Vienna.

Soviet Union / U.K. / France / U.S. – December 16, 1969 (KCA)
Identical Notes are presented by the British, French and U.S. Ambassadors in Moscow to the Soviet Government. They are proposing Four-Power discussions on improving the situation in Berlin, with particular focus on  guaranteeing free access to the city. The notes call for talks to be held at an official level.

East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – December 17, 1969 (KCA)
A Draft Treaty is proposed between the East and West Germany. Both states seek to maintain a peaceful coexistence and respect the current territorial borders. Subject to ratification, the Article 10 Treaty shall be concluded for 10 years.

Czechoslovakia – December 17, 1969 (KCA)
The Ceteka news agency announces the resignation of 11 deputies -- almost all are known liberals -- from their seats in the Federal Parliament.

Hungary / Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – December 17, 1969 (HC)
Hungarian-Korean barter traffic agreement and payment agreement is signed in Budapest.

Hungary / Spain – December 17, 1969 (HC)
Hungarian-Spanish consular and trade agreement is signed in Paris.

Hungary / East Germany (GDR) – December 17, 1969 (HC)
Hungarian-East German treaty on dual citizenship is signed in Budapest.
East Germany (GDR) / West Germany (FRG) – December 18, 1969 (KCA)
A letter from East German leader Walter Ulbricht to West German President Heinemann suggests that the heads of governments, Willi Stoph and Willy Brandt should meet in January 1970 to negotiate the establishment of normal relations between the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic.

Soviet Union – December 19, 1969 (KCA)
A decree is issued by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, stating that Svetlana Alliluyeva (Svetlana Stalin), Stalin’s daughter, is deprived of her Soviet citizenship. In August 1968, Alliluyeva – then living in Princeton, New Jersey, - wrote to a friend that she burned her Soviet passport and stated that she had no intention of returning to the Soviet Union, which she described as “a land of uninterrupted pain and trauma” (see January 21, 1970).

Soviet Union / Central African Republic – December 19, 1969 (KCA)
Under a trade agreement signed in Moscow, valid for five years and thereafter renewable by tacit agreement, the Central African Republic and the Soviet Union granted each other most-favored-nation status for the exchange of Soviet-made machinery and other finished goods for raw materials from the Central African Republic.

Soviet Union / U.S. – December 22, 1969 (KCA)
The joint communiqué between the United States and the Soviet Union announced that both countries agreed to resume negotiations on strategic arms limitation (SALT) in Vienna on April 16, 1970, and later in Helsinki

Hungary – December 22, 1969 (HC)
The overpasses above Baross Square (connecting Roads Rottenbiller and Imre Mező) and Hungária Boulevard are opened.

Soviet Union – December 22-23, 1969 (KCA / HC / MMS / CAC)
The first meeting of the Warsaw Pact committee of defense ministers takes place in Moscow. The group calls for an increase in both conventional and nuclear capabilities because of the uncertainty of détente.

Soviet Union / U.S. – December 23, 1969 (KCA)
The Soviet Union replies to the US proposals of Oct 28, and the State Department’s spokesman describes it as “not constructively responsive”.

Hungary / Soviet Union – December 22-29, 1969 (HC)
János Péter, the Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, makes an official visit to Moscow.

Hungary – December 31, 1969 (HC)
Order no. 1 of 1969 of the Presidential Council on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. (It puts down its task, authority, organs and institutions.)


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