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 1978

Romania – 1978 (CEC)
An economic crisis occurs in Romania because of the increase in petrol prices.

Poland – 1978 (HDP)
The underground political quarterly of the democratic opposition in Poland, Krytyka (The Critique), is founded. It represents a social-democratic orientation.

January 1978


Hungary / Romania – January 1978 (KCA)

West-Germany / Yugoslavia – January, 1978 (KCA)
Frohlich - Secretary of State in the Federal Interior Ministry -- confirms in a statement to the Bundestag Interior Committee that a Yugoslav citizen was arrested on West German territory at the end of 1977.

Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / Hungary / Soviet Union / Ukraine/ Yugoslavia / Austria /  U.N. – January 1, 1978 (KCA)
From January 1, Austria, Hungary, Romania, the Soviet Union, Ukraine, and Yugoslavia are 6 out of 54 members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. With effect from January 1, there are 24 members of the United Nations Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the Implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples. Austria, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia are included.

Hungary / U.S. – January 6, 1978 (KCA/HC)
The U.S. Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, officially returns the Holy Crown and the coronation jewels to Hungary. Vance hands over them to the Speaker of the Parliament Antal Apró in the Dome Hall of the Parliament.

Romania/ West Germany – January 6-7, 1978 (KCA)
West German Chancellor Schmidt pays an official visit to Romania, which marks the first such visit by a West German head to the country. Issues discussed encompass (i) the amount of German credits to be guaranteed to Romania and (ii) the right of Romania's German–speaking minority to be reunited with families in West Germany. The outcomes of the visit are (i) West German government will grant $330 million to Romania over the subsequent five years to finance deliveries of capital goods from West Germany on favorable terms and (ii) Romania will allow approximately 11,000 ethnic Germans to leave Romania annually during the same five year period. Both Romania and West Germany stress the importance of implementing the CSCE Final Act and starting a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on disarmament.

Soviet Union/ U.S. – January 9, 1978 (KCA)
Official negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States on SALT resume in Geneva.

Poland – January 9-10, 1978 (KCA)
The second national conference of the Polish United Workers’ Party takes place in Warsaw. It is attended by 2,000 delegates representing about 2.7 million party and candidate members..Edward Gierek, the First Secretary, outlined the country's economic achievements during 1976–77. 

Czechoslovakia / Vatican – January 10, 1978 (KCA)
It is officially announced at the Vatican and in Prague that under an agreement concluded between the Czechoslovak government and the Holy See, the diocesan boundaries of the Roman Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia are adjusted to conform with the frontiers of the state.

Czechoslovakia – January 11, 1978 (KCA)
Professor Jaroslav Sabata is charged with nine months’ severe imprisonment due to “grossly insulting” a representative of the state authority.

Hungary / Angola / Congo / Ethiopia / Mozambique / Nigeria / Tanzania – January 11, 1978 (HC)
Frigyes Puja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, starts an African tour. Between the 11th and 14th he visits Ethiopia, on the 15th Nigeria, from the 16th to 20th the People's Republic of Congo, from the 20th to the 24th Angola, from the 24th to the 28th Mozambique and from the 29th to the 30th Tanzania.

West-Germany – January 12, 1978 (KCA)
Maihofer and Hans-Georg are released conditionally from custody.

Yugoslavia / Algeria – January 13-14, 1978 (JBT)
President of Algeria makes a friendly visit to Yugoslavia, where he meets with President Josip Broz Tito.

Soviet Union/ U.S. – January 16, 1978 (KCA)
A two–channel system of direct space communication between Moscow and Washington is established.

Poland/ West Germany – January 18, 1978 (KCA)
Herbert Preiss and his wife Margarethe Charlotte are sentenced by Warsaw Military Court to thirty and ten years in prison, respectively, after pleading guilty to being agents of the West German Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Intelligence Service and passing on information regarding defence, security, and the political and economic situation of Poland to West Germany.

Yugoslavia / Non-Aligned Movement – January 18-22, 1975 (HN)
A meeting of the task force for the banking cooperation of the NAM countries takes place in Belgrade.

Hungary – January 20-22, 1978 (HC)
A European Youth Conference on Disarmament takes place in Budapest, Hungary.
Poland / West Germany – January 21, 1978 (KCA)
Maximilian Rosenburg is sentenced to seven years in prison for supplying secret information to the West German Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Intelligence Service.

Poland / Soviet Union – January 22 1978 (KCA)
It is announced that Stefan Olszowski, a Deputy Premier and Poland's permanent representative to the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (CMEA) until December 1977, is appointed Polish ambassador to the Soviet Union.

Soviet Union / NATO – January 23, 1978 (LBC)
Brezhnev’s letter to the heads of government of NATO states warns them not to deploy the neutron bomb.
Hungary / Romania – January 23 – 24, 1978 (source?)
István Roska, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, carries on with consultation in the Romanian Foreign Office.

Yugoslavia – January 24, 1978 (HR)
In an open letter to the Yugoslav leadership ten distinguished dissident intellectuals protest against the discrimination of the non-party members in the workplace and the questioning of the "moral-political acceptability".

East Germany/Soviet Union/China – January 26, 1978, (CWIHPIP)
East Germany reviews the first draft of a Soviet report on "China on the Eve of Mao Zedong’s Death," which was to be handed out as joint CPSU-SED material to participants of the Ninth Interkit meeting.

West-Germany/Croatia/Bosnia/Serbia – January 27, 1978 (KCA)
The Bundesverwaltungsgericht (Federal Administrative Court) confirms that HNO is a terrorist organization.

Hungary / Romania - January 27, 1978 (HC)
The Presidential Council of the People’s Republic is in session. Order no. 1 of 1978 about the establishment of a consulate general in Kolozsvár is adopted. (June 16., 1977)
Yugoslavia – January 31, 1978 (HR)
The Radio Yugoslavia begins broadcasting.

February 1978

Argentina / Australia / Brazil / Canada / Egypt / the EEC / Finland / India / Japan / Kenya / the Soviet Union / USA – February 1978 (KCA)
United Nations Conference to negotiate a new arrangement to replace the “International Wheat Agreement of 1971” first session takes place. They agree on a further extension of the previous agreement -1971- until June 30, 1979.

US / USSR – February 2, 1978 (LBC)
Secretary of Defense Brown opines that in the forthcoming 5 years the US will need to raise its military expenditure by 50 billion dollars so as to maintain the military balance with the USSR. According to Brown, the Soviets have been arming steadily for a long time. They proceeded to test a new generation of strategic missiles; they are coming close to conclude the development of a new long-range bomber; the Soviets are equipping their submarines with better missiles. – According to Brown, the Soviet system of civil defense is wider than previously believed. Bomb-shelters are at the disposal of political leaders in the cities and the countryside. In the past five years great emphasis was laid on providing key personnel, thus important industrial workers with shelters. – In the US, a new mobile MX type ICBM with larger targeting precision is under development, as well as warheads with higher explosive yield for the Minute missiles; the Trident SLBM program was launched as well. The Secretary claims that the US would find it harder to deal with a conventional attack, “the threat of a nuclear strike is unable to deter a hostile act effectively”. – Brown hints that the US might need to compete in the space arms race as well, since the Soviets have several space weapons programs.


Romania / Austria / Egypt / France / Italy / Morocco / United States / Vatican / West Germany – February 2-13, 1978 (source??)
Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian President, carries on with discussions about the Middle East issue in Morocco, United States, Britain, Federal Republic of Germany, Austria, Romania, France, Italy, and the Vatican.

Hungary / Belgium – February 6-8, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Minister, Frigyes Puja, makes an official visit to Belgium

Canada / Soviet Union – February 9, 1978 (KCA)
Donald Jamieson, the Canadian Minister of External Affairs, say in the federal House of Commons that the Soviet ambassador in Ottawa was requested to withdraw 11 Soviet natonals from Canada for 'engaging in anadmissible activities in violation of the Official Secrets Act and, of course, of their status in Canada'.

Yugoslavia / North Korea – February 10, 1978 (JBT)
North Korean representative makes an official visit to Yugoslavia during which he meets with President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito.

Romania / Egypt – February 11-12, 1978 (PER) see February 2—13.
The Egyptian President, Mohammed Anwar Sadat, visits Romania.

Soviet Union / U.S. – February 11, 1978 (KCA)
A Pravda editorial article indicates a less favorable Soviet attitude towards SALT.

Warsaw Pact – February 12-18, 1978 (CAC)
The “Druzhba” exercise takes place. It presumes a NATO attack, then a counterattack with conventional weapons escalating to use of nuclear weapons.

Hungary - February 13, 1978 (HC)
The Castle Theatre opens in Budapest.

East Germany / Hungary – February 13-15, 1978 (HC)
Pál Rácz, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, carries on with consultations in the Foreign Office of the German Democratic Republic.

Hungary / Jamaica – February 13-15, 1978 (HC)
The Jamaican Prime Minister, Michael Manley, visits Hungary.

Czechoslovakia – February 16, 1978 (KCA)
Professor Sabata’s sentence is upheld by the appeal court in Hradec Králové.

Hungary - February 16, 1978 (HC)
Mine tragedy takes place in Tatabánya (26 victims).
Yugoslavia / Greece – February 17, 1978 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito meets with PASOK President Andreas Papandreou in Montenegro.
Yugoslavia / Afghanistan – February 21-23, 1978 (JBT)
President of Afghanistan Mohammad Daud makes an official visit to Yugoslavia, and meets with President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito with whom he discusses various bilateral and international questions.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – February 22, 1978 (CWIHP)
The two parties agree to worker exchanges in scientific information and computational processing, providing Czechoslovak’s state security school students with the opportunity to study politics, fire-fighting techniques, engineering and criminal investigation in the Soviet Union. The criminology departments of the two ministries pledge to exchange tactics, methods, and expertise.

Yugoslavia – February 25, 1978 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives President of European Parliament Emili Colombo.

East Germany / Iran – February 27, 1978 (KCA)
A group of Iranian students briefly occupies the Iranian embassy in East Berlin in protest at their Govertment's handling of the riots in Tabriz a few days earlier. As a consequence, the Iranian ambassador to East Germany is temporarily recalled to Teheran at the beginning of March.

Hungary / Soviet Union / Cuba / Mongolia / Vietnam – February 27-March 1, 1978 (HC)
Ten socialist countries’ secretaries on the ideological and international issues of the Central Committees of the Communist and Workers' Parties hold a conference in Budapest. The parties that are represented: Bulgarian Communist Party, Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Communist Party of Cuba, Polish United Workers' Party, Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, Monglian People's Revolutionary Party, German Socialist Unity Party, Romanian Communist Party, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and as observer, the Vietnamese Communist Party.

Hungary / Romania – February 27-March 4, 1978 (HC)
Suzana Gaden, the Romanian Minister of Teaching and Education, negotiates in Budapest.


March 1978

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union / U.S. – March 2, 1978 (KCA)
Captain Vladimír Remek, a cosmonaut research worker, from Czechoslovakia becomes the first non–Soviet and non–American citizen to travel in space.

Hungary / Austria – March 2-4, 1978 (HC)
Vilmos Sághy, the Minister of Domestic Trade, visits Austria.

Hungary – March 6, 1978 (HC)
Pope Paul VI appoints László Kádár as Archbishop of Eger, József Bánk as Archbishop of Vác, László Bánk as Brevet Archbishop and Apostolic Governor of Veszprém.

Yugoslavia / U.S. – March 6-9, 1978 (KCA)
President Tito visits United Sttes. In the course of the visit, talks on resuming US arms sales to Yugoslavia are held. Tito expresses his interest in purchasing a number of sophisticated weapons such as the Harpoon anti–ship tactical guided missile, the air–to–surface Maverick missile and the Drangon anti–tank missile.

Romania – March 7, 1978 (KCA)
Major changes within the government and Romanian Communist Party are announced. President Ceauşescu states that these measures will 'lead to increasing the efficency of the work of the party and state bodies and improving the activity of running economic and social life in Romania'. The office of First Deputy Premier is also created (taken by Gheorghe Oprea).

Yugoslavia / U.S. – March 7-9, 1978 (AY)
Yugoslav delegation led by President Josip Broz Tito visits the USA. During this stay several meetings are organized with the US President Jimmy Carter.

Soviet Union / U.N. – March 9, 1978 (KCA)
Viktor Likhachev, the Soviet delegate at the 30–member United Nations disarmament conference in Geneva, presents a draft convention to ban the production, stockpiling, deployment and use of neutron weapons. The draft convention is rejected by the United States’ delegate, Adrian Fisher.

CSCE / Yugoslavia – March 9, 1978 (HC)
The follow-up meeting to the Helsinki Conference in Belgrade, which includes representatives from the thirty–five countries attending the European Security and Cooperation Conference, ends. The conference publishes a final act.

Yugoslavia / UK – March 10-11, 1978 (AY)
Josip Broz Tito visits the UK, where he meets with the British Prime Minister James Callaghan, as well as with the Queen Elizabeth II.

Hungary – March 10-12, 1978 (HC)
The Christian Peace Conference and the Pax Christi Catholic Peace Organization hold a session in Budapest.

Hungary / Sweden – March 14, 1978 (HC)
Stefan Burenstam–Linder, the Swedish Minister of Trade, leaves Budapest after his three–days–long visit in Budapest.

Soviet Union / U.S. – March 17, 1978 (KCA)
After the follow–up to the Conference in accordance with Basket Four of the Final Act of CSCE, Yuli Vorontsov, the Soviet delegate, holds a press conference in Moscow. He expresses that the United States has solely concentrated on the issue of human rights with the goal of legalizing interference of internal affairs of communist countries.

Germany – March 17, 1978 (KCA)
Karl Dirnhofer is released conditionally from custody.

Hungary / U.S. – March 17, 1978 (HC)
A Hungarian–American agreement is signed in Budapest about giving each other most–favored–nation treatment (enters into force on July 7).

Hungary / Soviet Union – March 18, 1978 (HC)
A selected team of Hungarian astronaut candidates travels to the Soviet Union for preparation.

Yugoslavia / East Germany – March 20, 1978 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives President of East German Popular Assembly Horst Sindermann during his visit to Yugoslavia.

Soviet Union / US – March 21, 1978 (LBC)
At the Congress of Soviet Trade Unions, Brezhnev accuses the US that certain official American circles want to interfere directly in Soviet domestic affairs. He adds that the Soviet Union will not tolerate anyone interfering in its domestic affairs. Brezhnev referred to the question of human rights, which Gromyko says at a press conference that it poisons the political climate and does not help the question of strategic arms limitation and only makes the situation worse.

Hungary/ West Germany – March 21-30, 1978 (HC)
The Chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Germany, Willy Brandt, visits Hungary.

Soviet Union / US – March 22, 1978 (LBC)
The joint resolution of the Congress reproaches the USSR that Jews and other minorities that want to emigrate because of family unification are harassed and obstructed.

Soviet Union – March 23, 1978 (KCA)
Leonid Zamyatin, hitherto Director–General of the TASS news agency, is appointed head of a new information and propaganda service for foreign countries that organized by the CPSU CC.

Hungary – March 23-24, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Parliament is in session: Act no. I of 1978 about domestic trade is adopted.

US / Soviet Union – March 29, 1978 (LBC)
According to US figures, in 1977 Soviet-American trade diminished by 26.5% compared to 1976 that is from 2.5 billion to 1.86 billion dollars. Export to the USSR went down, while the Soviets increased their own exports to the US.

East Germany / Austria – March 30, 1978 (HC)
Bruno Kreisky, the Austrian Chancellor, is the first western head of government to visit the German Democratic Republic.


April 1978

Soviet Union – April 6, 1978 (HC)
Leonid Brezsnyev speaks about the Soviet position on disarmament and the limitation of strategic arms in Vladivostok.

Yugoslavia / Malta – April 6, 1978 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives Prime Minister of Malta Dominic Mintoff.

US / Soviet Union – April 7, 1978 (LBC)
Carter announces that the production of neutron bombs will be postponed. (The neutron bomb was meant to offset the Soviet Union’s superiority in conventional forces in Central Europe). According to experts arguing for the neutron bomb, the explosive power of these weapons is smaller than that of the tactical nuclear warheads therefore the probability of it being used is higher, which augments its deterring power. – Its opponents claim that this advantage is at the same time a disadvantage: the probability of use is higher, which lowers the nuclear threshold. They also point to the inhuman nature of the N bomb: it destroys all organic compounds but leaves manmade structures behind.

Hungary – April 7-15, 1978 (HC)
The organization series “Vienna welcomes Budapest” takes place in the Hungarian capital.

Czechoslovakia / West Germany – April 10, 1978 (KCA)
Czechoslovak President Husák visits West Germany. A bilateral cultural agreement is signed between Czechoslovakia and West Germany. Hans–Dietrich Genscher, the West German Foreign Minister, reiterates that the Helsinki Final Act stipulates the observance of human rights is not exclusively internal affairs of the state, but subject to comparison and criticism.

US / Romania / Middle East – April 12-17, 1978 (LBC / PER / CEC / HOR)
Talks between President Jimmy Carter and Romanian Party General Secretary Nicolae Ceauşescu occur in the White House. Carter praises the US-Romanian “common beliefs” such as “strong national sovereignty” and “preserving the independence of our nations”. Carter praised Ceauşescu’s mediation in the Middle East conflict. The two leaders agree on the expansion of commercial relations, which at the time reached 500 million dollars. They sign several agreements regarding the collaboration of American–Romanian firms. In their joint declaration the two leaders call for “observance and respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms” and support for “the right of each state freely to choose and develop its political, social, economic and cultural systems”.

Yugoslavia – April 13, 1978 (KCA)
The Belgrade district court sentences former Colonel Mileta Perović, whose arrest was announced in November 1977, to 20 years imprisonment for several grave crimes against the people and the state. Perović has for many years been a prominent member of the 'Cominformist' group (pro–Soviet Communists).

Yugoslavia / Turkey – April 14, 1978 (JBT)
Prime Minister of Turkey Mustafa Bülent Ecevit makes an official visit to Yugoslavia during which he meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.



Czechoslovakia – April 15 -16, 1978 (KCA)
The Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party unanimously co–opts Josef Haman as a member and elects him as Secretary and member of the Central Committee's Secretariat, and at the same time realeases Čestmír Lovětínský from his post as a member of the Central Committee's Secretariat 'in connection with his being entrusted with another responsible post'.

Czechoslovakia / Hungary – April 16-22, 1978 (HC)
The 9th World Congress of Trade Unions takes place in Prague, Czechoslovakia. At the Congress, the General Secretary of the Hungarian National Council of Trade Unions, Sándor Gáspár, is elected as the Chairman of the World Federation of Trade Unions.

Hungary / U.N. – April 19, 1978 (KCA)
Hungary ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

Hungary – April 19-20, 1978 (HC)
The Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party is in session. An order about the work done since the 11th congress and the tasks of the party are adopted. Personal changes: Béla Biszku is relieved from his post of CC secretary and retired. Ferenc Havasi and Mihály Korom become CC secretaries.

Soviet Union / U.S. – April 19-22, 1978 (HC)
C. Vance negotiates about the Middle East issues in Moscow.

Hungary - April 21, 1978 (HC)
Lajos Méhes becomes First Secretary of the Party Committee in Budapest.
Hungary - April 22, 1978 (HC / KCA)
Hungarian ambassador in Moscow József Marjai is appointed as Deputy Prime Minister, Imre Markója is Minister of Justice, István Soltész is Minister of Furnace and Engineering Industries.
US / Soviet Union – April 22-23, 1978 (LBC)
Secretary of State Vance’s talks with Brezhnev and Gromyko in Moscow. Progress is made in the resolution of differences on SALT II issues.

Austria / Denmark / Finland / France / Greece / Italy / Malta / Norway / Portugal /   Spain / Sweden / Switzerland / West Germany / U.K. – April 24, 1978 (KCA)
A meeting attended by 18 conservative and 14 centre–right parties from Europe is held in Salzburg. They agree to establish the European Democratic Union in order to promote common aims. Joseph Taus, Chairman of the Austrian People’s Party, is elected as Chairman of the European Democratic Union.

Romania – April 24, 1978 (KCA)
János Fazekas, a Deputy Premier and member of the Executive Political Committee of Hungarian descent; Lajos Takács, an alternate member of the RCP CC and a former Chancellor of the University of Clu; and András Sütő, an alternate member of RCP CC, send appeals to the Romanian leadership separately so as to protest against the Romanian government’s discriminatory policies towards the minority groups and demand for improvement.

Bulgaria / Warsaw Pact – April 24-25, 1978 (CAC / HC)
Warsaw Pact Foreign Ministers meet in Sofia to discuss political and military détente and disarmament measures. Romania sees détente endangered by the global competition of the superpowers over spheres of influence.

Hungary / Germany – April 24-27, 1978 (HC)
Árpád Pullai, the Minister of Transport and Postal Services, has talks in Berlin.

Hungary / West Germany – April 24-28, 1978 (HC)
József Bíró, the Minister of Foreign Trade, carries on with negotiations in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Soviet Union/ U.N. / U.S. – April 25, 1978 (KCA)
Arkady Shevchenko, who held the position of Under–Secretary–General for Political and Security Council Affairs since 1973, resigns from his post.

Yugoslavia / Jordan – April 26-29, 1978 (JBT)
King of Jordan Hussein bin Talalu meets with President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito during his stay in Yugoslavia. The two statesmen agree that Israel should retreat from Jordanian territories.


Czechoslovakia – April 27, 1978 (PSCZ)
The dissident organisation, the Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted, is established.

Afghanistan - April 27, 1978 (HC)
The armed forces in Afghanistan overthrow the legal government and the Revolutionary Council of the Armed Forces takes power. The Chairman of the Council is Nur Mohammed Taraki, head of state and Prime Minister.


May 1978

West-Germany – May 1978 (KCA)
Further legislation is introduced to enable the state to combat terrorism more effectively.  A number of terrorists were arrested in September 1977 and 1978.

Czechoslovakia – May 1978 (KCA)
A further Charter 77 reports that between 20,000 and 30,000 persons have been held in preventive detention for three months on average and some of them for more than one year.

Hungary / Romania – May 1978 (KCA)
Romania responds to Gyula Illyés’ allegations in the form of the article of Mihnea Gheorghiu who was the President of the Romanian Academy of Social and Political Sciences. It is published in Luceafarul. The article denies Romania discriminating against the minorities and criticizes Hungary for the publication of materials that are hostile to Romania.

Yugoslavia – May-June, 1978 (HR)
Talks take place in Zagreb between Milovan Đilas and several Croatian nationalistic dissidents (Franjo Tuđman, Vlado Gotovac, Dražen Budiša, Marko Veselica) about the Serbo-Croatian relations. The Croats insist on the division of Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Czechoslovakia – May 1, 1978 (KCA)
Among foreign journalists visiting Czechoslovakia, Robert Reid, an Associated Press correspondent, is expelled from the country after he has conducted an interview with a member of Charter 77 movement.

East Germany / U.S. – May 1, 1978 (KCA)
Alan Norman, a United States student, who was sentenced to two and a half years imprisonment in January 1978 for attempting smuggle an East German doctor and his family out of East Berlin in August 1977 is released in East Berlin.

Warsaw Pact / Afghanistan – May 2-3, 1978 (KCA)
Warsaw Pact countries recognize new government in Afghanistan which is formed by Nur Mohammad Taraki after overthrowing previous, Daud's cabinet.

Hungary - May 2-3, 1978 (HC)
The 1st national conference of pedagogues of national and ethnic minorities takes place.
Hungary / Denmark – May 2-6, 1978 (HC)
Imre Pozsgai, the Minister of Culture, visits Denmark.

East Germany / Hungary – May 3-4, 1978 (HC)
Frigyes Puja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, takes a nonofficial visit to the German Democratic Republic.

Soviet Union / West Germany – May 4-7, 1978 (KCA)
Leonid Brezhnev pays a state visit to the Federal Republic of Germany at the head of a large delegation, which is welcomed on arrival at Cologne Bonn Wahn airport by Federal President, Walter Scheel and Federal Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt. Brezhnev is accompanied by Foreign Minister, Adrei Gromyko and other Soviet officials. It is General Secretary's Brezhnev first foreign trip since his visit to France in June 1977.

Soviet Union / West Germany – May 6, 1978 (KCA)
Brezhnev signs a 25–year Economic Cooperation Agreement with Helmut Schmidt in Bonn.

Hungary / Italy – May 7-10, 1978 (HC)
János Nagy, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, exchanges views in the Foreign Office of Italy.

Czechoslovakia – May 10, 1978 (KCA)
A Prague court decides to cancel the suspension of Jaroslav Sabata’s six and half year sentence of 1972. As a result he will be released until January 1981.

Hungary / Finland – May 10-15, 1978 (HC)
Kalevi Kivistö, the Finnish Minister of Culture, negotiates in Budapest.

Soviet Union / Sudan – May 11, 1978 (KCA)
Felix Fedotov, the Soviet ambassador to Sudan returns to Khartoum after the expulsion of all Soviet military advisers from the country in July 1977. The relations are normalised due to this diplomatic move.

Soviet Union / Uganda – May 11, 1978 (KCA)
The Soviet Union and Uganda sign an agreement on economic and technical co–operation in the field of geolgical prospecting in Uganda and a cultural and scientific co–operation agreement for the year 1978–79.

East Germany / Soviet Union – May 11-12, 1978 (KCA)
Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs Gromyko and East German Foreign Minister Fischer sign a new Soviet–East German agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation.

Czechoslovakia / U.N. – May 12, 1978 (KCA)
Czechoslovakia ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

Soviet Union / Sweden – May 12, 1978 (KCA)
Swedish Foreign Ministry reveals that the Soviet authorities have refused to grant exit visas for seven Soviet families enabling them to join relatives in the West.

Czechoslovakia – May 14, 1978 (KCA)
Four people are sentenced in Prague for planning to hijack an airliner on the Karlovy Vary-Prague line.

Hungary - May 15, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Sociological Association is established (chairman: Sándor Szalai).

Hungary / Poland – May 15 – 16, 1978 (HC)
Pál Rácz, the State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, meets with the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs in Warsaw.

Yugoslavia – May 15-16, 1978 (KCA)
The first session of the new Yugoslav Federal Assembly is held following the election of 308 delegates to its two chambers. On May 15 a session of the Yugoslav collective presidency under the chairmanship of President Tito is held on the island of Brioni in the course of which Fadil Hoxha is elected Vice–President of that body for a one–year term of office on the expiry of the mandate of Stevan Doronjski. On May 16 the Federal Assembly re–elects Veselin Đuranović as the President of the Federal Executive Council, which he has held since February 1977.

Hungary / Soviet Union – May 15-20, 1978 (HC)
Marshall D. F. Ustinov, a member of the Political Committee of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and the Minister of Defense, stays for four days in Hungary and attends the meeting of the Military Council of the Joined Armed Forces of the Warsaw Pact's member states in Budapest.

Romania / Cambodia / China / India / North Korea / Laos / Vietnam – May 15-30, 1978 (PER)
The Ceauşescu couple visits Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, India, People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Laos, and Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

Czechoslovakia / Afghanistan – 16 May, 1978 (KCA)
Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan sign an agreement in Kabul for the purchase of coal–mining equipment through a $3 million long–term loan from Czechoslovakia.

Hungary / Poland – May 16, 1978 (HC)
Emil Wojtaszek, the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, takes an official amicable visit to Hungary.

Soviet Union – May 16, 1978 (KCA)
The Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet announces that the Supreme Soviets of the Union Republics endorse new constitutions of the particular Republics. The acts come into force in early 1978.

West Germany – May 16, 1978 (KCA)
The Frankfurter Rundschau reports that during 1977-1978 the Bundesgrenzschutz (BGS-Federal Border Police) were carrying out surveillance on alleged members of extreme left-wing organizations, based on a general directive issued in May 1976 by the BGS command.

Hungary / East Germany – May 16-19, 1978 (HC)
Imre Markója, the Minister of Justice, attends the meeting of the Ministers of Justice of the socialist countries in Berlin.

Hungary / Warsaw Pact – May 16–19, 1978 (CAC)
A meeting of the Warsaw Pact Military Council takes place in Budapest, Hungary concerning the rise in NATO’s budgets and military issues such as the West’s capability to destroy aircraft on the ground

Czechoslovakia – May 17, 1978 (KCA)
Libor Skalský attempts to hijack an aircraft to route from Prague to Brno and divert it abroad.

Soviet Union – May 18, 1978 (KCA)
Yuri Orlov, former chairman of the Helsinki Group, is given sentence of seven years in a hard labor camp and is followed by five years internal exile.

Romania / China – May 19, 1978 (KCA)
During his visit to China, President Ceauşescu makes a speech in Beijing in which he says that the aim of his friendship visits to Vietnam and Cambodia is to discuss matters concerning the relations between their countries. It is the reaction to the ongoing conflict between the two countries.

Hungary / Iran – May 19-22, 1978 (HC)
The Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi, and his wife, Faran Pahlavi, visit Hungary. On May 20, the Shah and his wife are presented an honorary doctoral degree at Eötvös Loránd University.

Hungary - May 20, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Kodály Association is established.

Hungary / United States – May 20-23, 1978 (HC)
Robert Bergland, the Minister of Agriculture of the United States, stays in Budapest.

Hungary / Italy – May 21, 1978 (HC)
Robert Ossola, the Italian Minister of Foreign Trade, takes a three–day–long visit to Budapest.

East Germany / Hungary – May 21-23, 1978 (HC)
Horst Sölle, the Minister of Foreign Trade of the German Democratic Republic, takes an official visit to Hungary.

Hungary / Germany – May 21-26, 1978 (HC)
Károly Polinszky, the Minister of Education, takes a five–day–long visit to Berlin.

Hungary / U.S. – May 22, 1978 (KCA)
The United States House of Representatives approves the granting of most–favored–nation status to Hungary by 209 votes to 173. Hungary becomes the fourth East European state to have most–favoured–nation status with the United States.

Hungary / India – May 22-25, 1978 (HC)
George Femandes, the Indian Minister, carries on with Joint Commission negotiations in Budapest with the Minister for Light Industry.

Yugoslavia / Soviet Union / U.N. / U.S. – May 23, 1978 (KCA)
In the special session of the United Nations General Assembly, President of the General Assembly Lazar Mojsov (from Yugoslavia) accuses the United States and the Soviet Union as the chief actors of arms race.

Hungary / U.N – May 23-28, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Minister, Frigyes Puja, travels to New York for the 10th extraordinary session on disarmament of the United Nations General Assembly.

Romania / Vietnam – May 23-26, 1978 (KCA) see May 15—30.
President Ceauşescu visits Vietnam.

East Germany / U.N. – May 25, 1978 (KCA)
East Germany ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

East Germany – May 24-25, 1978 (KCA)
At a meeting of the SED Central Committee Joachim Herrmann is unanimously elected a full member of the Politburo and also a secretary of the Central Committee.

Germany/Croatia – May 25, 1978 (KCA)
Stjepan Bilandžić is arrested.

Soviet Union / Mali – May 25-31, 1978 (KCA)
General Viktor Gregoriev, a Soviet Deputy Minister of Defence, visits Mali where he has talks with Lieutenant–Colonel Moussa Traore, the head of state, and with commanders of various military garrisons in and near Bamako.

Soviet Union / U.N. – May 26, 1978 (KCA)
Andrei Gromyko expresses in his speech in the special session of the United Nations General Assembly that “The Soviet Union is ready to conclude appropriate bilateral agreements with any nonnuclear states. We call upon all other nuclear powers to follow our example”.

Hungary / Soviet Union – May 27-29, 1978 (HC)
A joint Hungarian–Soviet historians session takes place on the problems of exploiting energy resources.

Poland / US – May 28, 1978 (LBC)
Poland signs a one billion dollar 20 year deal with Occidental Petroleum Corporation.

Cambodia / Romania – May 28-30, 1978 (KCA) See May 15—30.
President Ceauşescu visits Cambodia.

West-Germany/Yugoslavia – May 29, 1978 (KCA)
The spokesman for the Federal Justice Ministry in Bonn, Sepp Binder, announces that four suspected terrorists were taken in custody in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Namely Brigitte Mohnhaupt, Rolf-Clemens Wagner, Sieglinde Hofmann, and Peter Jurgen Boock in connection with the murder of Schleyer and of Siegfried Buback and Jürgen Ponto.

East Germany / U.S. – May 30, 1978 (KCA)
Robert Thomson, former United States Air Force cipher clerk, sentenced for 30 years imprisonment on May 30, 1965, for passing classified documents to the Soviet Union, is released.

Soviet Union / U.N. – May 30, 1978 (KCA)
The Soviet Union ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

Bulgaria / U.N. – May 31, 1978 (KCA)
Bulgaria ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

NATO / Soviet Union – May 31, 1978 (LBC)
The NATO states accept a 10-15 year general defense program. The long-range program envisions the development of combat readiness, logistics, the mobilization of reserves, NATO’s navy, air defense systems, the joint production of arms and joint planning. – According to a study prepared for NATO leaders, the Soviet Union accepts the principle of nuclear balance, but still wants superiority in tactical nuclear arms and conventional forces. The Soviet Union will face economic difficulties in the 1980s, but will emphasize military development. At the same time because of the economic difficulties the Soviet leadership will be forced to seek Western help, or else to introduce restrictions. The report recommends that the West extend assistance to the Soviets only if they reduce military expenditures. It also recommends for the West to improve relations with Eastern Europe.


June 1978

Czechoslovakia – June 1978 (KCA)
A court in Brno sentences three men, charging them with planning a airline hijacking.

Czechoslovakia – June, 1978 (KCA)
During Brezhnev’s visit in Prague, hundreds of Charter 77 supporters are temporarily detained without being charged. As a result a number of foreign nationals were subsequently expelled from Czechoslovakia.

Czechoslovakia – June 1, 1978, KCA
Jiří Gruša is arrested because of the reproduction of his novel “The Questionnaire” with the charge of “incitement”; the volume, published by “the padlock press”, was illegal since it’s not included in official catalogues, where due to the Czechoslovak Writers' Union, "all works must contribute to the building of socialism".

Hungary – June 1, 1978 (HC)
The New York Times interviews János Kádár, the First Secretary of the MSZMP’s Central Committee. The interview is published on the 10th of June

US / Soviet Union – June 1, 1978 (LBC)
It is announced that bugs were found in the US embassy in Moscow. On May 26, a verbal protest was made and on May 31 a written protest put forth. The Soviet news agency, TASS claims that the devices meant to impede US spying. The US claims that more bugging devices were found in the tunnel that connects the chimney with an apartment in the neighboring building.

West-Germany June  2 – 1978 (KCA)
The Federal Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt and the Premier of Northrhine-Westphalia, Heinz Kuhn receive the report of the inquiry by Herman Hocher in record to the errors made in Hanns-Martin Schleyer’s kidnapping.

Yugoslavia / Poland – June 2-3, 1978 (JBT)
The First Secretary of the Polish United Workers’ Party Edward Gierek visits Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito, with whom he discusses bilateral relations, international issues, as well as questions regarding the international workers’ movement.

West-Germany – June 3, 1978 (KCA)
The Hoecherl Report is published after it has been presented to the Federal Cabinet and to the Chairmen of the parties in the Bundestag.

Hungary / Yugoslavia – June 3, 1978 (HC)
A new road border crossing on the Hungarian–Yugoslav border is opened between Tompa and Kelebia.

Germany – June 6, 1978 (KCA)
The Federal Minister of the Interior Werner Maihofer announces his resignation. He’ll be succeeded in two days by Gerhard Baum.

US / Soviet Union / FRG – June 7, 1978 (LBC)
Carter delivers a harsh speech on the Soviet Union at the Annapolis Naval Academy. Carter says that the SALT treaty is “of fundamental importance” to both nations,” and “I am glad to report to you today that prospects…for agreement are good”. He assures the audience that the US has “no desire to link the negotiations for a SALT agreement with other competitive relationships nor to impose other special conditions on the process”. At the same time he warns that US public opinion influences the talks and “tensions, sharp disputes or threats to peace will complicate the quest for a successful agreement”. “The Soviet Union can choose either confrontation or cooperation. The US is adequately prepared to meet either choice.” The President asserts that détente “is central for world peace,” and “must be broadly defined and truly reciprocal”. – The Soviet Union and its allies come up with a new proposal at the disarmament talks in Vienna. It could be a breakthrough that the USSR accepts the 700 thousand upper limit for the number of troops NATO and the Warsaw Pact may each station in Central Europe. NATO earlier recommended that when both sides have an equal number of troops, they should be reduced equally. The West rescinded the demand for the Soviet Union to withdraw five divisions and 1700 tanks form Central Europe and accepted the Soviet wish that two thirds of the forces to be pulled out by the US should come from the FRG. No agreement is made on the method of monitoring, and the West does not accept the Soviet figures on the size of Warsaw Pact forces.

Czechoslovakia – June 7, 1978 (KCA)
A total of 20 writers, poets and playwrights accuse the Czechoslovak Government of having repudiated a tacit understanding under which it allowed the underground reproduction of literary works which did not challenge the communist system.

Poland / U.N. – June 8, 1978 (KCA)
Poland ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

Romania / U.N. – June 8, 1978 (KCA)
In the special session of the United Nations General Assembly, Romanian Chairman of the Council of Ministers Manea Mănescu presents a ten–point–plan.

USSR / US – June 8-16, 1978 (LBC)
Soviet-American talks on banning the so called killer satellites. Such satellites are able to search and destroy other satellites.

US / Soviet Union – June 9, 1978 (LBC)
President Carter warns the USSR that he will retaliate if Moscow continues to discriminate against US naval insurance companies. He claims that the Soviets put an unreasonable burden on American trade by obliging the shippers to insure their cargo with Soviet insurance companies.

Yugoslavia / Albania – June 10, 1978 (HR)
The Central Committee of the Communist party of Albania holds a centenary celebration of the foundation of the Prizren League. At the celebration, the activities of this organization are glorified and there are speeches about the unjust annexation of the Albanian territories by Serbia (at the time Yugoslavia) at the Berlin Congress in 1878.


West-Germany/Yugoslavia – June 12 1978 (KCA)
The Munich Oberlandesgericht (Bavaria) postpones a decision of any possible extradition while awaiting further information from Belgrade in regards of the accused Cudic’s bomb attack in Munich in June 1972.

Bulgaria / Warsaw Pact – June 12-14, 1978 (CAC)
At a meeting of the Chiefs of General Staffs in Sofia discusses the development of Warsaw Pact forces between 1981–1985, and presses for finalization of a statute on command in wartime over Romanian opposition.

Hungary / Poland – June 12-14, 1978 (HC)
István Roska, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, takes an official visit to Poland, where he visits the Foreign Office.

Ukraine / U.N. – June 13, 1978 (KCA)
Ukraine ratifies the Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques.

Romania / United Kingdom – June 13-16, 1978 (PER/CEC/HOR)
The Ceauşescu couple visits the UK, where they are received by Queen Elizabeth II.


Yugoslavia / India – June 14, 1978 (JBT)
Indian parliamentary delegation makes an official visit to Yugoslavia in June 1978. During the visit it is received by President Josip Broz Tito on June 14th.


Hungary / Soviet Union – June 14-16, 1978 (HC)
József Bíró, the Minister of Foreign Trade, negotiates in Moscow.

Soviet Union / US – June 17, 1978 (LBC)
Moscow’s response to Carter’s speech. In the text that is published as a commentary in Pravda and other Soviet papers Carter’s statements are “so preconceived and distorted a description of Soviet realities as one has not encountered…since the time of the Cold War”. The US is worried by Soviet military equality and not superiority. The article also attacked the President’s human rights policy, but the “positive remarks” of Carter’s speech were not “left unnoticed” either.

Romania / COMECON – June 17-29, 1978 (MMS)
The 32nd COMECON summit and the 86th COMECON Executive Committee session take place in Bucharest, Romania.

Czechoslovakia – June 19, 1978 (KCA)
Libor Skalský is sentenced to 12 years of prison for attempting to hijack an aircraft on route from Prague to Brno and divert it abroad.

EFTA / Yugoslavia – June 19-20, 1978 (KCA)
A meeting of the joint working group of the European Free Trade Association and Yugoslavia is being held in Geneva. Both sides agree to establish a full EFTA–Yugoslavia Joint Committee to promote intesified economic co–operation between the two sides.

Yugoslavia – June 20-23, 1978 (KCA)
The 11th congress of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia is held in Belgrade. Over 2,000 party delegates and representatives of other parties abroad (including Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact countries) attend. President Tito opens the gathering with a lengthy speech in which he stresses the stability and continuity of Yugoslavia's road to self–management and socialism.

Soviet Union / Iran – June 21, 1978 (KCA)
An Iranian helicopter is shot down by the Soviet aircraft after it strays across the border into the Soviet central Asian republic of Turkmenistan, all eight crew members are killed. A second helicopter is said to being forced to land down and its crew is returned to Iran.

 Hungary/ Poland – 21–23 June 1978 (HC)
A government delegation led by the First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, János Kádár, travels to Poland. (Members of the Hungarian delegation include Prime Minister György Lázár and Foreign Minister Frigyes Puja).

Hungary - June 22, 1978 (HC) see August 26, 1977
The National Council of Environment and Nature Protection is founded (chairman: Brúnó Straub F.)
Hungary - June 22, 1978 (HC)
There are earthquakes in Békés County (significant damages in buildings; June 30. There are earthquakes in Békés County again.)

Hungary/ Libya – June 23-26, 1978 (HC)
Libyan Head of State, Colonel Maummar Gaddafi, visits Hungary.

Poland/ Soviet Union – June 27, 1978 (PSN)
The first Polish cosmonaut, Major Mirosław Hermaszewski, is launched into orbit by the Soviet Union aboard the Soyuz 30 Spacecraft.

Hungary / Romania – June 27-29, 1978 (HC)
György Lázár, a member of the Political Committee of the MSZMP's Central Committee, the Chairman of the Cabinet, attends the XXXII session of the KGST in Bucharest. He also attends the 86th session of the Executive Committee of the KGST.

Soviet Union – June 29, 1978 (KCA)
Azerbaijan's Republic Minister of the Interior is assassinated in his office, together with his deputy. The assasin who kills himself after the crime is identified as a prison official named Muratov. He was dismissed from his post earlier.

Hungary / United States – June 29-30, 1978 (HC)
János Nagy, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, carries on with discussions in the Foreign Office of the United States.

East Germany / Hungary – June 29-July 5, 1978 (HC)
Lajos Czinege, the Minister of Defense, takes a weeklong visit to the German Democratic Republic.

July 1978

Romania – July 1978 (TCR)
Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa, a top ranking Securitate officer, defects to the U.S. Nicolae Ceauşescu hires Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka. Carlos the Jackal, to assassinate Pacepa but he fails.

Hungary / Austria – July 3-5, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Minister, Frigyes Puja, visits Austria; whilst there, an agreement on the abolition of visa obligations is signed, which enters into force on January 1, 1979.

Hungary / Romania – July 3 – 5 1978 (HC)
Foaia Noastra, the periodical of the Democratic Alliance of Romanians in Hungary is published as a weekly paper.

Hungary / Austria – July 3-5, 1978 (CWIHP)
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frigyes Puja visits Vienna. An agreement to abolish visas is signed, as a result of a discussion started in May 1977 during a visit of the Austrian President Rudolf Kirchschlager to Hungary. However both Hungarian and Austrian citizens have to fill in a questionnaire to stay in the other country up to 30 days.

Czechoslovakia – July 4, 1978 (KCA)
Helmut Clemens, a West German radio and television correspondent, receives the order to leave the country within two days because of a programme he was preparing on the 1968 events.

Hungary / West Germany – July 5-9, 1978 (HC)
The parliamentary delegation of the Federal Republic of Germany led by President Karl Cartens stays in Hungary.

Hungary / US – July 9, 1978 (LBC)
It is announced that Hungary is granted the most favored nation treatment by the US. In his interview to the New York Times János Kádár says that cooperation with the West and the United States is part of Hungary’s independent foreign policy

Soviet Union / Finland / Warsaw Pact – July 10, 1978 (CAC)
Soviet Defense Minister Marshal Dmitrii Ustinov in Helsinki demands joint military exercises with Finland, but the Finns sidetrack the demand.

Soviet Union / Hungary - July 12, 1978 (HC)
Mátyás Szűrös, new Hungarian ambassador in Moscow, hands over his credentials.
US / Soviet Union – July 12, 1978 (LBC)
The US condemns the USSR for the verdict on Anatolii Sharanskii and Alexander Ginzburg. In retaliation, the US cancels the visit of two delegations to the Soviet Union and prohibits the sale of a computer to TASS. The sale of oil drilling equipment is placed under state supervision. (Earlier on, an American company received a $180 million order for such equipment from the USSR)

Soviet Union – July 13, 1978 (KCA)
Alexander Ginzburg (an administrator of the Solzhenitsyn fund for aid to political prisoners and their families) is sentenced to eight years deprivation of liberty in a special–regime labor camp.

Hungary / Spain  – July 13, 1978 (HC)
Deputy Prime Minister György Aczél receives the general of the Jesuit Order, Pedro Aruppe.

Soviet Union – July 14, 1978 (KCA)
Anatoly Shcharansky is sentenced to three years in a close confinement prison and ten years in a special–regime camp.

Hungary / Romania – July 16-17, 1978 (CEC)
The Romanian Prime Minister, Ilie Verdeţ, visits Budapest.

Hungary / United States – July 17-21, 1978 (HC)
Averell Harriman, the former governor of New York State, carries on with negotiations with Frigyes Puja in Budapest.

Soviet Union / United States – July 18, 1978 (HC)
The United States prohibits the sale of computers to the Soviet Union and imposes restrictions on the transport of basic equipment.

US / Soviet Union – July 19, 1978 (LBC)
The CIA’s study on Soviet civilian defense: more than one hundred thousand people work full time in the field of Soviet civilian defense. According to the study in case of a nuclear attack more than 100 million Soviet civilians would die if it came unexpectedly. In the “best case,” – if there were a week’s time to make arrangements for the evacuation and defense of the civilian population – the number of the victims would be less than ten million. The authors assumed that the attack would be made against Soviet military bases and industrial targets not against the civilian population. The Soviet Union could not avoid its industry suffering significant damage. The existing shelters could accommodate 12-14% of the workers of the industrial centers of key importance. 10-20% of the urban population could receive protection against the atomic strike. In 1976 the Soviets spent 2 billion dollars on civilian defense.

Poland – July 20, 1978 (KCA)
The Sejm confirmes the appointment of Zygmunt Najdowski as Minister of Culture and Art.

Soviet Union – July 20, 1978 (KCA)
It is reported that although there have been refusals of individual applications for exit visas to Israel, Jewish emigration has risen by about 15% during the first six months of 1978 to between 10,000 and 10,300 emigrants, compared with 18,000 emigrants during the whole of 1977.

Yugoslavia – July 22, 1978 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito meets with the UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim in Belgrade. They discuss the role of the Organization of African Unity in solving problems on the African continent, the Middle East crisis, disarmament, détente, situation on the Horn of Africa, etc.

Romania – July 24, 1978 (CEC/TCR)
In July, General Ion Mihai Pacepa, the head of the Secret Information Service, defects to the U.S. Nicolae Ceauşescu hired Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, to assassinate Pacepa but he failed. Ion Mihai Pacepa asks for political asylum from the American Embassy in Bonn on 24 July.

East Germany / Soviet Union/Vietnam – July 25, 1978 (CWIHPIP)
Brezhnev discusses the arms race, the 1978 trial of Soviet dissidents Shcharansky and Ginzburgh, the relations between United States and Soviet Union, the current improvement in US-Chinese relations and the Vietnam War, and the Soviet Union’s support for the North Vietnamese.

Bulgaria / Non–Aligned Countries / Yugoslavia – July 25-30, 1978 (KCA)
A conference of the Foreign Ministers of the non–aligned countries is being held in Belgrade. It is primarily concerned with securing the continued unity of the non–aligned movement. Yugoslavia's President Tito in his opening address to the Conference underlines that the policy of non–alignment is directed against imperialism, neo–colonialism, racism, all other forms of foreign domination, and power politics.

Hungary / Cuba – July 25-August 8, 1978 (HC)
A 450–member Hungarian delegation is staying at the 11th World Youth Conference (July 28 – August 5) in Havana, Cuba.

Soviet Union – July 26, 1978 (?)
Johannes Käbin is elected President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Estonia.

Hungary / Soviet Union – July 27-30, 1978 (HC)
The First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, János Kádár, travels to the Soviet Union for a short trip. On July 28, Kádár meets with General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid I. Brezhnev.

Hungary / Soviet Union – July 31-August 3, 1978 (HC)
Viktor Fjodorov, the Soviet Minister for Petroleum Refining and the Petrochemical Industry, negotiates in Budapest.


August 1978

Soviet Union – August, 1978, (?)
Sultan Ibraimov is elected President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Kyrgyzstan.

Soviet Union / France – August 1, 1978 (KCA)
It is disclosed that Colonel Viktor Penkov, Assistant Military Attache at the Soviet embassy in Paris was detained by French counter–espionage authorities on July 13, for spying.

Hungary / Soviet Union – August 3-7, 1978 (HC)
Pyotr Neporozhny, the Soviet Minister of Energy and Electrification, negotiates in Budapest.

Vatican - August 6, 1978 (HC)
Pope Paul VI dies. His successor is cardinal Albino Luciani, John Paul I.

Romania / Soviet Union – August 7, 1978 (PER)
Ceauşescu holds discussions with Brezhnev in Crimea.

Hungary / U.S. – August 7-12, 1978 (HC)
A group of American businessmen of Hungarian origin negotiate in Budapest

Hungary / US – August 8, 1977 (LBC)
The first Hungarian plant of Levis Strauss starts the production of jeans in the town of Marcali. The factory is equipped with machinery and raw materials by the Levis Strauss company. The plant exports 60% of the final product..

Hungary / Cuba – August 8-13, 1978 (HC)
Isodoro Malmierca, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, takes an official amicable visit to Hungary.

Hungary / Soviet Union – August 9-11, 1978 (HC)
The Moscow Stanislavsky Ballet gives a guest performance in Budapest, Hungary.

China / Japan / Soviet Union – August 12, 1978 (KCA)
A treaty of peace and friendship is signed between the People's Republic of China and Japan. The Soviet Union warns Japan that it regards the Japanese decision to conclude such a treaty with China as a hostile act directed against the USSR.

West-Germany / Croatia – August 12, 1978 (KCA)
A Croatian émigré group presents two witnesses to the press, who claim to have received instruction from the Yugoslav secret police (UDBA) to murder Bilandžić. A West German citizen, Josef Müller, claims he was promised DM60.000 by the UDBA in Trieste in 1976 to kill Bilandžić. Since then he acted as a double agent. Branko Jurišć - a Croatian emigree - claims to have been blackmailed by the UDBA to go to West Germany and to kill Bilandžić, but on his arrival he informed the Federal Interior Ministry of his mission.

Austria/ Soviet Union – August 14, 1978 (KCA)
Austrian Chancellor Kreisky appeals to Soviet Chairman of the Council of Ministers Kosygin to allow Anatoly Shcharansky to leave the Soviet Union.

Austria / Belarus / Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Estonia / Georgia / Hungary / Latvia / Lithuania / Moldova / Poland / Soviet Union / Ukraine / Yugoslavia – August 14-26, 1978 (KCA)
A world conference to combat racism and racial discrimination is held in Geneva. The Soviet bloc (excluding Romania, but including Cuba and Mongolia) submits a draft that is based on an anti–Zionist United Nations resolution. A majority, including the Arab states, rejects the draft.

Czechoslovakia/Soviet Union – August 15, 1978 (KCA)
Charter 77 movement has reported to have reiterated its demand for the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Czechoslovakia on the ground that the official purpose of their presence (which was to safeguard the socialist community of states against "increasing revanchist endeavors of West German militaristic forces") were superseded by the conclusion of international agreements normalizing relations between Warsaw Pact states and West Germany.

US / USSR – August 16, 1978 (LBC)
American geneticists call for the boycott of the first World Congress of Genetics to be held in the USSR. The scientists mean to protest against the imprisonment of their Soviet colleagues. The American Academy of Sciences does not support the boycott

Romania / China – August 16-21, 1978 (PER)
The President of the People’s Republic of China, Hua Guofeng, visits Romania.

Yugoslavia / China – August 21, 1978 (KCA)
Chairman Hua visits Belgrade and he is the first high–ranking Chinese leader to pay a visit to Yugoslavia. In his speech, Hua recognizes that the Yugoslav system of self–management, which was strongly criticized by China in the past, is a Marxist system. The speech is described by Pravda as 'demagogic and hypocritical.’

Yugoslavia / China – August 21-29, 1978 (JBT)
President of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, and of the State Council of China Hua Guofeng makes an official visit to Yugoslavia. This is the first official visit of a Chinese party and state representative to Yugoslavia.

US / Soviet Union – August 22, 1978 (LBC)
The president of Occidental Petroleum, Armand Hammer, opens a new ammonia storage factory in Odessa. The installation was built as part of a 20 year $20 billion artificial fertilizer project. Hammer says that the facility crowned Occidental’s links with the USSR.

West-Germany – August 24, 1978 (KCA)
In relation to Petric’s case, the Court decides that membership in a terrorist organization could not, in itself, be construed as a crime against life.

Hungary - August 25, 1978 (HC)
The Meat Combine of Gyula is opened.

East Germany / Soviet Union – August 26-September 3, 1978 (HC)
A spaceship with a Soviet–East German crew is launched.

Czechoslovakia – August 28, 1978 (MMS)
A meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers takes place in Prague, Czechoslovakia.

West-Germany – August 29, 1978 (KCA)
Members of a conference in Dusseldorf of Federal and Land Interior Ministers agree unanimously to introduce new regulations on jurisdiction and organizational methods in the fight against violent terrorist crimes.


Yugoslavia (Macedonia) – September 1978 (KCA)
Miloš Minić, former Federal Secretary of Foreign Affairs, is elected President of the Federal Council of International Relations.

UK / Soviet Union / US – September, 1978 (LBC)
The London Institute for Strategic Studies on East-West Military Balance: the USSR has 5609, the US 3600 ICBMs. The Soviet Union possesses more warheads whose explosive yield can be expressed in megatons (1670) than its adversary (504). At the same time the US enjoys superiority in the number of warheads and American missiles are more accurate. – According to a report by the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency the US nuclear force is more effective than the Soviet, although their nuclear power approached American numbers and may even catch up with it by the mid-80s. The study claims that both sides have credible second strike capability.

Hungary/ Mongolia – September 2-7, 1978 (HC)
The Chairman of the Council of Ministers, György Lázár, travels to Mongolia.

Hungary/Malta – September 6, 1978 (HC)
The first Hungarian–Maltese cultural agreement is signed in Budapest, Hungary.

Germany – September 6, 1978 (KCA)
One person suspected to be involved in all three assassinations by terrorists in 1977 is shot dead by police.

Yugoslavia / West Germany – September 8, 1978 (JBT)
President of the Social Democratic Party of Germany Willy Brandt meets with President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito on September 8th in Yugoslavia. They discuss various political, economic, and international issues.


East Germany / Ghana / Soviet Union – September 9, 1978 (KCA)
Ghana expells one East German and four Soviet diplomats after being accused by the governmnet of 'engaging in activities not conducive to peace and stability in the country.’

Hungary/ Netherlands – September 11-13, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Minister, Frigyes Puja, negotiates in the Netherlands.

Yugoslavia / Sweden – September 11-15, 1978 (JBT)
King and Queen of Sweden Karl Gustav and Silvia pay an official visit to Yugoslavia during which they meet with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.

Czechoslovakia / Afghanistan – September 12, 1978 (CWIHP)
Babrak Karmal meets with the Head of the Diplomatic Protocol Tucek, and declares that he would not return to his homeland under the present circumstances, but that he has no desire to move to any capitalist country and asks for political asylum in Czechoslovakia.

Hungary / Austria – September 12-14, 1978 (HC)
Karl Lausecker, the Austrian Minister of Transport, signs an agreement in Budapest.

West Germany / Yugoslavia (Croatia) – September 13, 1978 (KCA)
The Federal Government decides not to extradite Bilandžić, on the ground that the offences for his extradition were committed in the Federal Republic and were the subject of three separate inquiries by West German police.

Romania / U.N. – September 13, 1978 (KCA)
Romania's ambassador to the United Nations, Ion Dactu, is recalled and replaced by Teodor Marinescu, who was ambassaor in Moscow from 1966 to 1972.

West Germany / Yugoslavia (Croatia) – September 14, 1978 (KCA)
Bilandžić is released from pre-extradition custody.

Hungary/ P.L.O. – September 15-16, 1978 (HC)
The Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat, is staying in Budapest.

USA / Egypt / Israel - September 17, 1978 (HC)
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, Israeli Prime Minister Menahem Begin and American president Jimmy Carter sign a framework in Camp David on Peace in the Middle East.

Hungary/Norway – September 18-20, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Foreign Minister, Frigyes Puja, travels to Norway.

Hungary/Austria – September 20-22, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian–Austrian Joint Committee of Historians holds its first session in Budapest, Hungary.

West Germany / Croatia / Yugoslavia – September 21, 1978 (KCA)
The West German ambassador in Yugoslavia, Jesco von Puttkamer was handed a note by the Secretary of State in the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry, Budimir Loncar, repeating the request for the extradition of Bilandžić and the other seven emigrees.

West Germany / Croatia / Yugoslavia – September 22, 1978 (KCA)
The second request for extradition is officially refused by the West German Federal Foreign Ministry.

Hungary / UN – September 23-October 5, 1978 (HC)
Frigyes Puja, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, attends the XXXIII. session of the UN Assembly.

Germany – September 24, 1978 (KCA)
Another person suspected to be involved in all three assassinations by terrorists in 1977, is arrested.

Yugoslavia / Spain – September 24-27, 1978 (JBT)
General Secretary of Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party Felipe Gonzales visits Yugoslavia, and meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito on September 26th 1978.


Yugoslavia / U.S. – September 24-29, 1978 (KCA)
During a visit to the United States by the Yugoslav Federal Secretary of Defence, General Nikola Ljubičić, the US Defence Department announces that it agrees to expand bilateral military co–operation to include a considerable increase in arms sales to Yugoslavia in the next few years. It is reported that the US Administration approved sales for the forthcoming financial year to a value of $1.4 million, including ammunition, communications equipment, small arms, and in particular, jet engines for use in fighters currently being developed in Yugoslavia.

Hungary - September 26-29, 1978 (HC)
The Conference of European Churches holds a meeting in Siófok.
Yugoslavia / Tanzania – September 27, 1978 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito receives Tanzanian representative Adam Sapi Mkwawa. They discuss both bilateral and international issues with special emphasis on the situation in South Africa.

Soviet Union / United States – September 27-October 2, 1978 (HC)
There is a Soviet–American Ministers of Foreign Affairs meeting in New York about the possibilities to conclude the SALT II agreement.

Hungary – September 28, 1978 (HC)
The National Conference of the Party Secretaries of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party takes place.

US / Yugoslavia – September 28, 1978 (LBC)
The Department of Defense announces that Washington is selling jet aircraft engines for fighters under development in Yugoslavia.

Vatican / Poland - September 29, 1978 (HC)
Pope John Paul I dies. His successor is Cardinal Karol Wojtyła under the name of John Paul II.


October 1978

Czechoslovakia – October 1, 1978 (KCA)
Czechoslovak and Polish police simultaneously arrest Charter 77 supporters and followers of the PSSDC (SSDC or KOR). While the Polish police releases all of the involved, the Czechoslovak police releases three out of four, detaining Jaroslav Sabata.

Czechoslovakia / Hungary – October 2-3, 1978 (HC)
József Bíró, the Minister of Foreign Trade, visits Czechoslovakia for an official invitation.

Czechoslovakia / Afghanistan – October 4, 1978 (CWIHP)
The Czechoslovak Ambassador in Afghanistan, Karmelita, meets with the Afghan General Secretary of the Central Committee of the People’s Democratic Party, Nur Mohamad Taraki, in Kabul. 

Bulgaria / Czechoslovakia / East Germany / Hungary / Poland / Soviet Union / Ukraine / U.N. – October 5, 1978 (KCA)
The Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques enters into forces.

Yugoslavia / Angola – October 5-9, 1978 (JBT)
Yugoslav state delegation led by a Member of the Presidency Vidoje Žarković makes an official visit to Angola.

Soviet Union / Syria – October 6, 1978 (HC)
Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian Head of State, arrives in the Soviet Union.

Hungary / Australia – October 9, 1978 (HC)
Victor Garian, the Australian Minister for Special Trade Representations, arrives to Budapest.

Hungary / Poland – October 9-12, 1978 (HC)
Imre Markója, the Minister of Justice, carries on with consultations in Poland.

Hungary / Norway – October 9-14, 1978 (HC)
Guttorm Jansen, the president of the Norwegian Parliament, visits Hungary with a delegation.

Yugoslavia / Italy – October 10, 1978 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito meets with General Secretary of the Italian Communist Party Enrico Berlinguer in Herceg Novi (Montenegro).

Yugoslavia / Cape Verde – October 10-13, 1978 (JBT)
President of Cape Verde Aristides Pereira makes an official visit to Yugoslavia during which he meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.


West Germany – October 15, 1978 (KCA)
The West German Deutsche Mark (DM) revalues upwards (within the European common margins arrangements) by 4 per cent against the Danish and Norwegian Krone, and by 2 per cent against the Dutch Guilder and the Belgian-Luxembourg Franc.

West Germany – October 16, 1978 (KCA)
A statement by the West German Federal Finance Minister, Hans Matthofer, defines the revaluation of the Deutsche Mark as technically inevitable.

Austria / West Germany – October 16, 1978 (KCA)
The Austrian Federal Finance Minister, Hannes Androsch announces his government's decision to follow the revaluation of the Deutsche Mark by devaluing the schilling by 1 per cent against the Deutsche Mark. It is the response the revaluation of West Germany's currency within the European common margins arrangements made the day before.

Poland / Vatican – October 16, 1978 (KCA)
Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, Archibishop of Krakow, is elected as Pope John Paul's successor by a secret conclave of cardinals. He takes the name of John Paul II.

Hungary / Poland – October 16-17, 1978 (HC)
József Bíró, the Minister of Foreign Trade, takes an official visit to Poland.

East Germany / Warsaw Pact – October 16-19, 1978 (MMS)
A meeting of the Warsaw Pact Military Council takes place in Berlin, East Germany.

Germany – October 18, 1978 (KCA)
The Deutsche Mark is revalued by 2 per cent against the Guilder and the Belgian-Luxembourg Franc, by 3 per cent against the Norwegian Krone and the Swedish Krona, and by 6 per cent against the Danish Krone.

Yugoslavia – October 19, 1978 (KCA)
Branko Mikulić, a Croat and one of two members for Bosnia–Herzegovina on the Presidium of the Central Committee of the LCY is appointed to the newly–created post of acting President of this Presidium for one year.

Hungary – October 19-20, 1978 (HC)
A national conference on socialist patriotism takes place in Eger, Hungary.

Hungary – October 19-20, 1978 (HC)
An order of the Council of Ministers (49/1978) about the Workers’ Militia is adopted. (It is about the readjustment of the tasks and organization of the Workers’ Militia as well as of the rights and obligations of its members.)

East Germany / Hungary – October 20-22, 1978 (HC)
Gerhar Schürer, a substitute member of the Political Committee of the Central Committee of the German Socialist Unity Party, the Deputy Prime Minister of the German Democratic Republic, and the President of the State Planning Commission carries on with discussions in Budapest.

Hungary / Poland – October 20-22, 1978 (HC)
Piotr Jaroszewicz, the Prime Minister of Poland, takes an amicable visit to Hungary.

Yugoslavia / U.K. – October 21-27, 1978 (JBT)
Prince of Wales Charles visits Yugoslavia. He is received by President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito in Igalo (Montenegro).

Czechoslovakia – October 22-23,1978 (PSCZ)
Trials of six members of The Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Persecuted are held.

Hungary / Denmark – October 23-25, 1978 (HC)
The Danish Prime Minister, Anker Jörgensen, negotiates in Hungary. The two countries abolish double taxation between them.

Soviet Union / France – October 25-28, 1978 (KCA)
Soviet Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko visits Paris. It is agreed to extend the areas of agreement and co–operation on basic problems. French President Giscard d'Estaing accepts a Soviet invitation to visit the USSR in 1979.

Yugoslavia / Egypt, October 26, 1978 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito receives the Vice-President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak who conveys a message of President Anwar el-Sadat, and informs President Tito about the Egyptian stance towards the recent developments in the Middle East.

Hungary / Soviet Union – October 26-27, 1978 (HC)
The Hungarian Chairman of the Council of Ministers, György Lázár, pays a visit to Moscow.

Hungary / Soviet Union – October 26-27, 1978 (HC)
The Presidential Council of the People’s Republic in session. Law decree no. 20 of 1978 about passports and travelling abroad is adopted. (It is about the introduction, issuing and withdrawal of unified personal passports and the regulation of travelling with it.)
Hungary - October 28, 1978 (HC)
The order of the president of the Central Statistical Office (2/1978 KSH) about the issuing and usage of personal numbers and personal cards is adopted.

Czechoslovakia – October 28, 1978, KCA
On 60th anniversary of the establishment of the Czechoslovak State, the Charter 77 movement issues a proclamation in order to emphasize the necessity of human, civil, social, and political rights preservation. The State, they say, is a common cultural achievement of the greatest possible number of citizens not merely a repressive organ of power which preserves a system of privileges.

November 1978

Argentina/ Australia/ Brazil/ Canada/ Egypt/ the EEC/ Finland/ India/ Japan/ Kenya/ the Soviet Union / USA – November 1978 (KCA)
A new session of a United Nations Conference takes place. An interim committee prepares research on coarse grains, food aid, and wheat trade.

Soviet Union / Azerbaijan – November, 1978 (KCA)
Djefar Veliev is appointed as Minister of the Interior of the Republic in succession to Gen. Arif Nasar Geidarov.

Romania – November 1, 1978 (CEC)
The Central Committee decides that every Romanian family has a right to a single house.

Czechoslovakia – November 1, 1978 (KCA)
Jaroslav Sabata’s case forms the subject of an appeal addressed by 52 Charter 77 signatories in Vienna, to six leaders of socialist parties in West European countries. The appeal requires the participation of foreign observers in order to produce “an objective picture” of the methods used by Czechoslovak state security.

Soviet Union / Vietnam – November 1-9, 1978 (KCA)
A Vietnamese Government and Communist Party delegation led by the Prime Minister, Pham Van Dong pays an official visit to the Soviet Union. A treaty of friendship and co–operation between the two countries is signed. It is supposed to remain in force for 25 years and be automatically extended for another 10 years unless either party wishes to end it. Other six economic agreements were signed also.

Hungary – November 2-4, 1978 (HC)
An international conference analyzing the press and propaganda of World War II takes place in Budapest, Hungary.

Czechoslovakia / Hungary – November 3-4, 1978 (HC)
Lér Leopold, the Czechoslovakian Minister of Finance, carries on with negotiations in Budapest.

Hungary ­– November 4-5, 1978 (HC)
The 5th congress of the Democratic Alliance of Germans in Hungary takes place. (President: János Krauth; Secretary General: Antal Réger)

Soviet Union / Syria – October 5-6, 1978 (KCA)
President Assad visits Moscow for talks with President Brezhnev and other Soviet leaders. A joint communique is issuing rejecting the Camp David agreements and calls for a reconvened Middle East peace conference in Geneva.

Czechoslovakia – November 6, 1978 (KCA)
An open letter signed by two spokesmen for the Charter 77 movement, addressed to the heads of state signatories to the Final Act of the 1975 Helsinki Conference and the  UN Secretary-General represents the first appeal of the movement to the outside world. The letter pressures authorities in Prague to “fulfil their human rights obligations under the Helsinki agreement”.

Romania / Austria – November 8-11 (PER)
The President of Austria, Rudolf Kirchschläger, visits Romania.

Hungary / Switzerland – November 8-11, 1978 (HC)
The Swiss Foreign Minister, Pierre Aubert, pays a visit to Hungary.

Czechoslovakia / Hungary – November 8-15, 1978 (HC)
Imre Pozsgay, the Minister of Culture, carries on with negotiations in Czechoslovakia.

Hungary / Mozambique – November 8-17, 1978 (HC)
Lajos Czinege, the Minister of Defense, visits Mozambique.

Czechoslovakia / Afghanistan – November 9, 1978 (CWIHP)
The former Ambassador the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in Prague, Babrak Karmal, seeks asylum in Czechoslovakia in order to remain abroad and continue criticizing the PDPA

East Germany / Hungary – November 9-10, 1978 (HC)
Györrgy Lázár, a member of the Political Committee of the MSZMP's Central Committee and the president of the Cabinet, takes an amicable visit to the German Democratic Republic.

Hungary – November 11-12, 1978 (HC)
The 6th congress of the Democratic Alliance of Slovaks in Hungary takes place (President: János Knyihár, Secretary General: János Such).

Hungary / Japan – November 11-14, 1978 (HC)
The Japanese Foreign Minister, Sunao Sonoda, visits Hungary.

Romania – November 13, 1978 (KCA)
Under a pressidential decree, Virgil Trofin is appointed a Deputy Premier. Trofin relinquishes his officer as Minister of Timber and Building Materials to Ludovic Fazekas.

Hungary / France – November 15-17, 1978 (HC)
The First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, János Kádár, pays a visit to France.

Soviet Union / Cuba / U.S. – November 15, 1978 (KCA)
The US State Department reveals that since July, Cuba received up to 20 MiG–23 figter–bombers from the Soviet Union, and consequently, the United States resumed air reconnaissance missions over Cuba.

Soviet Union – November 16-17, 1978 (MMS)
Meeting of Deputy Foreign Ministers takes place in Moscow.

Yugoslavia / Romania – November 16-17, 1978 (JBT)
Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu visits Yugoslavia, and meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. They discuss bilateral cooperation as well as international situation. They agree that the principles of independence, non-interference, and sovereignty are the perquisites for cooperation between parties, movements, and countries.

Czechoslovakia – November 17, 1978 (KCA)
A court in Brno passes prison sentences on Petr Cibulka, Libor Chloupek and Petr Pospíchal for distributing recordings of Charter 77’s documents.

Hungary / Yugoslavia - November 18-19, 1978 (HC)
The 8th congress of the Democratic Alliance of South Slavs in Hungary takes place (President: Márk Rusz; Secretary-General: Mihály Mándics).

Austria / Yugoslavia / Italy / West Germany – November 20, 1978 (KCA)
Representatives from nine border regions of Austria, Italy, West Germany and Yugoslavia meet in Venice. They sign a protocol founding the Alps–Adria grouping that aims at strengthening regional trade, scientific cooperation and promoting integration of various economic sectors.

Soviet Union / Ethiopia – November 20, 1978 (HC)
A Soviet–Ethiopian Treaty of Amity and Cooperation is signed in Moscow.

Yugoslavia / Bangladesh – November 20-22, 1978 (JBT)
President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman makes an official visit to Yugoslavia during which he meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito.

Warsaw Pact / Soviet Union – November 22-23, 1978 (MMS/CAC)
The Political Consultative Committee of the countries participating in the Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Co–operation and Mutual Assistance meets in Moscow. The Committee agrees to prepare a statute on command during wartime for the November 1979 meeting of the Committee of Defense Ministers. The Committee also calls for the qualitative development of forces and creation of state–of–the–art special units within each national army.

Romania/ Soviet Union – November 23, 1978 (KCA) see November 25
Romanian President Ceauşescu reveals that he has refused to agree to Soviet proposals for an increase in defence spending by individual Warsaw Treaty countries and for the integration of the countries’ national armed forces under a unified command.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – November 24, 1978 (CWIHP)
CSSR Ministry of the Interior and Soviet KGB, set their joint security strategy to manage threats to state authority during the summer of 1978 through 1980. They stress the importance of fighting Zionist and Trotskyist organizations, and make plans to cooperate in infiltrating organizations, including Jewish religious groups. KGB and Czechoslovak security officials are monitoring and infiltrating international communist groups and reactionary church groups, including some associated with the Vatican. The Soviet and Czechoslovak delegates decide to implement counter-intelligence and anti-ideological diversion measures during the 1980 Summer (Moscow) and Winter (Lake Placid) Olympic Games and international film festivals. Both parties agree to monitor extremist and terrorist groups, youth organizations in East Germany, France, England and the United States and Kurdish students studying in Europe.

Romania / Soviet Union / US – November 25, 1978 (LBC) see November 23
Romania rejects the USSR’s request to increase the military budget. According to Nicolae Ceauşescu it would be a mistake to increase military expenditures and arm intensively. According to the Romanian leader, an increase of defense spending would put a great strain on Romania


Hungary / Romania - November 25-26, 1978 (HC)
The 5th congress of the Democratic Alliance of Romanians in Hungary takes place (President: László Márk; Secretary General: Péter Szilágyi).

Soviet Union – November 27, 1978 (KCA)
At a plenary meeting of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Konstantin Chernenko is elected a full member of the Central Committee's Politburo; Nikolai Tikhonov and Edvard Shevarnadze are elected candidate members of the Politburo; and Mikhail Gorbachev becomes a Secretary of the Central Committee. Kirill Mazurob is relieved of his duties for health reasons.

Czechoslovakia– November 28, 1978 (KCA)
As spokesmen for the Charter 77 movement, Ladislav Hejdanek and Václav Havel announce that they will produce documents in order to stimulate discussion; the first two of this kind deal with the Jaslovské Bohunice question (Czechoslovakia's first nuclear reactor) and the situation of “gypsies” in the country.

Soviet Union – November 29, 1978, (KCA)
Sultan Ibraimov and Johannes Käbin are both elected Vice Chairmen of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet.

Hungary / Syria – November 29-December 2, 1978 (HC)
Hafez al–Assad, the Secretary General of the Arab Rebirth Socialist Party and the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, takes an official amicable four–days–long visit to Hungary.

West Germany– November 30, 1978 (KCA)
The Bonn Land court rejects the public prosecutor’s request to institute proceedings against Faust and Dirnhofer.

December 1978


Romania / Yugoslavia / Austria / Egypt / France / Great Britain – December, 1978 (HC)
The Egyptian Prime Minister (Khalil) visits England, Romania, Austria, Yugoslavia, and France during his European business trip.

Soviet Union – December 1, 1978, (KCA)
Mazurov retires from his post as First Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of USSR, which he held since 1995. He is relieved of his duties as member of the Politburo.

Soviet Union – December 1, 1978, (KCA)
Minister of Defense Industry Sergei Zverov dies.

Soviet Union – December 1, 1978 (KCA)
A new law on USSR citizenship is endorsed. It consolidates the priniciple of equal citizenship irrespective of the grounds on which citizenship was acquired. It also lays out that the question of granting citizenship must be resolved irrespective of the applicant's race, nationality, sex, or domicile with the provision that the applicant must show by his/her activities that he/she is ready to bear the title of Soviet citizen 'with honour' and to protect the interest and authority of the state.

Hungary – December 1-2, 1978 (HC)
The 9th Hungarian Peace congress takes place. (The chairwoman of the national Peace Council is Nándorné Sebestyén).

Bulgaria / Egypt – December 2-25, 1978 (HC)
Because of the armed attacks against the Bulgarian Embassy in Cairo, Bulgaria breaks off its diplomatic relations with Egypt.

Hungary / Ethiopia – December 3-5, 1978 (HC)
The Ethiopian Head of State and Government, Mengistu Haile Mariam, negotiates in Hungary.

East Germany / Warsaw Pact – December 4-7, 1978 (MMS/CAC)
A Warsaw Pact Committee of Defence Ministers convenes in East Berlin. The Committee concludes that NATO’s May 1978 program aims at the attainment of military superiority over the Warsaw Pact.

Hungary – December 4-9, 1978 (HC)
The Archbishop Nuncio Luigi Poggi visits Hungary.

Soviet Union / Afghanistan – December 4-7, 1978 (KCA)
The head of state of Afghanistan, President Taraki, pays an official visit to the Soviet Union. This is the first foreign visit since assuming power in April. Following two days of talks between Soviet and Afghanistan leaders the two countries sign a 20–year treaty of friendship, good–neighbourliness and co–operation, and an agreement on the establishment of a permament Soviet–Afghan intergovernmental commission of economic co–operation.

US / Soviet Union – December 4-7, 1978 (LBC)
An American business delegation of 400 members negotiates in Moscow on the future of Soviet-American trade. The delegation was led by the Secretaries of Finance and Commerce. This is the first time American Secretaries travel to Moscow since President Carter -- in protest against the measures against Soviet dissidents -- called a ban on high level bilateral talks.

Soviet Union – December 5, 1978, (?)
Tikhon Kiselev, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Belarus and member of CPSU since 1961, is elected Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of USSR as result of Mazurov’s retirement. He relinquished his post in Belarus.

Czechoslovakia – December 6, 1978 (KCA)
The appeal court in Prague upholds Jiří Chmel’s sentence of 18 month of prison.

Poland – December 7, 1978 (HDP)
According to national census there are 35 million citizens in Poland.

Soviet Union / Zaire – December 7, 1978 (KCA)
The Zaire News Agency announces that Zaire normalized its relations with the Soviet Union for the first time since the Shaba invasion of May 1978, when Zaire recalled its ambassador from Moscow and that Ivan Lavrov, Soviet ambassador in Kinshasa, was received by President Mobutu.

Yugoslavia / Ethiopia – December 7-10, 1978 (JBT)
Chairman of the Derg and Head of State of Ethiopia Mengistu Haile Mariam makes an official visit to Yugoslavia, and meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. They discuss bilateral, and international issues, including the activity of the NAM, preparations for the forthcoming summit conference of the NAM in Havana, the activity and principles of the Organization of African Unity as well as of the United Nations.


Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – December 8, 1978 (CWIHP)
The Interior Ministry of the CSSR and the Soviet KGB agree in mutual assistance in collection of intelligence information on political, economic, scientific, and technical matters and exchange information on suspicious contacts of Czechoslovak and Soviet citizens suspected to be spies or subversives.

Romania / U.S. – December 8, 1978 (KCA)
The US Treasury Secretary, W. Michael Blumenthal, pays two–day visit after his stop in Moscow. On his arrival in Bucharest, Blumenthal states that he comes at the request of President Carter to 'reaffirm to the Romanian people the importance we attach to Romania's independence and to US–Romania friendship.

US / Soviet Union - December 9, 1978 (LBC)
Vance on Soviet-American relations: “In the past year there were difficulties”; he hopes things are stabilized. “Relations are now going uphill and there may be progress”.

Romania / US – December 9, 1978 (LBC)
The Bucharest visit of the US Secretary of the Treasury. The visit was organized in great haste, and according to observers it is an American gesture for Romania's rebuff for the increase of military spending. The communiqué mentioned the improvement of Romanian-US relations and praised “Romania’s constructive role and independent policy on many international problems”.

Soviet Union/Belarus – December 11, 1978, (?)
Alexander Axinov is elected Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic in succession to Kiselev.

Soviet Union/Belarus – December 11, 1978, (KCA)
Gennady Zhabitsky succeeds Alexei Klimovskoi, Belarus's Minister of the Interior, who died in October 1978.

Hungary / Soviet Union – December 11-12, 1978 (HC)
József Marjai, the Deputy Prime Minister, visits Moscow.

Soviet Union / Iraq – December 11-17, 1978 (HC)
Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi President, visits the Soviet Union.

East Germany / Cuba / China – December 12, 1978 (CWIHP)
East German officials meets Fidel Castro and discuss China and the recent Interkit meeting, as well as the issue of Cuban exiles in the U.S.

Hungary – December 12, 1978 (HC)
The national presidium of the Association for Scientific Education is in session. (Chairman: György Ádám.)

Hungary / Belgium – December 12-13, 1978 (HC)
János Nagy, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, carries on with consultations in the Foreign Office of Belgium, where he negotiates for two days.

Hungary - December 13, 1978 (HC)
A new radioactive gold isotope is developed in the Atomic Energy Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Debrecen.

Warsaw Pact / Soviet Union – December 13-15, 1978 (MMS)
A meeting of WP Deputy Foreign Ministers takes place in Moscow.

Hungary - December 14, 1978 (HC)
An order of the Council of Ministers (1041/1978) about the increase of low sums of pension benefits is adopted (it concerns 1 300 000 pensioners).
PRC / US - December 15, 1978 (HC)
It is announced in a communiqué that China and the United States will establish diplomatic relations from January 1, 1979 onwards.

East Germany – December 15, 1978 (KCA)
Following the election to the Council of Ministers by the Volkskammer (Parliament), Werner Buschmann is appointed Minister for Light Industry by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Willi Stoph.

Soviet Union / Czechoslovakia / Afghanistan – December 15, 1978 (CWIHP)
The Soviets condemn subversive activity against the PDPA, the primary Afghan and pro-Soviet political party, which results in significant instability and political unrest in the region.

Soviet Union / Turkmenistan – December 15, 1978 (?)
Anna M. Klychev, President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Turkmenistan retires and Bally Y. Yazkuliev succeeds him.

Romania / Canada – December 16, 1978 (HOR)
A contract is signed between Romania and Canada for the construction of a nuclear power plant in Romania.

Soviet Union/Uzbekistan – December 20, 1978, (KCA)
L.B. Usmankhodzayev is elected President of the Presidium of the Uzbek Supreme Soviet as result of Nazar M. Matchanov’s retirement.

Hungary – December 20-21, 1978 (HC)
The Winter session of the Hungarian Parliament takes place. (Act number IV of 1978 about the Penal Code is adopted, which enters into force on July 1, 1979).

Soviet Union / United States – December 21-23, 1978 (HC)
The Soviet–American Ministers of Foreign Affairs discussions are held regarding the possibility to conclude SALT II.


Soviet Union / Kyrgyzstan – December 23, 1978, (KCA)
Sultan Ibraimov becomes Chairman of the Kyrghyz Council of Ministers replacing Akhmatbek Suyumbayev.

Soviet Union / US – December 23, 1978 (LBC)
SALT pact completion is delayed, but the USSR agreed not to encode the data of its missile experiments so that the US could monitor compliance with the treaty. Agreement is made on MIRVs: ICBMs would be allowed 10, SLBMs 14 warheads. The US made smaller concessions in the field of cruise missiles and a preliminary agreement was made so that the Soviet bomber “Backfire” would be exempt from SALT limitations.

Soviet Union / Ukraine – December 25, 1978, (?)
Ukrainian Minister of the Coal Industry, Orest Kolesov, is replaced as the result of his incapacity to ratify shortcomings in the coal industry.

Czechoslovakia – December 29, 1978 (KCA)
Pavel Buchler falsifies a travel document to reach Western Europe thanks to the help of Marie-Christine Hala, a French woman..

Hungary – December 29, 1978 (HC)
The Cabinet decides to install the Information Bureau for Foreign Journalists under the surveillance of the Foreign Office.

1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980


© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2016