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 1979


Czechoslovakia – 1979 (KCA)
In a New Year message Ladislav Hejdanek and Václav Havel emphasize how their community is working to restore essential civil liberties in Czechoslovakia.

Czechoslovakia – October 1978 - February 1979 (KCA)
A number of dissidents receive the opportunity to leave the country, some for a limited period and on condition that they and their families make no political statements or take part in any political activities.

Czechoslovakia – mid-1978-September 1979
The Charter 77 movement issues further statements and documents, which prove that supporters are tried for various offences. However those documents do not provide any evidence about Charter 77’s influence inside Czechoslovakia.

January 1979

UNCTAD - – January 22 – February 14, 1979 (KCA)
A delegation of 70 countries with UNCTAD auspices reveals that it is unable to conclude any agreement on a system of internationally coordinated reserves of wheat, agreements on new food aid arrangements, and on consultative measures covering coarse grain trading.

Austria/ Hungary - January 1, 1979 (KSA)
An agreement between Austria and Hungary on the mutual abolition of visa requirement comes into effect. It is an “expression of the re-establishment of friendly relations and a growing trust between the two countries”.

Soviet Union – January 1, 1979, (?)
Minister of the Building Materials Industry  Ivan Grishmanov dies.


US / USSR – January, 1979 (LBC)
The American President Carter requests Congress to raise military spending by 9.7%, from 111.9 billion dollars to 122.7 billion dollars for the 1980 financial year. Carter made the decision because of the growth of Soviet military strength.

Soviet Union – January 4 ,1979, (?)
Minister of Land Reclamation Yevgeny Alexeyev dies.

Libya / Malta / Hungary - January 6-11, 1979 (HC)
Foreign Minister Frigyes Puja pays a visit to Libya and Malta.
Czechoslovakia – January 10, 1979 (KCA)
A court at Hradec Králové imposes a prison sentence of 14 years on Rostislav Foltin and his colleagues for planning to blow up "works of national interest" unless they were provided with a helicopter to enable them to leave the country.

Soviet Union/Kazakhstan – January 10, 1979, (?)
Isatai Abdukarimov is elected President of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of Kazakhstan in succession to Sabir Nyazbekov who retired.

Soviet Union/Kyrgyzstan – January 11, 1979, (?)
Arstanbek Duysheyev is elected President of the Presidium of the Kyrghyz Supreme Soviet in succession to Sultan Ibraimov, who assumed the post in August 1978 after the retirement of Turabay Kulatov.

Yugoslavia / Italy – January 11-13, 1979 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives Italian Foreign Minister Arnaldo Forlani.

FRG / Hungary - January 13-21, 1979 (HC)
A series of programs under the name Hungary ’79 takes place in Munich.
Iran - January 16, 1979 (HC)
The Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi is overthrown ( May 19-22, 1978)
West-Germany/Yugoslavia – January 19, 1979 (KCA)
Milićević, the former president of the “United Croatians of Europe” is convicted by a Frankfurt court in importing a weapon of war into West Germany. He was sentenced a six-month suspended prison and fined DM 1,200.

Soviet Union / Hungary / Czechoslovakia / Bulgaria / Poland / GDR - January 20, 1979 (HC)
A Hungarian-Soviet agreement on the shipment of apparatus of the Paks nuclear power station is signed. ( November 3, 1983).
The unified Czechoslovak, Bulgarian, Polish, GDR, and Hungarian energy system is joined with the unified energy system of the Soviet Union. (It is the biggest unified energy system of the world at this time.)
Argentina/ Australia / Brazil / Canada/ Egypt/ the EEC/ Finland/ India/ Japan/ Kenya / the Soviet Union/ USA – January 22, 1979 (KCA)
A new session of United Nations Conference takes place after another interim committee in December. Afterwards no other date is fixed for the resumption of negotiations, but the previous agreement receives a further extension until June 30 1981.

Hungary - January 22-25, 1979 (HC)
The International Secretariat of the Christian Peace Conference holds a conference in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Non-Aligned Movement – January 23-25, 1979 (HN)
The first meeting of the Research and Information System of the Non-Aligned Countries takes place in Belgrade. It is designed as a system of scientific and research institutions of the non-aligned countries aimed at producing analytical and informative materials for the NAM and other developing countries in order to better prepare them for the forthcoming international activities.
Soviet Union – January 24, 1979 (KCA)
The Authority announces Ivan Grishmanov’s death and elects Alexei Yashin as new Minister of the Building Materials Industry.

Czechoslovakia – January 27, 1979 (KCA)
Ondřej Stavinoha, František Polák and Jaroslav Tysl are charged with nine years hard labor and seven years of prison for blowing up a statue of the Klement Gottwald at Příbram.

Soviet Union – January 29, 1979 (?)
Pavel Finogenov succeeds Sergei Zverov as the Minister of Defense Industry.

February 1979

Yugoslavia / Kuwait – February 1-4, 1979 (AY, JBT)
Yugoslav delegation led by President Josip Broz Tito visits Kuwait. Main topics in talks with Sheikh Saad Al-Salim Al-Sabah include bilateral economic cooperation, situation in Europe, in the Middle East, and policy of non-alignment.

Yugoslavia / Iraq – February 4-8, 1979 (AY, JBT)
Josip Broz Tito visits Iraq where he meets with President of Iraq Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr, Vice President of the Revolutionary Command Council of Iraq Saddam Hussein, Vice President of Iraq Taha Muhie-eldin Marouf, among others. They mainly discuss the policy of non-alignment, and various international issues.

Hungary / US - February 6-8, 1979 (HC)
An international conference about the foreign policy of the United States takes place in Budapest with the participation of the delegates of 8 socialist countries.
Czechoslovakia – February 8, 1979 (KCA)
Charter 77 announces their new leadership consisting of Václav Benda, Zdena Tominová, and Jiří Dienstbier.

Yugoslavia / Syria – February 8-11, 1979 (AY, JBT)
Yugoslav delegation led by President Josip Broz Tito visits Syria. Main topics in talks with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad are concerning Yugoslav-Syrian economic cooperation, and the Middle East crisis. During his stay in Syria President Josip Broz Tito receives the PLO leader Yasser Arafat on February 9th 1979. 


Yugoslavia – February 10, 1979 (KCA)
Edvard Kardelj the member of the collective Presidency of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and of the Presidency of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Yugoslavia dies in Ljubljana. His successor is Sergei Krajger, President of the Federative Republic of Slovenia and earlier a member of the larger SFRY collective Presidency from 1971 to 1976.

Yugoslavia / Jordan – February 11-12, 1979 (AY, JBT)
Yugoslav delegation led by President Josip Broz Tito visits Jordan. Main topics in talks with King Hussein include the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the policy of non-alignment.

Iran / Hungary - February 13, 1979 (HC)
Hungary recognizes the Interim Government of Iran ( January 16).
Soviet Union – February 14, 1979, (?)
Vladimir Kamentsev is promoted as Minister of Fisheries in succession to Alexander Ishkov, who retired.

Soviet Union – February 14, 1979, (?)
Veteran leader of CPSU and member of the Central Committee from 1923 to 1976, Anastas Mikoyan dies.

Yugoslavia / U.S. – February 14, 1979 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives American politician Averell Harriman, who visits Yugoslavia as President Karter’s personal deputy at Edvard Kardelj’s funeral.

Hungary - February 15-17, 1979 (HC)
An international conference on Gypsy Studies takes place in Pécs.
Czechoslovakia / North Korea – February 17, 1979 (CWIHP)
The DPRK asks Czechoslovakia to construct a nuclear power plant and uranium-mining equipment.

PRC / Vietnam - February 17, 1979 (HC)
China starts a war against Vietnam at the full length of the joint border.
Hungary / PRC / Vietnam - February 19, 1979 (HC)
The Hungarian People’s Republic releases a condemning statement about the Chinese aggression against Vietnam.
Hungary / USA - February 26. – March 3, 1979 (HC)
An American cultural delegation negotiates in Budapest.

March 1979
Romania – March 1979 (CEC)
The Free Trade Union of the Working People of Romania is established, led by Vasile Paraschiv, Alexandru Nagy, Ionel Cană, Nicolae Dascălul, and Gheorghe Brașoveanu, which functions until 1981, and has a membership of 2,400 people.

US / USSR – March 1, 1979 (LBC)
2400 American scientists decide to break their relations with their Soviet colleagues. This is their way of protesting against the imprisonment of the physicist Yuri Orlov and Anatoly Sharansky.

Soviet Union / Hungary - March 4-8, 1979 (HC)
First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár travels to the Soviet Union.
US / USSR – March 6, 1979 (LBC)
According to the data of the US embassy in Moscow, Soviet-American trade reached $2.8 billion in 1978. This is the highest value ever. The US trade balance showed a surplus of $1.72 billion with the USSR. – The US delivered $1.7 billion worth of grain and $562.5 million worth of industrial goods to the other superpower. The US imported $540 million worth of commodities, half of which was gold. – According to the report of the UN Economic Committee the Soviet Union and the East European countries owe $47 billion to the West. According to a West German report this may reach $57 billion.
Yugoslavia / North Korea – March 6-10, 1979 (JBT)
North Korean Foreign Minister Ho Dam visits Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito on March 9th.
Hungary / US - March 8-9, 1979 (HC)
The Hungarian-American intergovernmental joint committee of economy-y and trade holds its first session in Budapest.
Romania / France – March 8-10, 1979 (PER)
The French President, Giscard d’Estaing, and his wife, Anne Aymone Giscard d’Estaing visits Romania. They sign an aeronautic, electronic, and an automobile industry collaboration pact.

Hungary - March 12, 1979 (HC)
First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár receives Archbishop of Esztergom and President of the Hungarian Catholic Episcopal Department, Cardinal László Lékai.
Hungary / Vatican - March 15-22, 1979 (HC)
Archbishop and Papal Nuncio Luigi Poggi is in Hungary.
Yugoslavia / Greece – March 16-17, 1979 (JBT)
Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis visits Yugoslavia. During the stay he is received by President Josip Broz Tito on March 17th.
Kuwait / Hungary - March 17-19, 1979 (HC)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers György Lázár pays a visit to Kuwait.
Romania / Greece – March 18-20, 1979 (PER)
The Greek Prime Minister, Konstantinos Karamanlis, visits Romania.

Yugoslavia – March 20, 1979 (KCA)
Vidoje Žarković – member for Montenegro of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the LCY -- is re-elected for a second five year term as the SFRY Presidency member.

Romania / Portugal – March 21-23, 1979 (PER)
The President of Portugal, Antonio Ramalho Eanes, and his wife, Maria Manuela Ramalho Eanes, visit Romania. They sign a transportation agreement.

Czechoslovakia – March 22, 1979 (KCA)
Josef Danisz, Jaroslav Sabata’s defence counsel, is expelled from the National Lawyers’ Association.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – March 22, 1979 (CWIHP)
The Interior Ministries of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic and the Soviet Union agree to cooperate in the exchange of Interior Ministry officials and university students, in the field of academia, law, politics, criminal investigation, fire-fighting, engineering, science, and public safety. The agreement also promotes the exchange of documents relating to criminology, public safety, the Soviet military, and information on thefts of shipments, detection, and prevention of anti-state activity in border regions.

Yugoslavia / Sao Tome and Principe – March 23-25, 1979 (JBT)
Prime Minister of Sao Tome and Principe Miguel Trovoada makes an official visit to Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito.


Hungary / Portugal - March 23-26, 1979 (HC)
Portuguese president António Santos Ramalho Eanes is staying in Hungary.
Italy / Hungary - March 27, 1979 (HC)
The reconstructed Hungarian Academy is opened in Rome.
Yugoslavia– March 27, 1979 (KCA)
The Federal Chamber of the SFRY Assembly decides to extend the limits of Yugoslavia’s territorial water from 10 to 12 nautical miles.

Hungary - March 28, 1979 (HC)
The Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party is in session. Organizational and personal questions are on the agenda.
Hungary - March 30, 1979 (HC)
Péter Veress is appointed as Minister of Foreign Trade.
The Factory PVC-III of the Chemical Combine of Borsod is opened. (The biggest investment of the country in chemical industry comes to an end by this.)

April 1979

Soviet Union / Hungary / Vatican / Italy - April 5-6, 1979 (HC)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers György Lázár travels to Moscow.
Pope John Paul II appoints Roman Catholic high priests. Among them, he appoints László Paskai as Archbishop of Veszprém.
The reconstructed Papal Hungarian Institute, which is in the building of the Hungarian Academy in Rome, is opened.
Hungary / Vatican - April 6, 1979 (HC)
Pope John Paul II receives the Archbishop of Esztergom and the President of the Hungarian Catholic Episcopal Department, Cardinal László Lékai.
Yugoslavia / Spain – April 12 (JBT)
General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party Santiago Carrillo is received by Josip Broz Tito during his visit to Yugoslavia.

Soviet Union  – April 13, 1979, (KCA)
Vasilyev, who was the First Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic since 1971, is appointed USSR Minister of Land Reclamation and Water Conservancy.

Yugoslavia – April 15, 1979 (JBT)
A devastating earthquake occurs in Montenegro, Yugoslavia.

Hungary / US - April 16-18, 1979 (HC)
A parliamentary delegation from the United States led by the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Thomas P. O’Neill, is in Hungary.
Croatia – April 17, 1979 (KCA)
Vladimir Bakarić is elected as SFRY Presedency member from Croatia.

Macedonia – April 17, 1979 (KCA)
Lazar Koliševski is elected as SFRY presidency member from Macedonia.

Soviet Union – April 17-18, 1979
Yakov Ryabov is relieved of his post as a result of his promotion to Deputy Chairman of the USSR State Planning Committee (Gosplan) during the Central Committee meeting of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Yugoslavia / Algeria – April 17, 1979 (JBT)
Algerian Foreign Minister Mohammed Sadik Ben Yahia visits Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito.

Soviet Union – April 19, 1979, (?)
Vladimir Khatuntsev dies. He was the Director-General of TASS since July 1978.

Soviet Union / GDR / NATO – April 23, 1979 (LBC)
The Soviet Union deploys new tactical missiles on the territory of the GDR. – April 25. NATO ministers of defense claim that its short and medium range missiles in Europe ought to be modernized, since there is no nuclear missile in Western Europe that is capable of reaching the Soviet Union
Czechoslovakia / Hungary - April 23-25, 1979 (HC)
Foreign Minister Frigyes Puja pays a visit to Czechoslovakia.
Hungary - April 25-27, 1979 (HC)
The representatives of 39 communist and workers’ parties hold a theoretical conference in Hungary about the relationship between democracy and revolution.
Romania / Hungary - April 26-27, 1979 (HC)
Foreign Minister Frigyes Puja travels to Romania.
US / USSR – April 27, 1979 (LBC)
The US exchanges two imprisoned Soviet spies for five incarcerated Soviet dissidents. They include Alexander Ginzburg.
Thailand / Indonesia / Hungary - April 29. – May 9, 1979 (HC)
Frigyes Puja negotiates in Thailand and Indonesia.
Hungary / US – April 30, 1979 (LBC)
It is reported that Hungary wants to borrow $300 million from American banks. This would be the first time since WWII that Hungary entered the American capital market.

May 1979

Hungary / US - May 2-5, 1979 (HC) A Hungarian-American historians’ conference takes place in Budapest.
UK - May 3, 1979 (HC)
The Conservatives, led by Margaret Thatcher, win the general election in Great Britain.
Hungary / Bulgaria - May 7-8, 1979 (HC)
Bulgarian Chairman of the Council of Ministers Stanko Todorov negotiates in Budapest.
Soviet Union / US – May 9, 1979 (LBC)
The draft of the SALT II treaty is ready. The treaty is comprised of two parts: an agreement valid till 1985 and a protocol that is in force till 1981. The parties may retain 2400 delivery vehicles each (ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers). By 1981 this figure must be reduced to 2250. Each side may keep 1320 MIRVs and strategic bombers carrying 600 km range cruise missiles. Plus the signatories are allowed a maximum of 1200 multiple warhead vehicles. ICBMs may carry 10, the SLBMs are allowed 14 warheads at maximum. The strategic bombers are allowed an average of 28 cruise missiles each. Both sides may develop one new missile. According to the three year protocol, mobile ICBMs cannot be deployed.
Hungary - May 9-11, 1979 (HC)
The 139th General Assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences takes place. A new constitution is adopted.
United States / Argentina / Australia / Canada– May 11, 1979 (KCA)
Representatives from US, Argentina, Australia, and Canada meet in Saskatoon and agree to hold regular consultation on wheat production and marketing policy.

Yugoslavia / Romania – May 11, 1979 (JBT)
Romanian politician Gheorghe Radulescu visits Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito.

Yugoslavia – May 12, 1979 (HR)
At the Meeting of the Presidency of the SFRY it  is decided that the President and the Vice-President be elected annually, every May 15th. The nine members of this body (8 representatives of the republics and autonomous provinces and the president of the Presidency of the LCY) are the only ones eligible to hold these positions.

Hungary - May 14-15, 1979 (HC)
The Foreign Ministers of the member states of the Warsaw Treaty hold a session in Hungary. (Hungary is represented by foreign minister Frigyes Puja.)
Hungary - May 16-19, 1979 (HC)
The member states of the Warsaw Treaty perform joint army exercise under the name Pajzs ’79 [Shield ‘79] on Hungarian territory in the presence of the Ministers of Defense.
Yugoslavia / Soviet Union – May 16-21 1979 (AY, JBT)
Yugoslav delegation led by Josip Broz Tito visits the USSR. Main topic of discussions between Josip Broz Tito and Leonid Brezhnev is the forthcoming Summit Conference of NAM in Havana. President Tito outlines the policy he would advocate in Havana, thus emphasizing the difference between his and Fidel Castro’s political concept (which is supported by Moscow). Furthermore, they discuss other international issues, including the foreign policy of China, Bulgarian stance towards Yugoslavia, conflicts in Africa – Somalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda – and Asia – Kampuchea and Vietnam – in the Middle East, and Mediterranean.
Czechoslovakia– May 23, 1979 (KCA)
Robert Bareš and his brother Václav tries to seize a bus with 39 school children in attempt to flee to West Germany. The attempt leads to the death of two people.

Austria / Hungary / UK - May 28-29, 1979 (HC)
Chairman of the Presidential Council Pál Losonczi pays a visit to Austria.
The head of the Anglican Church and Archbishop of Canterbury, Donald Coggan, is in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Algeria – May 28-31 1979 (AY, JBT)
President of Yugoslavia visits Algeria, and meets with Algerian President Chadli Bendjedid, with whom he discusses various international issues. On May 31st Josip Broz Tito gives a speech in the Algerian National Assembly. During this stay, Josip Broz Tito meets with the SWAPO leader Sam Nujoma.
Czechoslovakia – May 29, 1979 (KCA)
A number of Charter 77 supporters are arrested and 10 of them are charged with an offence against the state.

Czechoslovakia– May 29, 1979 (KCA)
Jaroslav Havelka tries to divert an airliner to Nuremberg, West Germany.

Czechoslovakia – May 30, 1979 (KCA)
Charter 77 publishes a document in regards to the low standard of living in Czechoslovakia and the relation between the cost of living and working wages.

Czechoslovakia– May 30, 1979 (KCA)
As a result celebrating mass without official approval, Vojtěch Srna and his assistant, Miroslav Sváček, are sentenced to prison.

Hungary / Soviet Union - May 30. – June 1, 1979 (HC)
A Soviet party and governmental delegation led by General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Leonid Brezhnev comes to Hungary.
Yugoslavia / Libya – May 31-April 3, 1979 (AY, JBT)
Josip Broz Tito visits Libya, and meets with Muammar Gaddafi.

June 1979

Czechoslovakia– Mid-June 1979 (KCA)
Charter 77 publishes a document in relation to the “massive purges” of officials and employees between 1970 and 1971 as a reason for Czechoslovakia's low productivity, despite the country's relatively advanced industrial base.

Hungary - June 1, 1979 (HC)
There is an explosion in the Chemical Works of Northern Hungary (13 victims).
Yugoslavia / Malta, June 1-6, 1979 (AY, JBT)
Josip Broz Tito visits Malta, and meets with President Anton Buttigieg.

Poland - June 2 – 10, 1979 (HDP)
Pope John Paul II visits Poland for the first time.

Czechoslovakia– June 4, 1979 (KCA)
The Office of the General Prosecutor and the Federal Ministry of the Interior announce the legal proceedings against those who have been captured on May 29.

Hungary - June 5, 1979 (HC)
The Hungarian government releases a standpoint on a comprehensive disarmament program.
East Germany / West Germany / Nato / Soviet Union – June 6, 1979 (CWIHP).
East Germany drafts a simulation of Warsaw Pact’s response to a hypothetical NATO conventional attack on the GDR and the Baltic region; it provides specific naval manoeuvres and objectives to be achieved during the war.

Hungary - June 7, 1979 (HC)
The periodical Heti Világgazdaság [World Economics Weekly] begins circulation..
US / Soviet Union – June 8, 1979 (LBC)
Carter permits the development of MX type mobile ICBMs. The weapon system is comprised of 200 missiles, each would have 10 warheads of 335 kilotons. The missiles would be kept constantly in motion on a track system and a series of hard launch sites would be built for them. According to military leaders, the new mobile system increases security if the USSR has something similar. Since the strike force is hard to eliminate because of the hard launch sites and the mobility, a credible counterforce capability would remain after the first strike. Hence the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) is observed, thereby increasing security.
Yugoslavia – June 8, 1979 (JBT)                
President Josip Broz Tito receives Director-General of the WHO Halfdan Mahler.
Hungary / Sweden - June 11-14, 1979 (HC)
Swedish Foreign Minister, Hans Martin Blix, is in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Czechoslovakia – June 14, 1979 (JBT)
Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia.


Soviet Union / USA / Austria - June 15, 1979 (HC) see June 18
American President J. Carter and Soviet head of state L. I. Brezhnev sign the SALT II agreement in Vienna.
USA / Hungary - June 15, 1979 (HC)
An agreement about the establishment of a Department of Hungarian Studies at Indiana University (Bloomington) is signed.
Czechoslovakia – June 15, 1979 (KCA)
Jiří Hájek and Ladislav Hejdanek sign a letter of assistance for Amadou Mahtar M’Bow, Director General of UNESCO, describing the attack on Zdena Tominová.

US / Soviet Union / Austria – June 18, 1979 (LBC)
In Vienna President Carter and the First Secretary of the CPSU, Brezhnev sign the SALT II treaty. Brezhnev’s comment: “By signing we protect the holiest right of each person: the right to live”. The sharpest critique comes from Senator Jackson, who compared it to the appeasement of the 1930s. NATO’s Commander-in-Chief, Alexander Haig recommends that signing should be postponed and the “mistakes” corrected. Haig thinks that the treaty will lead to Soviet superiority if the US fails to improve military readiness. A similar view is put forward by Chairman David Jones.
Bulgaria / Hungary - June 18-20, 1979 (HC)
A party and government delegation led by First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár pays a visit to Bulgaria.
Yugoslavia / India – June 20, 1979 (JBT)
Indian Prime Minister Moraji Desai makes an official visit to India during which he meets with President Josip Broz Tito on June 20th. Main topic in discussions is the forthcoming Summit Conference of NAM.
Romania / Cyprus – June 23-26, 1979 (PER)
The President of Cyprus, Spyros Kyprianos, visits Romania.
Yugoslavia / Portugal – June 25-27, 1979 (JBT)
President of Portugal Antonio Ramalho Enes visits Yugoslavia. This is the fifth Yugoslav-Portuguese meeting on the highest level since the Carnation Revolution (1974).

Hungary / Romania - June 25-28, 1979 (HC)
The Hungarian-Romanian historians’ joint committee holds a session.
Yugoslavia / Colombia – June 28-29, 1979 (JBT)
President of Colombia Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala makes an official visit to Yugoslavia. Main topic in the discussions between Colombian and Yugoslav president is the policy of non-alignment.
Czechoslovakia– June 30, 1979 (KCA)
Josef Danisz’s expulsion from the National Lawyers’ Association is complete.

July 1979
Yugoslavia – July, 1979 (JBT)
Josip Broz Tito receives the World Bank President Robert McNamara.
Argentina / Australia / Austria / Bulgaria / Canada / Czechoslovakia / Finland / Hungary / Japan / New Zealand / Norway / Sweden / Switzerland / US  – July 1, 1979.
Agreements in relation to the the legal ability to bind the tariff reductions negotiated within the framework of the Tokyo Round are incorporated into a GATT protocol which might be accepted under signature up to June 30, 1980.

Hungary - July 1, 1979 (HC)
The new Penal Code enters into force. (December 20-21, 1978)
Yugoslavia / Cuba – July 4, 1979 (JBT)
Politburo member and Vice President of Cuba Carlos Rafael Rodriguez visits Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito on July 4th to discuss the forthcoming summit conference in Havana.
Hungary / UN - July 5-9, 1979 (HC)
Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kurt Waldheim, pays a visit to Hungary.
Czechoslovakia – July 7, 1979, KCA
Three Czechoslovak citizens are imprisoned as a result of the attempt to take an airliner to West Germany.

Czechoslovakia – July 8, 1979 (KCA)
An open letter with 231 Charter 77 signatories directed to President Husák demands the release of the accused and denounces the physical attack on Zdena Tominová on June 5.

Romania / U.N. – July 9-11, 1979 (PER)
The United Nations Secretary General, Kurt Waldheim, visits Romania.

Yugoslavia / West Germany – July 10-13, 1979 (JBT)
President of the Social-democratic Party of West Germany Willy Brandt visits Yugoslavia, and meets with President Josip Broz Tito on July 11th. They discuss various international issues.

Argentina / Australia / Austria / Bulgaria / Canada / Czechoslovakia / Finland / Hungary / Japan / New Zealand / Norway / Sweden / Switzerland / US / Jamaica / Romania / South Africa / Spain / Yugoslavia– July 11, 1979. (KCA)
Concessions within the GATT protocol are established not only by the signature countries but also by Jamaica, Romania, South Africa, Spain and Yugoslavia.

United States – July 11, 1979 (KCA)
The GATT is approved by the House of Representatives, 395 votes to 7.

Hungary / Romania - July 13, 1979 (HC)
Hungary and Romania sign an agreement about the exclusion of double citizenship:  One cannot be a Hungarian and Romanian citizen at the same time. ( February 10, 1990)
Hungary / Romania - July 16-17, 1979 (HC)
Romanian Chairman of the Council of Ministers Ilie Verdeţ negotiates in Budapest.
Hungary / Belgium - July 18-19, 1979 (HC)
Belgian Foreign Minister Henri Simonet stays in Hungary.
Czechoslovakia– July 19, 1979 (KCA)
As a result of an attempt to distribute unauthorized literature, Jan Zmatlik is charged with three and half years in prison for “anti-state activities”.

Yugoslavia / PLO – July 19, 1979 (JBT)
Head of the Palestine National Council Khaled Fahoum meets with Josip Broz Tito in Yugoslavia. He conveys a personal message of the PLO leader Yasser Arafat.

Hungary - July 22, 1979 (HC)
A Council of Ministers communiqué is released about the increase of consumer prices and income supplements. The price of food-products increased by 20% on average, price levels increased by 9%.
US, July 23, 1979 (KCA)
The GATT is approved by by the Senate, 90 votes to 4.
Yugoslavia / Guinea – July 23-25, 1979 (JBT)
Guinean President Ahmed Sekou Toure visits Yugoslavia, and meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito. Main topic in discussions is the forthcoming Summit Conference in Havana.

US, July 26, 1979 (KCA)
President Carter signs the GATT agreement.

Hungary - July 26, 1979 (HC)
A workers’ assembly takes place in Tatabánya. Secretary of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party Ferenc Havasi gives a presentation on saving, effective work, and the right program of the party.
Hungary - July 27, 1979 (HC)
A National Lutheran Museum is opened in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Seychelles – July 27-28, 1979 (JBT)
President of Seychelles France-Albert Rene visits Yugoslavia, and meets with Josip Broz Tito. The main topic of these conversations is the policy of non-alignment.
Czechoslovakia – July 28, 1979 (KCA)
A Prague court sentences six persons for planning to divert another airliner to West Germany.

Hungary - July 28, 1979 (HC)
A two-week European Children’s Meeting takes place in Hungary. 1200 participate from 34 countries.
Hungary / FRG - July 30, 1979 (HC)
Bavarian Prime Minister Franz Joseph Strauss comes to Hungary for a few days for an informal visit.

August 1979

Czechoslovakia – August 1979 (KCA)
In addition to the previous sentence Ivan  Maňásek is sentenced 18 months in prison and Michal Kobal to one year, due to the distribution of Charter 77’s documents regarding the persecution of pop musicians.

Romania / Soviet Union – August 1, 1979 (PER)
Ceauşescu holds discussions with Brezhnev in the Crimea.

Hungary - August 1, 1979 (HC)
Secretary of the Central Committee of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party Miklós Óvári gives a presentation on an intellectual action committee meeting. The standard of living has to be adjusted to the potentials of the people’s economy.
Czechoslovakia – August 7, 1979 (KCA)
Three US citizens: Albion Buckingham, Leonore Hunt, and Michael Berks are expelled to Austria after being arrested on July 3, having secretly imported bibles and religious literature and are  charged with currency offences.

Hungary - August 8, 1979 (HC)
Secretary-General of the National Council of Trade Unions Sándor Gáspár is at a workers’ assembly in Újpest.
Yugoslavia / Guinea Bissau – August 8-20, 1979 (JBT)
President of Guinea Bissau Luis Cabral visits Yugoslavia. He meets with President Josip Broz Tito on August 13th to discuss both bilateral and international issues.

Yugoslavia / Spain – August 10, 1979 (JBT)
President Josip Broz Tito meets with General Secretary of the Spanish Communist Party Santiago Carrillo during his summer holidays in Yugoslavia.
Czechoslovakia – August 11, 1979 (KCA)
After a lecture to a group of dissident students at the unofficial Jan Patočka “Alternative University,” Thorolf Rafto is expelled from the country.

Hungary - August 13, 1979 (HC)
Chairman of the Presidential Council Pál Losonczi speaks at a general assembly in Békéscsaba. Production procedures and methods have to be revised.
Romania / Syria – August 13-17, 1979 (PER)
The Ceauşescu couple visits Syria.

Czechoslovakia– August 16, 1979 (KCA)
A court in Brno sentences Jaroslav Havelka to 13 years in prison for trying to divert an airliner to Nuremberg, West Germany on May 29, 1979.

Romania – August 16-17, 1979 (PER)
Nations from the Group of 77 meet in Bucharest.

Yugoslavia / Zambia – August 17, 1979 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito receives the First Lady of Zambia Mrs. Betty Kaunda, who conveys a personal message of her spouse, the Zambian President Kenneth Kaunda, regarding the forthcoming Summit Conference of the NAM, and the results of the Commonwealth Summit held in Lusaka.


Hungary / GDR - August 23-24, 1979 (HC)
Foreign Minister of the German Democratic Republic Oskar Fischer negotiates in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Zimbabwe – August 27, 1979 (JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives the leader of the Zimbabwe National African Union – Patriotic Front Robert Mugabe. 
Yugoslavia / Non-Aligned Movement, August 29-September 9, 1979 (HN)
The Sixth Summit Conference of Non-Aligned Countries takes place in Havana, Cuba. A resolution is accepted regarding the support to national sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and struggle against imperialism, colonialism, apartheid, and racism (Zionism included). Josip Broz Tito in his speech advocates the return to the basic principles of non-alignment, and against a new radical course proposed by Fidel Castro, who sought to bring the NAM closer to the Eastern Bloc. A special resolution in honor of Josip Broz Tito is passed for his continuous work on promoting the principles of non-alignment.
Czechoslovakia– August 31, 1979 (KCA)
Pavel Büchler is sentenced to 12 months in prison for the falsification of traveling documents and attempting to reach Western Europe.

September 1979

Czechoslovakia– September 1979 (KCA)
Václav Havel refuses to leave to the United States due to his will not to leave while judicial proceedings are continued against those arrested with him.

Hungary / FRG - September 4-6, 1979 (HC)
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Helmut Schmidt pays a visit to Hungary.
Hungary - September 7, 1979 (HC)
The Tisza thermal power station is opened in Leninváros [Lenintown] (today’s Tiszaújváros).
Hungary - September 11-14, 1979 (HC)
The representatives of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Council of American Societies of Humanities hold their first session in Budapest.
Hungary / Austria - September 15, 1979 (HC)
A new 10-year Hungarian-Austrian economic agreement is signed in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Algeria – September 16, 1979 (JBT)
Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito meets with President of the People’s National Assembly Rabah Bitat in Split (Croatia).
Hungary - September 20-26, 1979 (HC)
A Sándor Kőrösi-Csoma memorial meeting and an International Tibet Studies Symposium take place in Csopak.
Hungary - September 25, 1979 (HC)
First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár delivers a speech at a communist action committee meeting. (Topic: better work, saving, the improvement of the balance of payments.)

Czechoslovakia– September 28, 1979 (KCA)
Three West Germans are sentenced to prison for helping East Germans and Hungarians to travel illegally from Czechoslovakia to the West.

October 1979
Yugoslavia – October, 1979 (JBT)
Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group takes place in Belgrade.
US / USSR – October 3, 1979 (LBC)
The US Department of Agriculture approves the sale of 25 million tons of maize to the USSR. This is the most wheat the Soviets have ever bought from the US.

GDR / Soviet Union / US – October 5, 1979 (LBC)
Brezhnev announces that in order to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the GDR he is pulling out twenty thousand Soviet soldiers and one thousand tanks from the GDR. According to Western estimates there are seven thousand tanks and three hundred and eighty three thousand Soviet soldiers on East German territory. Brezhnev announced: the USSR will reduce its intermediate range nuclear missiles if no more comparable weapons are deployed in Western Europe. He promised that Moscow will not use atomic weapons against a country where no such weapon is produced or deployed. According to the First Secretary if the Americans were to deploy new rockets in Europe the strategic balance would be upset. – Carter turns down Brezhnev’s proposal and points out that the Soviets changed their SS-4 and SS-5 missiles to new SS-20 type intermediate range rockets. There are three warheads on each missile while the older ones only had one. The new missiles are more accurate and can be fired from mobile launchers, the President says.

GDR / Hungary - October 5-7, 1979 (HC)
A party and government delegation led by First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party János Kádár travels to Berlin to the celebrations organized on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the German Democratic Republic.
Hungary / Greece - October 5-8, 1979 (HC)
Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis pays a visit to Hungary.
Romania / New Zealand – October 6-10, 1979 (PER)
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Robert David Muldoon, visits Romania.

Soviet Union / Hungary - October 6-17, 1979 (HC)
A church delegation led by archbishop of Esztergom and Cardinal Lászó Lékai stays in the Soviet Union.
Romania / Japan – October 7-10, 1979 (PER)
The Prince of Japan, and heir to the throne, Akihito, and his wife, Princess Michiko, visit Romania.
Hungary / Czechoslovakia - October 11, 1979 (HC)
An agreement about the cooperation between the government representatives of the Gabčíkovo – Nagymaros Dams is signed. ( July 11-12, 1977; September 14-16, 1977)
Yugoslavia / Italy, October 11, 1979 (JBT)
President of Italy Sandro Pertini meets with Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito in Belgrade. They discuss various international and bilateralissues.
Romania / Federal Republic of Germany – October 11-12, 1979 (PER)
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Hans Dietrich Genscher, visits Romania.

Yugoslavia/U.S. – October 14, 1979, JBT
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito receives American professor and diplomat Henry Kissinger. They discuss various international issues, with emphasis on the policy of non-alignment.

Portugal / Hungary - October 15-17, 1979 (HC)
Foreign Minister Frigyes Puja pays a visit to Portugal.
Hungary / The Netherlands - October 25-27, 1979 (HC)
Dutch Foreign Minister Chris Van der Klaauw is in Hungary.
Hungary / Luxembourg - October 30. – November 4, 1979 (HC)
Luxembourgish Foreign Minister Gaston Thorn negotiates in Budapest.
Hungary - October, 1979 (HC)
A petition action takes place in defense of those members of the “Charta ‘77” movement taken to court.

November 1979
Czechoslovakia– November 1979 (KCA)
The governing body of international labor organization (ILO) decides to publish a dossier in relation to governmental discrimination against the Charter 77 as a result of a previous issue raised in January 1977 by ICFTU.

Yugoslavia / Romania – November 2-4, 1979 (AY, JBT)
President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito visits Romania, and meets with Nicolae Ceausescu, and other high representatives of Romania. Main topics in discussions include Yugoslav-Romanian economic cooperation, and international issues, such as security and cooperation in Europe.

Yugoslavia / China – November 8, 1979 (JBT)
Foreign Minister of China Huang Hua visits Yugoslavia and meets with President Josip Broz Tito.

Romania / France – November 8-9, 1979 (PER)
The Prime Secretary of the French Socialist Party, François Mitterand, visits Romania.

Hungary - November 9, 1979 (HC)
The Central-European International Bank Ltd. is established in Budapest.
USA / Hungary - November 13, 1979 (HC)
Archbishop of Esztergom Cardinal László Lékai receives the Man of Conscience prize of 1979. (It is the award given by the churches of the United States.)
Romania – November 19-23, 1979 (CEC / ADC)
At the XII. Congress of the RCP, Constantin Pârvulescu (Communist politician) takes the floor advocating against the re-election of Ceauşescu to the party leadership, accusing him of putting personal interests ahead of those of party and nation. He also accuses the congress of neglecting the country's real problems, being preoccupied in glorifying Ceauşescu.
Yugoslavia / Non-Aligned Movement – November 19-24, 1979 (HN)
The fourth meeting of the Coordinating Committee of the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool takes place in Belgrade (November 19-20) in order to prepare the forthcoming Second Conference of the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool (Belgrade, November 22-24). At the conference it is stated that it is crucial to foster cooperation with the UN, and UNESCO in particular. The Coordinating Committee of the NANAP is broadened by accepting 10 more members, bringing the total number of participants to 25.

France / Hungary - November 20-22, 1979 (HC)
Chairman of the Council of Ministers György Lázár pays a visit to France.
Hungary - November 20, 1979 (HC)
The Hajdúság Sugar Factory is opened in Kaba.
Spain / Hungary - November 27, 1979 (HC)
The first Hungarian-Spanish cultural, scientific, and technological agreements are signed in Madrid.
Yugoslavia – November 27, 1979 (JBT)
President Josip Broz Tito writes a message to the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People regarding the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Hungary - November 30, 1979 (HC)
The Presidential Council of the People’s Republic is in session. Law decree no. 29 of 1979 about the amendment to the Work Code is adopted. (It enters into force on January 1, 1980)

December 1979

Czechoslovakia– December 1, 1979 (KCA)
The Supreme Court in Prague upholds Robert Bareš’ death sentence and his brother, Václav’s sentence of 25 years for seizing a bus with 39 school children in attempt to flee to West Germany.

Czechoslovakia / Soviet Union – December 5, 1979 (CWIHP)
Czechoslovak and Soviet Interior Ministries agree on the editing and publication for the instructional material "Socialist Pedagogy," which is to be taught to pupils of the Czechoslovak College of National Security.

Hungary - December 5, 1979 (HC)
The Fund Supporting the Poor is established by opposition leaders. (April 4, 1989)
Hungary - December 11-13, 1979 (HC)
The delegates of 29 communist and workers’ parties hold a meeting in Tihany about the relationship between communist and social democratic parties.
Yugoslavia / Non-Aligned Movement – December 11-14, 1979 (HN)
The fifth meeting of the Committee for the cooperation of radio broadcasting organizations takes place in Belgrade.
Belgium / NATO - December 12, 1979 (HC)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) adopts a double resolution in Brussels, about the deployment of middle-range missiles and winged missiles, and the control of military preparations.

NATO / UK / FRG / Belgium / Italy / Holland / Soviet Union / US – December 12, 1979 (LBC)
The NATO states (with the exception of France) decide on the deployment in Europe of 572 American intermediate range missiles. According to the plan, until 1983 108 Pershing-II and 464 ground based robot planes will be deployed in Great Britain, the FRG, Belgium, Italy and Holland. (The Dutch government makes its final decision in 1981.) – The decision is motivated by the fact that the Soviet Union’s new intermediate range missiles brought a qualitative change in the continental balance. In Western view the new Soviet rocket questions the doctrine of graduated response. According to the doctrine, a potential Soviet strike with intermediate missiles is deterred by NATO’s similar weapons. Since the Soviet SS-20s are more advanced than their American counterparts, NATO would be obliged to use the US strategic force that is a limited nuclear war would escalate into a nuclear world war. In order to avoid this the Western level corresponding to the SS-20s has to be strengthened. – Brezhnev decided on the deployment of the new missiles at the advice of the army. The Soviet military leadership thought that this is the quickest way to catch up with the West in the military sense.
Hungary / NATO - December 13, 1979 (HC)
The Hungarian government, in agreement with the Committee of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Warsaw Treaty, gives voice to its concern about NATO wanting to continue the arms race.
US / USSR – December 14, 1979 (LBC)
The US Control Data Corporation buys 30 Soviet licenses in the field of energy technology.
Romania – December 19, 1979 (HOR)
The first branch of the subway system in Bucharest, which would expand over the next ten years, is completed.

Hungary / Denmark - December 19-21, 1979 (HC)
Danish Foreign Minister Kjeld Olesen negotiates in Budapest.
Hungary - December 21, 1979 (HC)
The Council of Hajdú Bihar County, and the County Committee of the People’s Patriotic Front hold a festive meeting in Debrecen on the 35th anniversary of the formation of the Temporary National Assembly.
USSR / Afghanistan / US – December 27, 1979 (LBC)
The USSR invades Afghanistan and overthrows the government of Hafizullah Amin. According to the official Soviet versión, Babrak Karmal, who replaced Hafizullah Amin invited the Soviet Union to provide “political, economic, moral and military support”. The US condemns the intervention.


1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980


© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2016