The History of the Soviet Bloc 1945–1991
Péter BENCSIK, Péter VUKMAN
Babak ARZANI, Diego BENEDETTI, Martyna BOJARSKA, Ádám BALOGH, Shira BORZAK,
Florian BRINK, Vanessa BUFFRY, David CATALAN, Sonya COWELL, Susan COOPER, Lauren CRYSTAL, Laura CSEKE, Botond CSELLE, Péter DARÁK, Nico DEGENKOLB,
Kati DEPETRILLO, Emanuele DI BELLO, Jacob FEYGIN, Lilla FÖDŐS, Katarina GABIKOVA,
Kristyna GABIKOVA, Evelina GELEZINYTE, Laura GOUSHA,Zsófia GÖDE, Brianna GREENWALD, Gyöngyi GYARMATI, Zoltán HERKUTZ, Ágnes HEVÉR,Neala HICKEY, Jennifer OLLAND, Connie IP, Alin IVASCU, Kitti Eszter JAKAB, Dean JOLLY, Victoria JONES, Annastiina KALLIUS, István KASZTA, Tomas KOLAR, Roman KOZIEL,Annamária KÓTAY-NAGY, Réka KRIZMANICS, Andrej KROKOS, András Máté LÁZÁR, Karina LEGRADI, Thomas KOLLMANN, Sára LAFFERTON, Marja LAHTINEN, Joseph LARSEN, Zsófia MADÁCSI, Cynthia MANCHA, Mike MANTZAVINOS, Csaba Zsolt MÁRTON, Anikó MÉSZÁROS, Viktor NAGY, Tímea OKOS, Balázs OLTVÖLGYI, Jennifer OTTERSON, Roland PAPP, Orsolya PÓSFAI, Dominika PROSZOWSKA, Rashid RAHIMLI, Linda RICHTER, Martin ROMAIN, Lili SIKLÓS, Bobbie SCHOEMAKER, Anett SZŰCS, Sabine TOPOLANSKY, Dóra VERESS, Aniello VERDE, Zita Bettina VASAS, Patrick Stephen WAGER, Jonathon WOODRUFF, Maciek ZAWADA, Kristóf ZSIDI
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013
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 second part of the timeline contains information dealing with the period from 1953 to 1968. The years 1969–1980 will be available by the end of 2014.
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.
List of Sources
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013
Italy – 1963 (PLC)
Trieste becomes the capital of the Italian Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region.
Romania – 1963 (RFN)
Romania starts to pursue an autonomous foreign policy in the U.N. by deviating from the lead position of the Soviet Union.
Romania – 1963 (RUR)
Soviets attempt to reach an agreement with the Romanian delegation but Romanians do not agree with any proposal that the Soviets or other COMECON members make.
Romania – 1963 (SRR)
Romania does not reject the possibility of remaining a faithful member of the Soviet bloc on compromise terms favorable to the Romanians. To gain such terms, the Romanian leadership relies mainly on the Sino-Soviet conflict and the consequential disunity of the socialist camp. This concept is rejected by the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, East Germany. Consequently, Romania adopts national and international policies of an increasingly independent character. At home, Romania pursues the ever closer identification of the Romanian historical tradition with the communist tradition.
Romania – 1963 (SRR)
Relations with Hungary are correct. Steps to curtail the cultural autonomy of the Hungarians in Transylvania after the revolt are taken.
Romania – 1963 (ABR)
Economic agreement is signed between France and Romania.
Hungary / U.N. – January 3-8, 1963 (HC)
Vladimir Velebit, General Secretary of the Economic Committee of the United Nations visits Budapest.
Soviet Union / U.S. – January 7, 1963 (KCA)
A joint Soviet-U.S. letter is sent to the U.N. Secretary-General, U Thant. Adlai Stevenson and Vasili Kuznetsov, the U.S. and Soviet envoys dealing with the Cuban missile crisis, assure that it is no longer necessary to occupy the attention of the Security Council with the issue of Cuba.
Soviet Union / Finland – January 9, 1963 (KCA)
The Soviet Union concludes contracts with Finland for the supply of equipment for armed forces and defensive missiles. The deliveries from the Soviet Union will consist of one squadron of Mig-21 fighter aircraft.
Hungary – January 10, 1963 (HC)
The press publishes an electoral call of the Patriotic People’s Front. National parliamentary and regional elections begin, lasting until 29 of January.
U.S. – January 11, 1963 (LBC)
Figures are published on the U.S. commercial turnover (without military deliveries, in billions of dollars):
East Germany – January 12, 1963 (KCA)
The Chairman of the State Planning Commission, Karl Mewis, is relieved of his post and replaced by Dr. Erich Apel. In February and March of 1963, more government changes occur. On April 17, two bills transfer powers from the Council of Ministers to the Council of State. On May 15, 1963, a “Workers and Peasants Inspection” organization is established. On November 15,1963, in its first meeting the new Cabinet elects a Presidium consisting of Otto Grotewohl, Willi Stoph, Alexander Abusch, Dr. Apel, Dr. Lothar Bolz, Bruno Leuschner, Alfred Scholz and others.
Cuba / East Germany / West Germany – January 12, 1963 (KGD)
Cuba and the GDR establish diplomatic relations, while the FRG breaks off its relations with Cuba.
France / U.S. – January 14, 1963 (LBC)
France rejects participation in a NATO nuclear force. – January 24. Kennedy rejects de Gaulle’s charges that the US wants to rule over Europe in the awareness of its nuclear superiority. – February 5. From de Gaulle’s speech: “Macmillan told me in Rambouillet in December 1962 that we are right in wanting to build a nuclear force. In spite of this we need our own. We should link them together irrespectively of the U.S. Then he left me and went to the Bahamas. This was before January the 4th.” – Georges Pompidou reiterates that the French vetoed Britain’s membership in the EEC because London signed the Nassau treaty on the joint nuclear program. Pompidou accused Britain of signing a treaty in 48 hours without consultation with the French that wants/intends to surround France and the other European states. – February 27. According to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman J. W. Fulbright the French President dealt a serious blow to U.S. foreign policy. The most severe decision was to exclude Britain from the EEC and that it follows an independent nuclear policy. – February 27. Seven Western European states announce that they support the Anglo-American plan to set up a unified Western European nuclear force. The multilateral force would be made up of navy units equipped with Polaris missiles. The NATO force commander would be European, who would be subordinated to the traditionally American supreme commander of NATO.
East Germany – January 15-21, 1963 (PLC/HWD)
At its 6th Congress, the Socialist Unity Party of Germany accepts its first official party program. Following the Soviet example, it sets Communism as its final goal.
Soviet Union – January 17, 1963 (KCA)
A decree is issued, which enables the new Party and State Control Committee to bring before the courts people infringing on the State. Resulting from this decision, many governmental changes are made. Alexander Shelepin, Dimitry Polyansky, Nikolai Novikov, Michail Lesechko, Pyotr Lomako, Dymshytz, Neporozhny and Novykov become leaders of new state organs. In his speech, Khrushchev criticizes the organization of the economy and the functioning of organs responsible for economic planning. He expresses discontent with the absence of specialization and centralization in industrial and scientific research.
Hungary – January 20, 1963 (HC)
Népszabadság publishes a statement of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party on the relationship between the Communist and Workers’ parties and other relevant questions.
France / West Germany – January 22, 1963 (PLC)
Treaty of reconciliation (Élysée Treaty or Treaty of Friendship) concluded by France and West Germany thwarts the U.K.’s accession to the EEC.
Hungary – January 24, 1963 (HC)
The Presidential Council issues decree no. 2/1963. outlining co-operation and leadership within industry.
EEC / U.K. – January 29, 1963 (PLC)
Ongoing accession negotiations (since November 1961) between the U.K. and the EEC discontinue.
Finland – January 31, 1963 (KMP)
Finland purchases missiles for defensive needs from the Soviet Union and the U.K. The agreement is made possible by a new interpretation of the Paris Peace Treaty that creates the future framework of the Finnish policy of neutrality.
Soviet Union / France – February 1, 1963 (KCA)
A new three-year trade agreement between France and the Soviet Union for the period 1963-65 is signed in Moscow following the expiration of the previous three-year agreement on December 21, 1962. The trade exchange will increase by 15% compared to the 1959-1962 period.
Soviet Union – February 5, 1963 (KCA)
Admiral Sergei Gorshkov states that the Soviet Army is equipped with new submarines and surface ships. On February 21-22, Marshal Sergey Biryuzov and Marshal Rodion Malinovsky emphasize the strength and capability of the Soviet Union’s rocket forces in connection with the 45th anniversary of the Soviet armed forces.
Hungary – February 6-9, 1963 (HC)
The Executive Committee of the World Democratic Youth Alliance holds its session in Budapest. It publishes a proposal for peace and disarmament.
Soviet Union / U.S. – February 8, 1963 (CWC)
The United States resume underground nuclear testing. The decision is criticized by the Soviet Union.
Hungary – February 10, 1963 (HC)
The new Tisza Bridge is opened in a public ceremony in Szolnok.
Yugoslavia / Soviet Union – February 11, 1963 (LUY)
The Soviet daily Pravda asserts that Yugoslavia can already be considered as within the Communist camp despite some ideological differences.
Soviet Union / India – February 11, 1963 (KCA)
The Soviet Union supplies twelve aircraft to India.
Yugoslavia / China – February 12, 1963 (LUY)
The Chinese party daily Jenmin Jih Pao declares that Sino-Soviet differences can only be settled if the Soviet Union condemn Yugoslav revisionism. From this is evident that the Yugoslav ideological position on peaceful coexistence and non-alignment becomes the central issue in the Sino-Soviet dispute.
Soviet Union / U.S. – February 12, 1963 (LBC)
The NBC office is closed in Moscow in reprisal for NBC “severely distorting Soviet reality with the obvious aim of arousing hostile sentiments against the Soviet Union”.
COMECON / Romania – February 15-21, 1963 (HC/RUR) –» February 1962
The fuel stocks of the Socialist countries and energy-related geological research are discussed at the 4th session of the Executive Committee of the COMECON in Moscow. The meeting is a watershed in Romanian-Soviet relations. The Romanian delegation strongly disagrees with other delegations.
Soviet Union / NATO / Warsaw Pact – February 20, 1963 (LBC)
The Soviet Union presents a draft for a NATO-Warsaw Pact non-aggression treaty in Geneva.
Hungary – February 24, 1963 (HC)
Parliamentary and regional elections take place. The 97.2 % of eligible voters take part and 98.9% vote for representatives of the Patriotic People’s Front.
Warsaw Pact – February 28, 1963 (HC/MMS)
Meeting of the WP defense ministers in Warsaw.
Romania – March 1963 (SRR)
Original expression of Romania’s rejection of Soviet domination of the bloc and camp is pro forma limited to COMECON.
Romania – March 5-8, 1963 (PLC)
After Romania quits negotiations, the Communist Party’s leadership rejects the COMECON’s decision reached in February in Moscow.
Poland – March 7, 1963 (KCA)
General Marian Spychalski, the Polish Defense Minister, is nominated Marshal of Poland.
Poland / West Germany – March 7, 1963 (HDP)
Poland and West Germany sign a commercial agreement for the period of 3 years.
Hungary – March 11, 1963 (HC)
The Regional Council of Budapest holds its first session. The Chair of the Executive Committee is István Sarlós.
Soviet Union – March 13, 1963 (KCA)
A joint meeting of the presidium of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party and the USSR Council of Ministers takes place under the chairmanship of Khrushchev. As a result of this meeting, a Supreme Council of the National Economy of the USSR is established. Then main task of the Council is to manage industry and construction in the Soviet Union. On March 8, two new State Committees are established under the Soviet Council of Ministers.
Soviet Union / U.S. – March 20, 1963 (LBC)
A U.S.-Soviet agreement is signed on joint communicational and meteorological satellite projects.
Hungary / Romania – March 20, 1963 (HC)
The Kádár government that took office on September 13 in 1961 is re-organized. Gyula Horgos, József Veres and Ferenc Lévárdi are ministers in the new government. A delegation of twenty members of Romania’s military travels to Budapest. Leontin Sălăjan, Minister of the Armed Forces leads the delegation.
Yugoslavia / Hungary – March 21-27, 1963 (MOL)
On the invitation of Antal Apró, Chairman of International Relations, Mihajko Todorović, Vice Chairman of the Executive Council of the Federal Peoples' Republic of Yugoslavia, visits Hungary and discusses the possibilities of Yugoslav-Hungarian economic cooperation.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – March 22-26, 1963 (HC)
Hungarian-Yugoslavian economic negotiations take place in Budapest during which the establishment of a Hungarian-Yugoslavian co-operation committee is agreed.
Hungary – March 22, 1963 (HC)
Decree no. 1963:4 commences a general amnesty. Those who broke the law during the time of the personality cult are granted amnesty. Those who have been found guilty of anti-revolutionary activities or of committing anti-state crimes in the previous six years also receive amnesty.
Hungary – March 21 and 25-26, 1963 (HC)
A new Parliament, elected on February 24 holds its first session. It elects members of the Presidential Council and Parliamentary Committees. It also approves the budget for 1963.
Hungary – March 26, 1963 (KCA)
Many political personalities who were imprisoned after the uprising in 1956 are released under a government amnesty. Among those released are István Bibó, Minister of State in Imre Nagy‘s cabinet during the 1956 uprising, and Colonel Sándor Kopácsi, deputy commander of the National Guard.
Romania / Albania – March 28, 1963 (PLC)
Romania reestablishes diplomatic relations (terminated in 1961) with Albania.
Soviet Union / U.K. – April 1963 (KCA)
Following the outbreak of the Laotian Crises, Gromyko has discussions with the British Ambassador in Moscow, Sir Humphrey Trevelyan. The result of these talks is a joint letter sent to Prince Souvanna on April 8.
Romania / Albania – April 1963 (ABR)
A Romanian ambassador to Albania is appointed.
Poland – April 1, 1963 (HDP)
Prices of coal, electric power, gas, central heating and water are raised. Rise in the prices of milk, alcohol and matches follow on September 15, 1963.
Hungary – April 2, 1963 (HC)
The central committee of the Hungarian Socialist and Workers’ Party announces the initiation of a system of the higher institutions and the elimination of admission criteria based on ancestry.
Czechoslovakia – April 3-4, 1963 (PSČZ)
The Committee of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia admits that during 1950s the infringement of socialist legality had occurred.
Soviet Union / U.S. – April 5, 1963 (LBC)
The USSR accepts the U.S. proposal to establish a direct link of communication between the two capitals to avoid accidental war. Washington warmly welcomes this development and regards it as the first positive result of the Geneva talks. See June 20, 1963.
Yugoslavia – April 7, 1963 (PLC)
Yugoslav Federal Assembly accepts new constitution, effectively renaming the country Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY). The office of Prime Minister, abolished in 1953, is reintroduced. The Federal Assembly will consist of five chambers instead of two. The voting system will be more complicated, with a combination of direct and indirect elections. – June 30. A joint session of the five chambers unanimously re-elects President Tito for a fourth term.
Romania / China – April 8, 1963 (PLC)
A Sino-Romanian trade agreement is signed.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. / West Germany / NATO – April 8, 1963 (KCA)
The Soviet Government protests to the U.S., U.K., and German Federal Government against the proposal for a multilateral NATO nuclear force. On May 20, the Soviet Union proposes the creation of a Mediterranean nuclear-free zone.
Yugoslavia / Kosovo – April 10, 1963 (PLC)
A law on the status of the autonomous province Kosovo-Metohija (Kosmet) is
Italy – April 11, 1963 (PLC)
Pope John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris encyclical.
Soviet Union – April 17-25, 1963 (HC)
The fifth session of the Executive Committee of COMECON takes place in Moscow. Among the topics discussed are co-operation and professionalization within the chemical industry and machine production.
Hungary / Greece – April 18, 1963 (HC/KCA)
Hungarian-Greek economic negotiations take place in Athens. Financial, naval and aeronautical agreements are signed. – April 27. Compensation, air and trade agreements are signed between Hungary and Greece. The agreements constitute the first case of a global settlement of all outstanding economic matters between Greece and a country of the Soviet Bloc.
Warsaw Pact / Poland – April 18-22, 1963 (CAC)
The Warsaw Pact exercise “Mazowsze” in Poland prepares for possible nuclear war with NATO that would result in the likely destruction of most Polish cities.
Soviet Union / Cuba – April 21, 1963 (KCA)
Fidel Castro arrives in Murmansk for a one-month visit to the Soviet Union. On April 22, 1963, he is welcomed in Moscow by Khrushchev. A joint communiqué is issued on the same day containing an assurance that the Soviet Union will assist Cuba in any attack by the United States. On January 21, 1964, a trade agreement between the SovietUnion and Cuba is signed.
United Nations – April 22, 1963 (HC)
The 18th session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe takes place. Deputy Foreign Minister Károly Szarka is elected as Vice President.
Hungary / Soviet Union – April 22, 1963 (HC)
Whilst living in Moscow, Hungarian born economist Jenő Varga is given the Lenin-Award for an analysis of scientific questions of contemporary capitalism.
Soviet Bloc – April 23-30, 1963 (MMS)
Meeting of experts on nuclear energy in Prague.
Soviet Union / U.K. – April 28-29, 1963 (KCA)
Two large orders with British firms for chemical plants are signed in London.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – May 4-5, 1963 (LUY/LBC)
U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk squeezes in a twenty-four hour visit with President Tito, Foreign Minister Koča Popović and other Yugoslav officials on the way back from New Delhi. The main theme of the talks is Yugoslavia’s most favored nation status.
Cuba / Soviet Union – May 5, 1963 (CAC)
Khrushchev at a meeting with Castro rules out Cuban membership in the Warsaw Pact or a Soviet–Cuban military alliance.
Finland / Yugoslavia – May 5-12, 1963 (EAJ)
President Urho Kekkonen visits Yogoslavia on the invitation of President Tito.
Soviet Union / U.K. – May 7-11, 1963 (KCA)
The trial of Oleg Penkovsky, a senior Russian scientific officer, and Greville Maynard Wynne, a British businessman, on charges of espionage for the British and American intelligence services takes place in Moscow. Penkovsky pleads guilty and is sentenced to death. Wynne is sentenced to eight years detention in prison and a labor colony.
Soviet Bloc – May 9-11, 1963 (MMS)
Meeting of Ministers of Posts and Telecommunications (5th session) in Budapest. They discuss the development of international telecommunications; television technology and the mechanization of postal services.
Hungary – May 9-12, 1963 (HC)
The 20th Congress of Hungarian Labor Unions takes place in Budapest.
Yugoslavia / Egypt – May 12-16, 1963 (KCA)
President Gamal Abdel Nasser of the United Arab Republic visits Tito on the Yugoslav island of Brioni.
Finland / Hungary – May 12-15, 1963 (LKS)
Urho Kekkonen arrives to Hungary for an unofficial visit on his way back from Yogoslavia. Despite the visit is unofficial Kekkonen is treated as an official guest of Hungarian head of state (chairman of the Presidential Council) István Dobi and he meets all the Hungarian Socialist Worker’s Party (MSZMP) leaders including First Secretary János Kádár.
Yugoslavia – May 13, 1963 (HC)
The constitution of the Yugoslav autonomous region of Voivodina inhabited by a Hungarian minority is ratified. It states the rights of the ethnic minority including the extension of the mother language to the official level.
Hungary / Poland – May 16-18, 1963 (HC)
A Hungarian delegation visits Poland. János Kádár the First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party leads the delegation. Negotiations take place on the international affairs and the possibility of developing economic co-operation.
U.N. – May 14-June 27, 1963 (KCA)
A special session of the U.N. General Assembly is held for the purpose of adopting financial measures. Nikolai Fedorenko declares that the Soviet Union will not pay from 1963 onwards for any operation of which it disproves. Seven resolutions are adopted by the Administrative and Budgetary Committee. All the countries of the Soviet group voted against all resolutions. Yugoslavia voted for the resolutions and abstained on two of them.
Yugoslavia – May 18, 1963 (RYN)
At a Plenum of the Central Committee of the League of Communists, President Tito exudes optimism and speaks with obvious elation of fraternal ties with the Soviet Union and stresses that these are not inconsonant with Yugoslavia's desire to maintain good relations with the Western countries. He also castigates Beijing, asserting that the Chinese cast unwarranted aspersions on the socialist nature of Yugoslav society and anti-imperialism underlying its foreign policy.
Soviet Bloc – May 20-24, 1963 (MMS)
Ministers of Transportation meet in Warsaw.
NATO – May 24, 1963 (LBC)
The foreign ministers of NATO announce that they accept the measures leading to an international nuclear force. At French insistence this was announced as the routine reorganization of NATO’s present nuclear force. The units comprising the inter-allied force will keep their national character in spite of the fact that they will be subordinated to NATO command. The financial resources and manpower will be provided by the national governments and the units of the international force will remain under national jurisdiction so they can be withdrawn from NATO command by the national governments. The US and Britain retain supreme command over the nuclear weapons.
Greece – May 27, 1963 (PLC)
Nationwide demonstrations in Greece following the assassination of communist MP G. Lambrakis on May 22. – June 11. Prime Minister Karamanlis resigns and emigrates.
Finland – May 28, 1963 (HHN)
Urho Kekkonen proposes the plan to officially consolidate the existing nuclear-weapon-free status of the Nordic countries.
Hungary /Soviet Union – May 28, 1963 (HC)
A Hungarian party delegation led by Rezső Nyers departs for the Soviet Union. It studies the methods of the Soviet Communist Party for guiding the development of industry and agriculture.
Bulgaria / Israel – June 1963 (KCA)
A settlement is reached between the Bulgarian Government and Israel regarding the incident of July 27, 1955 when Bulgarian fighters shot down a Constellation airliner of El Al, the Israeli Airline, over Bulgarian territory. Under the agreement, Bulgaria is to pay financial compensation to each of the families of the 22 Israeli victims.
Vatican – June 3, 1963 (HC)
Pope John XXII. dies. His successor is Paul VI.
Hungary / France – June 5-17, 1963 (HC)
Franco-Hungarian economic negotiations take place in Budapest. A long-term economic trade agreement between the two countries is signed.
Soviet Union / U.S. – June 10, 1963 (CWC/KCA/PLC) –» June 20.
The Soviet Union and the United States decide to install a hot line between two countries. – June 20. Agreement on Moscow-Washington telex hotline. On June 22, this direct communication link between the Soviet Union and the U.S. is established. The aim of this “hot line“ is to reduce the risk of war occurring by accident or miscalculation.
Soviet Union / Australia – June 10, 1963 (KCA)
It is announced in Moscow that William L. Morrison, First Secretary of the Australian Embassy in Moscow, has been declared persona non grata, on charges that he has engaged in espionage for a long time. – June 11. The Australian Minister for External Affairs, Sir Garfield Barwick, describes the Soviet charges as completely untrue.
Soviet Union / U.S. – June 10, 1963 (LBC)
In a speech Kennedy calls on the Americans to support the cause of disarmament by revising their stance toward peace, the Soviet Union and the cold war. He declares that communism is basically repulsive for the Americans, but they can respectthe Russian people for their achievements in science, outer space and industrial growth. The U.S.must pursue a policy that makes the Russians interested in peace. According to Kennedy paradoxically the two strongest powers are the most threatened by annihilation, these two states bear the largest burdens. Even the most hostile states keep their obligations undertaken in treaties that serve their own interests. History teaches us that hostility among nations does not last forever. – The President reveals an Anglo-American invitation for preparatory talks for a test ban treaty. – Khrushchev rejects Kennedy’s invitation for test ban talks.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – June 10, 1963 (KCA)
Talks between Khrushchev, Harold Macmillan and Kennedy are announced at American Univesity in Washington. The negotiations will take place in Moscow and are aimed at early agreement on a comprehensive test-ban treaty. On the same day, it is simultaneously announced that Great Britain will be represented by Lord Hailsham and the United States by Averall Harriman.
Hungary – June 14-16, 1963 (HC)
The Fifth Hungarian Peace Congress takes place in Budapest.
China – June 14, 1963 (PLC/KCA)
The CPC’S Theses summarize the Party’s reservations against “Soviet hegemony” in 25 points. A letter is sent by the Chinese government to the Soviet Union attacking Khrushchev’s political theories and many aspects of his policy. – June 27. The Soviet Government demands the recall of three Chinese Embassy officials and two Chinese post-graduate students who had distributed copies of the Chinese letter in the Soviet Union. – July 14. The Soviet Party replies and accuses China of being prepared to sacrifice hundreds of millions of lives in a nuclear war. Tension between the two communist countries increases. – July 19. China claims that the Soviet letter does not accord with facts. As a result of this, talks are held from July 5-20, but they do not bring any agreement.
Soviet Union – June 16, 1963 (PLC)
The first woman in outer space is Soviet astronaut Valentina Tereshkova.
Finland – June 16, 1963 (SFF)
Rafael Paasio replaces Väinö Tanner as a leader of the Social Democrats and transforms the party’s image away from the tannerite past.
Romania – June 20, 1963 (ABR)
Romania publishes the letter dated June 14, 1963 of the central committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on Sino-Soviet Relations, not published in the Soviet bloc states.
Romania / Yugoslavia – June 20, 1963 (KCA)
An agreement for the construction of a hydro-electric power and navigation scheme on the Danube is signed by Belgrade and Bucharest.
East Germany – June 24-25, 1963 (JWG/HWD)
The economic reform “New Economic System of Planning and Direction for the People’s Economy” (NÖSPL, Neues Ökonomisches System der Planung und Leitung) is introduced by the SED. Erich Apel declares at an economic conference of the Central Committee of the SED in June that people should be made familiar with the NÖSPL and convinced to support it. The reform aims at central planning and an increase in the responsibilities of individual enterprises. The NÖSPL leads to a real improvement of the economic situation of East Germany. In 1964 work efficiency increases by 7%, national income grows by 5%. The standard of living also improves; the long-term increase in the supply of consumer durables is proof of this.
Czechoslovakia / U.K. – June 24, 1963 (KCA)
The British Government asks for the recall of Přemysl Holan, a third secretary of the Czechoslovak Embassy, who had been detected trying to persuade a member of the public to obtain secret information. – June 28. The Czechoslovak Government asks for the recall of W. N. Hillier-Fry, First Secretary at the British Embassy in Prague.
West Germany / U.S. – June 25, 1963 (LBC)
Kennedy’s famous speech in West Berlin: “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
Hungary / Nigeria – June 28, 1963 (HC)
Hungary and Nigeria sign an economic and scientific agreement in Budapest.
Czechoslovakia – June 28, 1963 (KCA)
The Czechoslovak communist newspaper Rudé Právo announces that Vladimír Clementis, the former Foreign Minister who was executed in 1952 on charges of treason, ”titoism” and “Trotskyism” has been posthumously rehabilitated.
Soviet Union / East Germany – June 28-July 4, 1963 (KCA)
Khrushchev visits East Germany. The visit takes place shortly after President Kennedy visited West Germany. It is the second Khrushchev visit in 1963, after he attended the sixth congress of the East German SED in January. The official purpose of this summer visit is to attend the celebration of the 70th birthday of Walter Ulbricht, the East German Communist leader. Antonín Novotný, Gomułka, Kádár and Todor Zhivkov also attend the celebrations. Khrushchev, in a speech, emphasizes the importance of signing a treaty banning all nuclear tests for all time and accuses the Western Powers, especially the U.S., of unwillingness to accept this treaty. Khrushchev claims that Communist nations do not want to build a communist world through war.
Yugoslavia – June 29, 1963 (RYE)
The reorganized Federal Assembly is convened. Edvard Kardelj becomes its chairman.
Soviet Union / China / Soviet Bloc – July 1963 (KCA)
An open split between the Soviet Union and China affects the entire international Communist movement. China rejects the proposal of the Soviet Union to hold the world communist conference in 1965. Despite this, the Soviet Union invites the Chinese delegation, together with 24 other communist parties, to prepare for the conference. Chine refuses the invitation. Several articles attacking the Soviet Union and Khrushchev are published in the Chinese press from September 6, 1963 to February 10, 1964. These articles are a reply to the Soviet party’s open letter of July 14, 1963. In the summer and autumn of 1963, the publishing of polemics against the Chinese Party’s policy continues in the Soviet Press. During September 1963, it is stated that tension exists on both sections of the border between the two countries.
The ideological dispute between the Soviet Union and the CPC has extensive repercussions in the international Communist movement. The communist countries are divided as follows: China is supported by Albania, North Korea and North Vietnam; the Soviet Union is supported by Poland, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Mongolia and the major communist parties of the Western Bloc countries. Romania adopts a neutral attitude.
Romania – July 1963 (RUR)
The Soviet Union decides to end the demand for supranational planning in order to compromise with Romania and gain raw materials and foodstuff.
COMECON / Romania – July 1963 (CEC)
A meeting of First Secretaries of Communist and Workers’ Parties and of Heads of Government of Member Countries is held in Moscow. This COMECON ‘summit’ attempts to resolve the Romanian issue. The Basic Principles, in light of problems over sovereignty and diverging national interests, are reinterpreted. The COMECON structure is reappraised.
COMECON – July 1963 (CEC)
The 18th COMECON session is held in Moscow. It implements the ‘summit’ decisions. The plan coordination for 1966-1970 is adopted. Changes in Standing Commissions are made. The draft Charter for IBEC is adopted.
Yugoslavia / Soviet Union – July 1963 (ACY)
Serbian Orthodox Patriarch German goes to Moscow and attends the celebrations of Patriarch Alexei’s 50th anniversary as bishop.
Hungary / Bulgaria / U.N. – July 1-3, 1963 (KCA/HC)
The UN Secretary-General, U Thant, visits Hungary. The official visit is a response to an invitation by the Hungarian Government in December 1962. After leaving Budapest, U Thant visits Bulgaria from July 3-6.
Bulgaria / U.S. – July 2, 1963 (KCA)
Bulgaria agrees to pay the U.S. $3,543,398 as compensation arising out of Second World War damage claims. The U.S. has negotiated similar agreements with Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia; claims against Czechoslovakia and Hungary remain unsettled.
Soviet Union – July 2, 1963 (LBC)
Khrushchev recommends an East-West non-aggression treaty and a simultaneous test ban treaty.
Romania / Austria – July 2, 1963 (KCA)
The Austrian and Romanian Foreign Ministers, Dr. Bruno Kreisky and Corneliu Mănescu, sign a financial treaty between Austria and Romania in Bucharest.
Hungary / Italy – July 3-10, 1963 (HC)
Giancarlo Pajetta, the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party visits Hungary.
Soviet Union / Nigeria – July 3, 1963 (KCA)
As a result of negotiations on March 11, a trade agreement between Nigeria and the Soviet Union is signed in Moscow.
Soviet Union / U.S. – July 3, 1963 (LBC)
Kennedy rejects Khrushchev’s proposal for the dual pact. The response was not addressed directly to Khrushchev so as not to ruin the chance for a test ban treaty. The non-aggression pact is not acceptable because it would recognize the GDR and the post war Sovietization of Eastern Europe.
Romania – July 4, 1963 (RCW)
Meeting of the Political Bureau of the CC of Romanian Worker’s Party is held. The conversation focuses on whether or not to publish declarations made by the Chinese Communist Party. The Romanians are concerned how the people will react to tension between the two communist countries.
Soviet Union / China – July 5–20, 1963 (CAC/PLC)
Inconclusive Soviet–Chinese discussions in Moscow fail to repair the rift between the two parties and countries.
Soviet Union / Middle East – July 9, 1963 (KCA)
The Soviet Union sends a note to Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Persia, expressing discontent with the participation of Syrian forces in operations against the Kurds.
Soviet Union / U.K. – July 12, 1963 (KCA)
The defection to the West of a senior Russian intelligence officer is announced in the British press. On July 15, the name of the agent is given in the press as Anatoly Dolnytsin, a member of the Soviet Embassy in London for three years.
Soviet Union / U.S. / U.K. – July 15, 1963 (LBC)
British-American-Soviet talks commence in Moscow on the test ban treaty.
Mongolia – July 15, 1963 (CAC)
Mongolia applies for admission to the Warsaw Pact.
Soviet Union / Finland – July 23, 1963 (KCA)
The agreement of September 1962 for the 50-year lease to Finland of the Soviet Section of the Saimaa Canal is ratified by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
COMECON – July 24-26, 1963 (HC/PLC)
The First Secretaries of the Communist and Workers’ Parties of the COMECON countries hold an assembly in Moscow. It approves deadlines for the succession of economic plans. It also approves the establishment of a bank responsible for international trade. Romania vetoes COMECON integration at the Moscow summit.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. – July 25, 1963 (CAC)
The limited nuclear test-ban treaty is concluded between the United States, Soviet Union and United Kingdom.
Soviet Union / U.S. / U.K. – July 25, 1963 (LBC)
The U.S., Great Britain and the Soviet Union initial the limited test ban treaty in Moscow. According to the agreement nuclear tests are banned in outer space, in the atmosphere and under water. Underground tests are not banned since those cannot be shown without the control methods rejected by the USSR. – According to Kennedy the treaty reduces international tension, helps avoid the proliferation of nuclear arms and reduces the arms race. – In Khrushchev’s view the treaty in itself does not avert the danger of war but is a good start toward the improvement of East-West relations and the termination of the cold war. – July 29. France fails to take part in the test ban treaty. – August 5. The three powers sign the treaty.
Warsaw Pact – July 26, 1963 (CAC/HC/MMS)
The sixth session of the Political Consultative Committee in Moscow supports the test-ban treaty, fails to consider Mongolian membership in the Warsaw Pact, and rallies the Warsaw Pact allies behind Moscow in its dispute with Beijing.
U.S. – July 26, 1963 (KCA)
A chronology of nuclear explosions since the detonation of the first atom bomb in New Mexico is published in The New York Times.
Yugoslavia – July 26, 1963 (KCA)
The city of Skopje, the capital of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, is almost completely destroyed by a violent earthquake.
France – July 29, 1963 (KCA)
President de Gaulle gives an extensive press conference. In relation to the Sino-Soviet ideological differences, he claims that there is no unity in Communist ideology, but that it is personified by many people as exemplified by the eras of Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin and Beria. He also expresses satisfaction with the Moscow test-ban treaty signed by the U.S., the Soviet Union and Great Britain.
Soviet Union / U.K. – July 30, 1963 (KCA)
It is announced at Cambridge that Dr. Vladimir I. Veksler, director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research at Dubna near Moscow will share the sixth Atoms-for-Peace Award with Dr. Edwin M. McMillan.
Hungary/Switzerland – July 30, 1963 (HC)
Hungarian-Swiss diplomatic relations are up-graded to embassy level.
Soviet Union / China – July 31, 1963 (KCA)
The Chinese Government issues a violently-worded statement, which expresses discontent with the nuclear test-ban treaty adopted by the U.S., Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The statement is issued just a few days before the formal signing of the treaty on August 5, 1963. The Soviet Union replies on August 3, claiming that the Chinese policy runs counter to peaceful co-existence between states with different social systems.
Soviet Union / New Zealand – August 1, 1963 (KCA)
A trade agreement between New Zealand and the Soviet Union is signed in Wellington. It takes immediate effect.
Soviet Union / U.S. / U.K. – August 5, 1963 (CWC/PLC)
The Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States sign the partial nuclear test ban treaty which prohibits testing in the atmosphere, outer space and under water. 96 states join the treaty (China and France do not).
Finland – August 5, 1963 (SKH)
A peace movement, Committee of 100 in Finland, is established in Helsinki. The Committee actions are primarily directed to oppose nuclear weapons and the organization is based on the models of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and the more radical organization Committee of Hundred in Great Britain.
Soviet Union / U.S. – August 9, 1963 (LBC)
US secretary of state Rusk’s talks in Moscow with Khrushchev and Gromyko.
Hungary / Soviet Union – August 14, 1963 (HC)Construction of a new public bridge across the river Tisza between Záhony in the Hungarian county of Szabolcs Szatmár and Chop in the Soviet Union begins.
Bulgaria / Poland / Canada – August 15, 1963 (KCA)
It is announced in Ottawa, that the contract for the sale of wheat to Poland and Bulgaria has been negotiated. Moreover, on October 8, a three-year trade agreement between Canada and Bulgaria is announced.
Soviet Union / U.S. – August 16, 1963 (LBC)
Final agreement is made between the U.S. and the Soviet Union about cooperation in weather, communication and magnetic satellite programs.
Hungary – August 20, 1963 (HC)
With the incorporation of Aporliget into the national electric system, electrification of the country’s villages is completed.
Soviet Union / Jordan – August 20, 1963 (KCA)
An agreement for the establishment of diplomatic relations between Jordan and the Soviet Union at the embassy level is signed in Moscow.
Soviet Union / Yugoslavia – August 20, 1963 (KCA)
Khrushchev arrives in Belgrade. The visit is officially described as a holiday, but he is accompanied by Communist Party officials, including Andropov who is responsible for relations between the Soviet Union and other Eastern European communist countries. – August 22. Khrushchev and Tito visit Skopje, which had been destroyed by an earthquake. – August 25. Three-days of talks between Khrushchev, Tito and other Yugoslav officials are held in Brioni. – August 28. They visit Montenegro and Titograd. – August 30. Tito and Khrushchev pay a joint visit to Ljubljana.– September 1. They visit Zagreb. Khrushchev, in his farewell speech on September 3, concludes, that a “frank and comradely“exchange of views and experiences is essential.
Soviet Union / U.S. – August 21, 1963 (LBC)
A nuclear cooperation agreement is signed between the U.S. and the Soviet Union for three years.
Czechoslovakia – August 21, 1963 (KCA)
Rudolf Slánský, the Czechoslovak Communist leader hanged in 1952 with ten other defendants (Vladimír Clementis, Rudolf Margolius, Josef Frank, Bedřich Geminder, Ludvík Frejka, Otto Šling, Bedřich Reicin, André Simone) is posthumously rehabilitated.
Finland / Soviet Union – August 27, 1963 (KMP)
The agreement on renting Saimaa canal to Finland from the Soviet Union for 50 years enters into force. Urho Kekkonen thinks that the agreement would be the first step to return Karelian area, which was ceded to the Soviet Union after the Second World War, back to Finland.
Soviet Bloc / Pakistan – August 30, 1963 (KCA)
A barter trade agreement between Pakistan and the Soviet Union is signed. Other agreements are signed with Poland on September 12 and 28, with Hungary on October 1 and with Czechoslovakia on October 1.
Hungary/Soviet Union – September 1963 (HC)
The Hungarian department of the University of Ungvár in the Ukraine opens. Courses for teachers with Hungarian majors begins.
Soviet Union / Canada – September 1963 (KCA)
One of the largest ever wheat transactions, a sale by Canada to the Soviet Union, is announced. Sharp, the Canadian Minister of Trade and Commerce, states that mutual trade relations between the Soviet Union and Canada have reached an understanding which will facilitate the expansion of trade in both directions.
U.N. – September 1963 (KCA)
An Anglo-American resolution related to the crises on the borders of Israel and Syria, adopted by the majority of the Security Council of the United Nations, is vetoed by the Soviet Union.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 3, 1963 (LBC)
Soviet-American treaty of cooperation is signed to study cosmic radiation. – September 20. Kennedy proposes a joint Soviet-American manned mission to the Moon. Kennedy also referred to the Moscow test ban treaty, which gave the two superpowers “a pause in the cold war,” which can be used to “gain new confidence and experience in concrete collaboration for peace.” “If we can now be as bold and farsighted in the control of deadly weapons as we have been in their creation – then surely, this first small step can be the start of a long and fruitful journey.” Kennedy made the first such offer to Khrushchev in June 1961.
Soviet Union / Afghanistan – September 4, 1963 (KCA)
An agreement for Soviet technical assistance in the construction of an atomic installation in Afghanistan is signed in Moscow.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 5, 1963 (KCA)
A joint Soviet-American program of scientific co-operation in cosmic ray research is announced. The research will be carried out in Antarctica.
Warsaw Pact / East Germany – September 9-14, 1963 (HC)
The United Armed forces of the Warsaw Pact perform military training exercises in the German Democratic Republic. Czechoslovakian, Polish, GDR and Soviet forces also participate.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – September 9-12, 1963 (HC)
A government delegation led by János Kádár, First Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party visits Yugoslavia.
Turkey – September 9, 1963 (PLC)
Turkey becomes an associate member of the EEC.
Yugoslavia / U.S. / South America – September 18-October 16, 1963 (KCA/JVJ/RYN)
President Tito visits the United States and Latin America. He stays in the United States betweenSeptember 18-22 and meets U.S. President Kennedy. A joint statement claims that the visit has brought a useful exchange of views to the international situation and to U.S.-Yugoslav relations. Tito then tours Brazil, Chile, Bolivia and Mexico. He is the first Communist head of state to visit Latin America.
Soviet Union / U.K. – September 19, 1963 (KCA)
The appeal for clemency by Greville Wynne, the British businessman sentenced to eight years‘ detention for espionage, is rejected by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
Soviet Union / U.S. – September 19, 1963 (LBC)
In a speech given in the U.N. Soviet foreign minister Gromyko proposes a summit for universal and full disarmament. The Soviet Union is willing to accept for a limited number of ICBMs and ABMs to remain in the possession of the U.S. and the Soviet Union until the third disarmament phase. The Soviet Union is willing to negotiate on an international non-proliferation treaty and on banning the use of atomic arms in nuclear free zones and on banning nuclear weapons from outer space.
Hungary – September 20, 1963 (HC)
The government issues resolution 3004/1963 specifying government benefits for collective farms for 1964.
Czechoslovakia – September 22, 1963 (KCA)
An extensive governmental reorganization is announced. It involves the dismissal of Prime Minister Viliam Široký. Jozef Lenárt, the president of the Slovak National Council, is appointed to the premiership. Václav David remains Foreign Minister. The ministerial reorganization was decided upon at a meeting of the central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Party on September 20. This process is seen abroad as a continuation of de-Stalinization. – September 25. Lenárt admits that there are numerous weaknesses in Czechoslovakia’s economy.
Hungary – September 24, 1963 (HC)
The MALÉV Hungarian aviation corporation begins operations. Its first flight outside of Europe is to Cairo.
Hungary – September 30-October 2, 1963 (HC)
The heads of the music departments of the Socialist countries hold a conference in Budapest.
Hungary / Czechoslovakia – October 1–4, 1963 (HC/KCA)
An agreement on the joint construction by Hungary and Czechoslovakia of two hydro-electric dams on the Danube is reached at a meeting between János Kádár and Antonín Novotný. An agreement is signed on the easing of travel restrictions between the two countries
East Germany – October, 1963 (HWD)
Elections to the People’s Chamber take place. The result of the open elections is the vote of 99,95% ‘yes’ for the SED. The number of SED representatives in the People’s Chamber increases from 100 to 110.
Soviet Union / U.S. / U.K. – October 3, 1963 (LBC)
It is announced that the foreign ministers of the U.S., the U.K. and the USSR (Dean Rusk, Alec Douglas-Home and Gromyko) agreed in principle not to deploy nuclear arms in outer space.
Czechoslovakia – October 3, 1963 (KCA)
The Vatican announces that the Czechoslovak Government has released Josef Beran, the Archbishop of Prague, and four other prelates from confinement or imprisonment. The release is interpreted as a further indication of the improvement of relations between the Vatican and Eastern European Communist regimes.
Romania / U.S. – October 4, 1963 (CAC)
Romanian Foreign Minister Corneliu Mănescu secretly informs Secretary of State Dean Rusk that in the event of a nuclear confrontation between East and West Romania would remain neutral.
Soviet Union / Algeria – October 4, 1963 (KCA)
An economic and technical co-operation agreement between Algeria and the Soviet Union is signed in Moscow.
Hungary / Africa – October 7-November 8, 1963 (HC)
A Hungarian labor union delegation travels to Africa. Miklós Somogyi, Chair of the National Committee of Labor Unions negotiates with the labor unions of Ghana, Mali and Algeria.
Hungary / Soviet Union – October 7-19, 1963 (HC)
A Hungarian military delegation led by Minister of Defense, General-Colonel Lajos Czinege, travels to the Soviet Union.
Soviet Union / Pakistan – October 7, 1963 (KCA)
An air agreement between Pakistan and the Soviet Union is signed in Karachi.
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 9, 1963 (CWC)
It is announced that American organizations will sell $250 million worth of wheat to the Soviet Union.
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 9, 1963 (LBC)
Kennedy denies an agreement on the ban of nuclear arms from outer space. According to Kennedy neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union wishes to deploy nuclear arms in outer space and since such a move could not be detected anyway, there is no point in signing an agreement about it. – President Kennedy permits the sale of 250 million dollars worth of wheat and flour to the Soviet Union. If the agreement is made, this will be the biggest commercial transaction in the history of the two states. Payment would be made in cash or gold and could be used up in the Soviet Union or Eastern Europe. It would not be an agreement between the governments, the sellers and private banks would assume the risk. Thus the President changed Washington’s traditional policy not to sell state subsidized agricultural surplus to communist countries although an exception was made in 1955 for Poland and Yugoslavia. According to the commercial loan conditions to be extended to the Soviet Union, instead of a loan the Soviet Union will be subject to the possibility of delayed payment. According to the Johnson Act of 1939 only governments that have not renounced the payment of debts to the U.S. such as the Soviet Union, are entitled to loans. – Several congressional representatives – some of them of states that possess surplus wheat, (Everett Dirksen: Illinois, Charles Halleck: Indiana) and the Republican leaders of the House and the Senate – protest because the Presidential decision violates congressional policy.
Yugoslavia – October 10, 1963 (RYN)
Belgrade announces that it will pay its assessed share of the costs for United Nation Operation in the Congo (ONUC) for the November 1, 1961 – June 30, 1963 period, but reiterates that ONUC is not carrying out the purposes for which it was originally established.
Soviet Union / U.K. / U.S. / East Germany – October 10, 1963 (KCA)
The nuclear test-ban treaty, signed on August 5, comes into force. The treaty is ratified on September 25 by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and signed the same day by its chairman, Brezhnev. East Germany signs the test-ban treaty in Moscow on August 8. The U.S. and Great Britain refuse to accept the accession of East Germany, as they do not recognize it as an entity possessing national sovereignty.
U.S. – October 10, 1963 (LBC)
The U.S. House of Representatives prohibits the use money from the budget approved by the House for NASA in the joint Moon mission of the U.S. and “a communist, communist-dominated or communist-controlled country”. The House reduced NASA’s budget for 1966 to 5.1 billion dollars.
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 11, 1963 (KCA)
It is announced in Washington, that the U.S. and the Soviet Union have agreed to exchange four persons charged with espionage.
Soviet Union / Afghanistan – October 12-17, 1963 (KCA)
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, Brezhnev officially visits Afghanistan. Talks involving Brezhnev, King Mohammed Zahir Shah and the Afghan Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammed Yusuf, are held. – October 17. An agreement to provide technical assistance to Afghanistan is signed.
Hungary / U.N. – October 15, 1963 (HC)
The political committee of the United Nation elects Ambassador Károly Csatorday, Hungarian representative of the UN, as its Deputy Secretary.
Hungary / Yugoslavia – October 16-25, 1963 (HC)
A Yugoslavian parliamentary delegation led by Zvonko Brkić, Deputy chairman of the Yugoslav Parliament visits Hungary.
Yugoslavia / U.S. – October 16-25, 1963 (LBC/PLC)
Visit to the U.S. by Yugoslav President Tito. Tito negotiated with Kennedy and expressed his gratitude for the 2.5 billion dollars of U.S. aid extended to his country since 1945. (According to Kennedy’s May 14 resolution Yugoslavia is not part of the “international communist conspiracy” and therefore it is eligible for a 2 million dollar military loan).
Soviet Union – October 17, 1963 (KCA)
The first section of the North Crimean Canal is opened at a ceremony attended by Khrushchev.
UN – October 17, 1963 (LBC/HC)
The UN unanimously passed a resolution aimed at preserving outer space from nuclear weapons.
Soviet Union / Eastern Europe – October 22, 1963 (KCA)
The agreement for the creation of an International Bank for Economic Co-operation is signed in Moscow. The institution is formed by eight COMECON member-countries:Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Mongolia, Poland, and Romania. – November 12.Konstantin Nazarkin, vice-president of the Soviet Foreign Trade Bank, is nominated chairman. The Bank begins operations in 1964.
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 22-24, 1963 (LBC)
A full U.S. division is transported by air to Europe to prove: the U.S. army is capable of moving such a large contingent to Germany and then to equip them from stocks and get them combat ready in a couple of days. The exercise lasted 63 hours and 20 minutes, 15,278 troops used 196 planes, covered 5600 miles, picked up 300 tanks and 429 personal armed carriers. – November 7. The USSR introduces its antiballistic missiles at the military parade commemorating the October revolution.
Yugoslavia / UN – October 23, 1963 (RYN)
Yugoslav President Tito speaks before the UN General Assembly and states that „in view of the changed international circumstances, it may be said that the term nonalignment has in a way been superseded by the new and positive evolution of international relations.” According to Tito, beyond nonalignment lay „the polarization of the forces of peace, on the one hand, and of the forces of cold war on the other.”
Soviet Union / U.S. – October 26, 1963 (LBC)
Khrushchev announces: his country will not purchase American wheat unless the discriminatory measures concerning the use of the wheat are lifted. – October 27. Senator Hubert Humphrey recommends the revision of the American trade policy towards Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He opines that the export of strategic goods should be made more stringent and that of the non-strategic ones should be relaxed. Humphrey justifies his argument with economic considerations. Earlier the Senate Foreign Relations Committee also announced the revision of U.S. trade policy in order to increase East-West trade. According to Senator William Fulbright Canada and other Western nations finance their Eastern exports through European banks. That is they use U.S. credit for the export of such goods that the U.S. is not allowed to sell to Eastern Europe. – 200 leading American businessmen ask for the revision of U.S. trade policy: they report that the Western countries sell 5 billion dollars worth of goods to the East bloc annually, but because of the restrictions the American share is only 200 million dollars. – October 28. Hungary is permitted to buy 5.5 million dollars worth of US maize. According to an earlier report by the Washington Post Hungary canceled its request for the purchase 200 thousand tons of American wheat because the Department of Commerce would allow delivery in U.S. vessels only. Hungary expressed its willingness to satisfy this criterion, but only at world market tariffs. This was misinterpreted in the U.S. to the effect that Hungary was unwilling to accept the delivery of the merchandise in U.S. ships. – The Soviet-American wheat negotiations end without result because U.S. ship owners would deliver the wheat to the Soviet Union at the usual price only, which means that it would cost 50 million dollars to take 4 million tons of wheat to the USSR. – November 8. Hungary gets the license to purchase 100 thousand tons of wheat for 7.6 million dollars. – November 14. The Department of Commerce gives Hungary the license to purchase another 100 thousand tons of wheat at the price of 8 million dollars. (Till the end of October Hungary bought 6.6 million tons of maize from the U.S.).
Yugoslavia – November 1963 (KCA)
The membership of the new Yugoslav Federal Exective Council is as follows: President, Petar Stambolić; Vice-Presidents, Boris Krajger, Miloš Minić and Veljo Zeković; members elected from the Federal Assembly, Jakov Blazhević, Jozhe Brilej, Fadil Hodzh, Abdo Humoa, Radojka Katić, Milutin Moracha, Svetislav Stafanović and Borko Temelkovski.
Soviet Union – November 1963 (KCA)
The Soviet Union launches the first maneuverable spaceship Polyot I. In January 1964, two satellites, Electron I and II, are launched.
Soviet Union – November 1963 (KCA)
A 1,250-mile pipeline from Bokhora, in Uzbekistan, to the Urals is opened.
Cyprus – November 1963 (PLC)
Proposed amendments to Cyprus’ constitution objected by the Turkish minority.
Greece – November 3, 1963 (PLC)
Among the economic problems and internal turmoil, Papandreou’s Centre Union – with EDA support – wins the elections in Greece by a margin.
Poland / Canada – November 5, 1963 (KCA)
Canada and Poland sign a new three-year wheat agreement.
Yugoslavia – November 10, 1963 (KCA)
Yugoslavia’s first uranium mine is opened at the village of Kalna on Mount Trara Planina. The processing plant will supply Yugoslavia’s first nuclear power station, which is planned for completion in 1970.
Hungary / West Germany – November 10, 1963 (HC)
Hungary and the Federal Republic of Germany sign a long-term trade agreement in Budapest. The two countries set up mutual trade representation.
Hungary / Finland – November 11-20, 1963 (HC)
A Finnish parliamentary delegation, led by parliamentary Chairman Kauno Kleemola, visits Hungary.
Hungary / Soviet Union – November 12-23, 1963 (HC)
A Georgian Communist Party delegation led by Chairman V. P. Mzavanadze visits Hungary.
Hungary / Austria – November 12, 1963 (HC)
The building of a new Collegium Hungaricum begins in Vienna.
Czechoslovakia / Bulgaria / Hungary / Romania / Poland / Soviet Union / U.S. –
November 12, 1963 (LBC)
The State Department announces that new travel restrictions are introduced for Czechoslovak, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Romanian and Polish diplomats, who are banned from 355 counties, 11% of the area of the continental U.S. The restrictions are introduced because of “national security” reasons. The limitation does not apply to tourists, journalist residing in the US and other visitors. – New list is published on the travel limitations of Russian diplomats. The measure came in reprisal to a similar move against U.S. diplomats in the Soviet Union. Russian diplomats are banned from 26% of the continental U.S.
Soviet Union / U.S. – November 12, 1963 (KCA)
Professor Frederick C. Barghoorn, the head of the Department of Soviet Studies at Yale University, is arrested on charges of espionage in Moscow. The Soviet authorities gave no indication of the circumstances in which he had been arrested. After an intervention by President Kennedy on November 14, he is released on November 16.
Soviet Union / Somalia – November 12, 1963 (KCA)
The Somali Foreign Minister, Abdulahhi Issa accepts military aid from the Soviet Union instead of the Western countries. He emphasizes that Somalia will keep friendly relations with Western countries and remain a non-aligned country.
Hungary / Poland – November 18-22, 1963 (HC)
A Polish government delegation led by Władysław Gomułka, the First Secretary of the Polish Communist Party, and Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz, visits Hungary. Negotiations take place resulting in a scientific agreement and a deepening of the relationship of the fields of machinery, iron-metallurgy.
Soviet Union / U.S. – November 18, 1963 (KCA)
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, in a speech reviewing NATO military strength, states that the Western countries enjoy superiority in conventional forces and in nuclear weapons over the Soviet bloc.
Hungary / India / Indonesia – November 22-December 18, 1963 (HC)
A Hungarian parliamentary delegation led by Mrs. István Vass, visits India and Indonesia. On November 24 Hungary and India sign a five-year trade agreement in Delhi.
Soviet Union / U.S. – November 22, 1963 (HC/KCA/LBC/PLC)
U.S. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated. His successor is Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson. – November 23. Khrushchev expresses his condolences at the U.S. embassy in Moscow personally. In a letter to the new President, Lyndon B. Johnson he states that Kennedy’s death is “a hard blow to all those who cherish the cause of peace and Soviet-American cooperation”. Deep grief and sorrow are also expressed by Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and Romania. – November 30. The Soviet Union hands over to the U.S. the files pertaining to Kennedy’s assumed assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Oswald previously filed for Soviet citizenship and spent time in the Soviet Union.
Soviet Union – November 23, 1963 (KCA)
Khrushchev explains the necessity of implementing de-Stanilization measures. The publishing of two works attacking Stalinism, Yevgeny Yevtushenko‘s Stalin’s Heirs and Alexander Solzhenitsin’s One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, is permitted. This step is welcomed by writers and artists as a movement towards greater freedom of expression. Consequently, Khrushchev visits the exhibition of experimental art and declares that the works look as though “they had been smeared with a donkey‘s tail.“ This action initiates strong protests by artists leading to a special meeting on December 17, where Khrushchev is also present. – January 17, 1964. An exhibition of abstract paintings by the French artist Fernand Léger is opened with official support.
Hungary/Soviet Union – November 25-December 2, 1963 (HC)
A delegation led by István Szirmai, Secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party visits of Soviet Union to study the ideology of the Soviet Communist Party.
Soviet Union / U.S. – November 26, 1963 (LBC)
The U.S. Senate votes against a bill, which would have impeded the Export-Import Bank from guaranteeing the Soviet purchase of 250 million dollars worth of grain. The Senate voted right after Senator Michael Mansfield read Kennedy’s letter in which the former President labeled the bill as something that is contrary to the national interest.
Soviet Union / Czechoslovakia – November 27, 1963 (DCO/PLC)
The agreement on friendship and mutual assistance between Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union is prolonged by Jozef Lenárt, the prime minister and Antonín Novotný in Moscow.
Hungary / England – November 27, 1963 (HC)
A Hungarian parliamentary delegation led by Erik Molnár visits England.
Poland – December 28, 1963 (KCA)
The Polish section of the “Friendship Oil Pipeline“ is commissioned in Plock in the presence of Gomułka and representatives of Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany and the Soviet Union.
Yugoslavia / Romania – November 30, 1963 (KCA)
President Tito and the Romanian chairman of the Council of State Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej sign an agreement for the joint construction by of a power and navigational scheme on the Danube. They agree to set up a joint committee to promote economic co-operation between Romania and Yugoslavia.
Yugoslavia – December 1963 (RNF)
Serbia and Montenegro announce the integration of their respective industries; cooperation in communications, foreign trade, and long-term joint planning; and the conclusion of an agreement to complete the Belgrade-Bar railway.
Soviet Union – December 1963 (KCA)
The Vestnik Statistiki statesthat the Soviet Union has a population of 225,000,000 as of July 1, 1963.
Hungary / England – December 2, 1963 (HC)
Diplomatic relations between Hungary and England are raised to the ambassadorial level.
Hungary / Denmark – December 2, 1963 (HC)
Hungary and Denmark sign a trade agreement in Copenhagen.
Bulgaria / Hungary / Romania / U.K. – December 2, 1963 (HC/KCA)
The Foreign Office of the United Kingdom announces that the British Legations in Sofia, Budapest and Bucharest should be raised to embassy status. This change is described officially as a “normalizing process” with no special political significance.
Hungary – December 7, 1963 (KCA/HC)
Cabinet changes occur in Budapest. András Benkei becomes the Minister of Interior, Jozsef Bíró becomes the Minister for Foreign Trade and György Csanádi becomes the Minister of Transport and Post.
Soviet Union – December 9, 1963 (KCA)
Khrushchev puts forward a proposal to raise agricultural production by increasing the use of chemical fertilizers. December 3, 1963, these proposals are unanimously approved by the committee of the Soviet Communist Party.
Soviet Union – December 13, 1963 (KCA)
The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party decides to expand the Soviet chemical industry. On January 28, Pravda announces the creation of two new State Committees for the oil, chemical and petrochemical industry.
Soviet Union – December 14, 1963 (LBC)
Khrushchev announces that the Soviet Union wishes to reduce its military expenditure.
Soviet Union – December 16, 1963 (KCA)
Vasily Garbuzov presents the State Budget to the Supreme Soviet for the years 1964 and 1965.On December 19, the Supreme Soviet approves the State Budget and the State Plan. No estimate for defense spending is given in the budget for 1965.
Soviet Union / U.S. – December 16, 1963 (LBC)
In a speech President Lyndon B. Johnson reaffirms American devotion to NATO. According to Dean Rusk the unprecedented opportunity to negotiate with the Soviet Union must be exploited.
Finland – December 17, 1963 (KVK)
Karjalainen government falls officially due to disagreement about the law on agricultural income. It is also stated that the Soviet Union’s negative stance towards the government base and the National Coalition Party’s presence in the coalition would have partly caused its resignation.
East Germany / West Germany – December 17, 1963 (KGD)
The first agreement on transit passes (Passierscheinabkommen) is signed by representatives of the West Berlin Senate and the GDR; the GDR de facto recognizes the document.
COMECON / Romania – December 17-21, 1963 (HC)
The Tenth session of the executive committee of the COMECON takes place in Bucharest.
Hungary / France – December 17, 1963 (HC)
Ambassadorial diplomatic relations are established between Hungary and France.
East Germany – December 17, 1963 (KCA)
An agreement is signed that will provide for the issuing of one-day passes for Christmas or New Year’s visits to East Berlin between December 20, 1963 and January 5, 1964.
Finland – December 18, 1963 (KVK)
A new caretaker government is formed under Government Councellor Reino Ragnar Lehto.
Soviet Union / Bulgaria – December 18, 1963 (KCA)
About 500 African students protest in Red Square, Moscow, against the death of a Ghanaian student, Edmund Asare-Addo, who had been murdered. Vyacheslav Yelyutin, the Minister of Higher Education, assures them that Asare-Addo’s death will be investigated. In February 1963, African students clash with Bulgarian police in Sofia. Groups of students, in protest of their treatment by the Bulgarian authorities, leave the country and move to Vienna.
Cyprus – December 21, 1963 (PLC)
Ethnic conflict in Cyprus escalates into armed conflict.
Hungary – December 23, 1963 (HC)
Decree no. 1963:32 issued by the Presidential Council establishes land registration. Decree no. 1963:34 specifies the preservation of the workers’ physical state of health.
Decrees no. 1963: 35 and 36 modifying the awarding of distinctions is publicized.
Cyprus / NATO – December 25, 1963 (PLC)
NATO approves landing of “guaranteeing powers” on Cyprus.
Hungary – December 25, 1963 (HC)
Decree no. 33/1963 regulating the certification of births and the registration of marriages is issued.
Soviet Union / U.S. – December 26, 1963 (LBC)
Secretary of Commerce Franklin Roosevelt Jr. announces that the Soviet Union
received license to buy five million tons of grain.
Poland – December 28, 1963 (CAC)
In a speech, Gomułka proposes freezing nuclear armaments in Central Europe. The proposal becomes known as the Gomułka Plan when it is formally offered on February 29, 1964.
Soviet Union / U.S. – December 30, 1963 (LBC)
In an interview given to UPI news agency by the first secretary of the CPSU proposes that the U.S. and the USSR take efficient steps to make 1964 the decisive year in the improvement of the international situation. Khrushchev signals his acceptance of the Johnson administration’s proposals for East-West talks.
Soviet Union – December 31, 1963 (HC)
A directive from the Soviet government is issued to government and state leaders: ratify international agreements that outlaw the forceful modification of international borders.
Soviet Union – December 31, 1963 (CAC)
In a message to world leaders, Khrushchev proposes an international agreement on nonuse of force in territorial and border disputes.
© Cold War History Research Center, Budapest 2013