Relations with the Soviet Union
In the postwar period, several factors contributed to
influence in Hungary. The Soviet Union maintained a large
presence in Eastern Europe
(see Soviet Influence
, ch. 5).
structural characteristics of the Warsaw Pact minimized
independence of East European military establishments and
CPSU exercised significant political influence within the
and the government.
Relations between Hungary and the Soviet Union also
on a series of more personal factors. Thus, before
assumed power in the Soviet Union, the conservative Soviet
leadership disapproved of Hungarian reform efforts, and
between the two countries were therefore cool. After
became general secretary of the CPSU and initiated his
program, the leadership of each country found in the other
ally for its program of economic and political change.
Consequently, beginning in mid-1986 relations between
the Soviet Union warmed considerably.
At the Thirteenth Party Congress, the HSWP stressed the
decisive importance of relations with the Soviet Union. At
congress, however, Grigorii V. Romanov, then a hard-line
of the CPSU Politburo and Secretariat, criticized Hungary
relations with the West. Romanov supported "businesslike
contacts" with capitalist countries, but he warned that
socialist countries could not "allow the imperialist
use economic levers as a means of political pressure and
interference in the affairs of socialist states." Romanov
Hungary not to go too far in increasing trade and
with the West.
The Twenty-Seventh Party Congress of the CPSU in March
marked the beginning of a steady improvement in relations
Hungary and the Soviet Union. Kadar endorsed the Soviet
program and drew parallels between the CPSU's party
the HSWP's Thirteenth Party Congress. Hungary also
Soviet Union's foreign policy and disarmament proposals.
1986, Gorbachev visited Hungary for talks with Hungarian
and government leaders. According to the joint communique,
sides shared "fully identical views" on foreign and
policies. Each side pledged to assist the other in
socioeconomic and scientific development.
In the mid- to late 1980s, the Soviet Union sought to
bilateral economic relations and scientific-technical
with Hungary. The Soviet Union needed Hungarian scientific
technical expertise as well as economic assistance to
Soviet economic reform. Hungary, by contrast, sought to
more resources to its trade with the West and with the
industrialized countries of the Third World.
Soviet efforts to tie Hungary more closely to the
economy and to Comecon have achieved some success. In 1985
Hungary and the Soviet Union signed a long-range economic
scientific-technical program of cooperation to last until
year 2000. The Kadar-Gorbachev talks in 1985 called for
strengthening of scientific-technical cooperation and the
development of new forms of cooperation between each
research institutes, economic enterprises, and work
At a meeting between Grosz and Gorbachev in July 1987, the
countries agreed to expand bilateral trade in the 1986-90
The two leaders also commissioned a fifteen- to
for developing economic and scientific-technical
between their two countries.
In 1988 two high-level meetings took place between
Hungarian leaders. In April, Soviet then-President Andrei
Gromyko visited Hungary to promote the expansion of
ties in light of the changes taking place in both
Gromyko met with Kadar, and they expressed a common
implementing reform in their own countries and in
new kinds of cooperation. Grosz was the first East
leader to visit the Soviet Union after the CPSU's
Party Conference in July, a sign of Hungary's close
with Moscow. Gorbachev praised the HSWP party conference
parallels between the reform efforts of both countries.
called his meeting with Gorbachev "useful and valuable"
that the two countries had never been more in harmony.
Data as of September 1989