Interview with Mient Jan Faber and Mary Kaldor at a meeting of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly in Ankara, 1993
Interviewer — Metta Spencer
FABER: Well, I’m trying to think when it was. It was… Mary, when was your conference in Moscow?
KALDOR: My [undimov] conference?
KALDOR: June, 1989.
FABER: That was year. It was long. And then there was somebody who
Jaroslav Sabata knew quite well, wasn’t it?
FABER: Who came there with some letters from Jaroslov to Bogomolov.
KALDOR: And we did it at that [Bogomariov’s] institute.
METTA: Can you tell me about that?
KALDOR: Yes. Let me just… can I come back down and I’ll tell you?
METTA: Sure. Good. We’ll go ahead.
FABER: That was that thing, yes.
METTA: You were there?
FABER: I was there, yes. But that was already at the end of the 80s.
METTA: So he wouldn’t have been in jail then, would he?
FABER: No, [Sabata] was not in jail any more at that time.
METTA: I guess while he was in jail he had been trying to do this contact?
FABER: He couldn’t get out of the country of course, and so that was the reason why he sent this woman. Actually, he was invited to that meeting by Mary but of course he couldn’t get out and he couldn’t get in. And Adam Michnik was there for the first time in Moscow, and he was at this meeting. It was an absolute glorious time, because this was at the official institute where the Soviet diplomats get their education.
METTA: Diplomatic Academy, yes.
FABER: Yes. And so they organized a kind of a summer school together with Mary and Jim Skelly, who at that time was still in California somewhere. And so this was all very official. And we arrived there, I remember well, in Moscow at the airport and there were those guys who had this very big black car to bring you immediately to some kind of dinner party. But Michnik arrived at the same time, and they refused to take him in the car because he was this awful dissident from Poland. And so finally, we didn’t and I think Mary was at the airport as well, and so Mary, she was already there. And so Mary also refused to go with them, and me too. And we went out with Michnik to a press conference immediately somewhere else. It was all quite funny. And the interesting thing was that…
METTA: But Michnik could’ve been invited to it.
FABER: They had been invited to and he was… so for the first time he was in Moscow again after so many years, and so for him, it was pure excitement to be there. And the interesting thing was it was ’89. So, was Bush in power in America? I guess so.
FABER: Bush. George Bush. Must be.
METTA: Uh. Yes, it would’ve been ’89. He probably came in ’88.
FABER: Yes, but the point was that Michnik, who was then a member of Parliament and he was the head editor of this newspaper. Bush was in Poland in Warsaw, and Michnik was invited for a reception and a dinner together with all kinds of other people, with Bush. And he went there and said, “Well, I can only stay for a while because I have to go to Moscow,” so he went off earlier. And then he came to Moscow and they refused to… [Laughs]. So this was really already. I mean this was Perestroika time, and so things were changing but all those institutions had to adapt themselves to the new times. And this kind of initiative which was organized by Jim Skelly and Mary was the first thing in this very traditional institute to do something new.
METTA: Now do you remember who was the director of the institute, of the Diplomatic Academy at that time?
FABER: Mary will know, because she did the business with them.
METTA: Because I was on the committee to write the Charter for Burg Schlaining.
METTA: And it would have been about then that I. I don’t know, it was about then. And I met a guy who had just been appointed the director or the prorector of that academy and his name was Alexander Likhotal. Well the next time I saw him, I was in Moscow and I tried to look him up and he was no longer there. He was working for the Central Committee. But that was the END Convention. And I… he was at the END Convention. I found him and we had lunch, and did an interview with him, and we became friendly, and he was asking — he said that he was starting a new journal and he wanted me to write for his journal, which I thought was a hoot. I would just love to write for the Central Committee’s journal. So, the next time, it was three days later, but the coup took place, and even walked out in the street… So when I saw him next, I was in Moscow. I called him up and he’s Gorbachev’s spokesman. He was Gorbachev’s spokesman at the time. He was the one who announced that they were closing down the Soviet Union, and I kept seeing him on TV and stuff, but anyway, I felt that my feeling was that he was going to make a lot of changes in the Diplomatic Academy when he got hired, because he… I talked to him four hours. We were on a trip. They took us on a bus excursion and so, he and I had a lovely visit for four hours together. And he was hired to change the way they were training the diplomats and I’ll bet you that’s why you guys were brought in. I believe probably Jim Skelly was at that meeting in Schlaining— I don’t remember whether he was there or not — but he might very well have been at Schlaining at the same meeting Mary attended. She may have met him there. But Likhotal is…
FABER: I think it was another name.
METTA: Not Likhotal?
FABER: But it might have been a Jew, by the way, because this is a rather Jewish name, isn’t it?
METTA: Likhotal? I don’t know.
FABER: But Mary will know because she corresponded with him for some time in order to organize this all.
METTA: But he is still Gorbachev’s spokesman. He was in Toronto the other day and I saw him.
FABER: I see, I see. But that was… the INF treaty was long past. Well, this was all over at the time. And so, influence of the peace movement on what was happening, I mean in the beginning of the 80s. I think, according to me, the Peace Committees, and in particular the Soviet Peace Committee, became extremely active in I think in ’83… maybe ’82 or ’83. ’82, ’83, when they approached us for the first time. And they were active, they have had contacts with the communist wing of the peace movement in the West. But they discovered that this didn’t bring them much. And so they started to get in touch with the Mainstream movement in ’82- ’83. I think we had the first meeting with them in London and then Mary and I and some of the people from the Soviet Peace Movement came over later along and to talk to us. We didn’t bring anything because we were very suspicious about them. But anyway, then later on, they became very much interested in the END conventions. And in particular after, I think there were some of them at the Berlin Convention in ’83, but they wanted to be part of the whole structure. They joined the liaison committee and at the preparatory talks. And so they tried to do that in the preparations for the Perugia convention. So I was at that time sort of central in the whole thing. So we have the policy, “Well okay, you cannot come at a preparatory meeting because you are not part of that, but you may come immediately after that or in advance so that we can have some discussions with you and hear your ideas and then we can see what we will do.” And they always came, although they were not welcome at official meetings, they came as large delegations.
METTA: Do you remember who came? Which ones?
FABER: Well, Lukshin of course. And some of his guys. And Tair Tairov was very much involved in the whole thing. And he was working at the announcing the other world council — the World Peace Council. I think he broke the ice a little bit, and well, the Finns brought him in. He had a title and sort of the Committee of Hundred in Finland. And he was the most open guy in the whole thing. The Soviet Peace agreement was much closer. You could immediately feel that they had official instructions all the time and official positions. And I think what happened, what I remember… I mean, I was always, in their eyes, very suspicious because of our contacts with the dissidents which were at the beginning of the 80s already very deep and very clear and already acting in ’74, we made an official appeal to support Sakharov because he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and so… But anyway, I mean, they couldn’t really get around us. So I was asked by the END liaison committee in the summer of ’83 to go to Prague, where the World Peace Council have its official big meeting.
METTA: I went there.
FABER: And order to talk to Zhukov, their Secretary General, and to ask him if he could arrange a meeting with Gromyko for us, where we would tell Gromyko that they have to stop this deployment of SS-20s and to do something and to go down.
METTA: Is it IKV who sent you, or what?
FABER: No, this was on behalf of the liaison committee of the END Convention. And because at that time it was for everybody very clear that all their words about disarmament and total disarmament was all rubbish. The deployment went on and on and on. And then Zhukov was – - I mean he was a very rude guy and he didn’t understand anything of East-West dialogue — and so he let me wait for one-half day, and Tairov was constantly trying to get me in. And finally he managed, and I was there with [Wolf von Mueller?] who was working in my office who is a German, and so Zhukov started to talk for twenty minutes about blah blah blah. And then it was my turn to tell him that I was there in order to see if he could do something. And then he came back for another twenty minutes and then the meeting was over. So I said to Tairov, “This is absolutely hopeless. This is the last time I meet with this guy, because he is not going to do anything.” Well also Tairov was convinced then that this is not the channel. And so…
METTA: You had a feeling at that point that Tairov was on your side?
FABER: Well, the only thing I knew from Tairov, that he was taking in the ideas of what the rest of the movement was doing. That’s what he told me. He always had to make brief words, not only on his meetings with people, but also on what this peace movement was doing, so their proposals. He did that, and he had the ideas that these things were well read, and that they went also straight up to the Politburo and this kind of organization. And I think that’s true because the people they brought in… In Perugia they came, there was a whole delegation of people from all kinds of institutes and I don’t know where, but they were quite well informed. They knew the peace language very well. So they must have discussed that already very much. The only thing was that they repeated our language. but if you asked them in particular what was the position of their government and were they willing to push their government for a certain position and of course, there was no answer, or they went around the problem. So this was in ’84. And then in the beginning of ’85, Gorbachev came in, and they were deploying, deploying, deploying, deploying, deploying. And I remember this very well because in the Netherlands, the Peace Movement managed to stop the deployment of cruise missiles although the government had decided to do nothing for a certain period. The deadline was the first of November, 1985. If the Soviet Union, then, at that time, had deployed more than 378 SS-20s, then Holland would join NATO and deploy 48 cruise missiles in the Netherlands. But 378 was the limit. And that limit was chosen at the moment when the government took the position, because at that time, the Soviets had 378, so they wanted the Soviets to stop, or if they went on, to go back before the first of November. And so, there was a man, a businessman, named Van Eeghen, in the Netherlands, who is a very old family trading all over the world, very rich, and very religious, in a very traditional way. And he had made some contacts in the Soviet Union over the years although he was not doing much business with the Soviet Union but they knew people. He knew Arbatov in particular very well, and other people from that Institute, and Mr. Schillen, who was from the C&C committee in the Security and Cooperation.
METTA: Schillen is a Soviet guy?
FABER: He was a Soviet guy. He was the Secretary General of that committee. And those guys had a very direct access to the Politburo. I mean Arbatov could meet with Gorbachev as well. And what Van Eeghen was basically doing then was organizing dialogues with experts in the West and experts from the Soviet Union on all kinds of issues. And there were also a lot of people who had similar ideas as we in the peace movement. Van Eeghen tried to bring me in, but the Soviets refused.
METTA: How do you spell his name?
FABER: E-E-G-H-E-N. Van Eeghen. And the Soviets refused because
they said, well this is this guy who is working with dissidents so he is undermining our system so we don’t want to happen here.
METTA: Of you?
FABER: Of me. So I was not allowed to participate in those meetings but the people: Hylke Tromp. I don’t know if you know this name. He was basically the man who was organizing the things on behalf of Van Eeghen because he knew the material. Well he has been in the IKV board for some time and he was supporting our kinds of ideas for a long time. So that was also a channel just to communicate and to inform him about what was going on.
METTA: Do you remember what they were talking about?
FABER: Well, they talked about INF, and all those kind of things very much, and everything was related to arms control. And then, what Von Eeghan did. Von Eeghan thought, “well I have a lot of influence”. What he basically was doing was quite interesting. Because he was so religious, he discovered that many people on the top were, although Communist, had a spiritual need, and he converted several of them to Christianity.
METTA: Good lord! Give me some names!
FABER: And so he told me all these stories. That he went there and he prayed with them and they came to him and this kind of thing.
METTA: No kidding?
FABER: It was fantastic.
METTA: Do you know who they were!?
FABER: Well, he gave me some. Also some people. There was this guy who was working for the KGB. It was a Colonel Bogonov or something like that.
METTA: Not the guy who defected.
FABER: Who was also… no, not the guy who defected. Who was also, he also worked in the U.S.-Canada Institute for some time, as the Deputy director. But he was very famous as a KGB Colonel, but secretly a Christian.
METTA: I wish I knew who he was. Maybe I will call this guy. How would I contact him to find out? Will he tell me?
FABER: Von Eeghan. I don’t know if he will give all that information. Maybe he will. It’s an interesting guy to tell about this stories. He lives in this world. And he organized
also in Holland this… He could also easily enter the White House. He has all these various relations. And he went to
these morning prayers in America. And he discovered this there and he introduced it in Holland.
METTA: Oh my God. And then this guy, he had these prayer breakfasts?
METTA: They’re horrible!
FABER: Well, they were absolutely horrible. But this is his life. He was doing business, he was interested in peace and in religion. These were the three things. A typical traditional Dutch family, very rich. So then he’s told I have to do something in order to convince Gorbachev that he has to stop the deployment of SS-20s as a first step. At that time Gorbachev had not announced that he was in favour of the INF treaty or the CO option or whatsoever, so they were still in a period of translation. And so he went there and talked to Arbatov and other people, and said, “You have to do something. Please tell Gorbachev and tell the people that they really have to respect this limit of 378 cruise missiles.” And he talked to me and I informed some people in the Dutch government that he was doing this kind of thing so I had the feeling that it was not completely chanceless, that there was a possibility that he would manage it, because of the kind of man he was. Nobody believed that in the Dutch government, because they were business idiots. But on the other hand, well, you never know, and so, at the end of October, he went again to Moscow. This was one week before the first of November, the deadline. And he was put in a hotel room. And Arbatov and other people said they may stay there. “We are now negotiating. It’s going quite well with the Gorbachev people, and we might succeed.” He told me this story afterwards when he came back. And so, he stayed in the hotel for days. And he said, “Don’t leave your room. Stay here.” And now and then they came up and said, “It’s still going on, so we’ll our best.” Wait, wait, wait. And so after three days just sitting in hotel room, they came back to him and they said it’s okay. 378. No more. He came back to Holland. He rang me, and he said, “It’s arranged.” I couldn’t believe. But he was absolute. I went immediately to Amsterdam, where one of the channels where he had his office. And so we had lunch together and we were rather happy. And then there came a telephone call from Moscow that it was not okay, and that finally some people had said from the Foreign Minister from Gromyko’s office, this is unacceptable. They are not going in that way. But it failed. But I think that he almost managed to get them elsewhere. But anyway, the Dutch decided on the first of November that we have to deploy. We never deployed because things were changing rapidly in the Soviet Union and this was just a sign that they were in transition. They were very confused and that they were even willing to deal with this kind of a tradesman, and the Netherlands was this intermediate.
METTA: The story is similar to one that Robert De Gendt told me that going to …. They were really being taken seriously, I think, as possibly able to negotiate something say, it wasn’t the Belgians, but I have it transcribed, but it was… What was the situation with Belgium? They weren’t willing to deploy unless…
FABER: Well, the Belgians deployed. I mean, they had a, they have a…
METTA: There was something similar to that…
FABER: Well, they went much less farther than the Dutch. They linked it to negotiations or something like that and they asked for half a year space. But at the same time, they were preparing the base, and half a year later, they simply deployed. And the government, when the government was announcing that Belgium was ready to deploy, at the same moment, the missiles were deployed. That made a big fuss in the Belgian Parliament. Well, first there was an agreement that first, the Parliament could discuss it. And that this was impossible, the Americans, I mean, this was already done. In Holland, it was much more substantial. They had appointed a base. We went there. This was in the beginning of — it was ’82 or ’83, something like that. And we went there and immediately got the whole local community on our side, and there were big demonstrations. Local councils said no, and this was a conservative council. But nevertheless they started to prepare the base. Then, because of all the big demonstrations and the fact that the Christian Democrats, who were in power, as always, were totally divided on the issue, could not come to a consensus. The Prime Minister decided, Okay, we stop it for a while, and we link it to what’s happening in the Soviet Union. And so that was in ’85 at the time when Gorbachev came in so there was this feeling that it might be possible that things are going to change. And since also all those guys were travelling up and down from the Soviet Union. Much more open and much more interested in how public opinion works and how this kind… and very confused about everything — not knowing who was really influential, how things go and if somebody comes up with an idea, then they immediately took it serious and brought it to the highest levels, etcetera. Yes, you have to tell something else, if you don’t mind.
METTA: Thank you.
FABER: And so I think it was part of this process. We had a guy from — I don’t know his name anymore — but he was at a meeting in The Hague, where Mary was also invited, a very official meeting. The Queen was there, and Mary, and some other people.
FABER: The Queen, the Dutch Queen. The Dutch Queen, Mary, and other people. And there was somebody from Russia from what was, I mean a high level expert who there openly said to us at the meeting, and there were always official people. The development in the Soviet Union in that people were directly influenced by the peace movement.
METTA: What year was that?
FABER: This was in…
KALDOR: ’91, I would say.
FABER: Yes, so it was afterwards.
METTA: So he was looking back?
FABER: He was looking back at that period. And he said, “No, there was a lot of influence on the moratorium issue and all those kinds of things.” And I think that this is all true. They had taken in the ideas and they waited for a time. I mean at the top, they were willing to accept them in one way or another. And they had the feeling that if they take up the ideas of the peace movement then it will get some reaction in the west. Partly also because they didn’t understand how things work in the West. I mean you could campaign whatever you want, and nevertheless everything keeps a status as it is. And they didn’t realize that at all. They thought, well, so many people. They had precisely the people which was so dominant in the 19th century thought that public opinion is a real power and that you cannot manipulate the public; they want something, then it is going to happen. They were convinced. That was their idea of democracy. It is much more complicated. It was not understood at that time, I think.
METTA: Mary, can you tell me about this meeting. Let me make sure about how much tape there is still left. Yes, it’s still going. Tell me what you can about that meeting.
KALDOR: Well, first of all I should explain that through about the mid-80s onwards we had a series of summer schools together with the University of California. Do you remember the University of California and MIT organized these summer schools for academic on arms control.
METTA: Was Randall Forsburg involved with that?
KALDOR: I don’t know. Maybe that MIT one.
FABER: Jim Skelly?
KALDOR: No no. This was the MIT one. But the University of California approached us at Sussex and said, “how about doing it together?” And I said, we should do it on East-West as well as arms control. And we actually used those summer schools. We had two at Sussex before we went to Moscow to involve East European opposition figures. It was a kind of way in which we could involve them and the summer school. Then, we had the idea of holding it in Moscow. And MGEMO is the official training institute of the Soviet Foreign Office as it then was, and it’s known as…
METTA: Now wait a minute. That’s not the Diplomatic Academy.
KALDOR: No. It’s called the School of International Relations.
METTA: We’re talking about two different things.
METTA: The Diplomatic Academy is where they actually train Civil Servants— you know, Foreign Officers.
KALDOR: No. This is the Institute of International Relations although nearly all the high-ranking diplomats in the Warsaw Pact were trained there. Very intensive language and International Relations, Political Science, Economics. And Shevardnadze ordered them to open their doors to foreigners. It had been a very closed institute known as the KGB school. And so we approached them and said we would do our summer school with them in Moscow, which was held in the summer of 1989. And again I insisted that we should be free to invite who we liked. And so, I invited opposition figures from Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
KALDOR: From Hungary I invited Conrad Harashti and Istvan Rav
METTA: And who?
KALDOR: Istvan Rav.
METTA: Go on.
KALDOR: From Czechoslovakia, I invited Jaroslav, and from Poland I invited Geremek. And they made a terrible fuss, the Russians as you can imagine. This is impossible, it’s big enough that we opened our doors to foreigners, let alone, and they said. You know what they’re like. They said, “We’ll only do it if these are our allies.” We can’t have people that they wouldn’t agree to. So I called up the Foreign Ministries in Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The Hungarian Foreign Ministry was great. They sent someone from the Hungarian Industry around MGEMO, saying as far as they are concerned, I could invite whoever I liked. I also, I should add, I invited a very official character as well. When they had that, they said it was fine. I invited someone who you may know, called Peter Daak.
KALDOR: Daak. He’s from the Ministry of Defence, and he was working on alternative defence policies. So that was fine. The Poles said all right to Geremek. But at the last minute, Geremek couldn’t come, and suggested Michnik instead. And they said no to Michnik.
METTA: Was that after they got there? Is that when they said no?
KALDOR: They said no on my way to Moscow, by which time I had confirmed yes with Michnik. And of course at that time Poles didn’t have visas. Poles didn’t have to have visas. So Michnik simply came.
METTA: I see, so that’s what.
KALDOR: And they said, he cannot speak, he can’t stay here, and I…
FABER: I told the story at the airport.
KALDOR: And I said, “Look here. He’s already informed the western press.” Shevardnadze you know, you want to have a good image. You’re going to look very stupid that it’s all over the Western press. That you refused to allow — he was already a Polish Member of Parliament. You are going to look very stupid if he is not allowed to speak. So they refused to send a car for him to the airport so I took a taxi to go and meet them. One of them said, “I will not let that man ride in an institute car.”
KALDOR: So anyway, he arrived. We sat there and they finally agreed that he should speak.
FABER: He came from a dinner with Bush. You remember that.
KALDOR: He told all of the Western Press it was reported that Adam Michnik had cut short his meeting with Bush in order to attend an East-West seminar in Moscow. And he arrived, he was very funny. He was in jeans, as always. But he said, Kuron put on a suit, to meet Bush? [Laughs] And it was
really an amazing occasion, he said. There was Jaruzelski, there was Bush, and then there was a bunch of us criminals. [Laughs].
METTA: He’s so charming. He’s so funny. I want to talk to him.
KALDOR: As soon as I had negotiated that, I could tell it was a terrible strain because what was worse was that the Americans didn’t really support me, I mean, Jim Skelly supported me, but in a rather — they couldn’t really understand why I was making such a fuss about it. They said, “why are you so preoccupied with Eastern Europe?” You know, why are you going on like this? And you know, we were pushing them all of the time on these issues. And they were terribly critical. So I said really felt that I was doing this completely on my own. And I was absolutely dead when I negotiated this thing with Michnik and just when I negotiated it this woman turns up from Jaroslav.
METTA: Oh, okay?
KALDOR: With Jaroslav’s paper, and Jaroslav organized it. He wasn’t allowed to go himself so he sent a woman with his paper to read his paper. And they refused to allow her inside the room of the seminar.
METTA: She never got in?
KALDOR: Well, just to listen. She said that she wasn’t going to present the paper and then we organized that the paper would be presented at Bogomolov’s institute.
METTA: I see.
KALDOR: So we all went to Bogomolov’s institute to hear Jaroslav’s paper and discuss it.
KALDOR: But we did get her in. I said, “I can’t do anymore,” so Mient-Jan and Michnik staged a little demonstration and said, “we won’t go inside the seminar room unless she’s allowed in.” And so she was allowed in and then she read Jaroslav’s paper the next day.
METTA: Now were there Soviets there listening?
KALDOR: Of course.
METTA: Well now who?
KALDOR: Well they were very official.
METTA: Do you remember who was listening?
KALDOR: Yes. There’s the guy who is now the official Soviet negotiator in Russian. Do you remember Dubinin?
KALDOR: He’s been appointed, now what it is? Something very key. It’s either on Yugoslavia…
METTA: Dubinin was the ambassador to the U.S.
KALDOR: No, it was another Dubinin, but he was the director here. But he is now been appointed, I think, the number three in the talks in Geneva on Yugoslavia or something. He’s a key. Yes, there was Popov. There was… I could send you a list of all… they were all very key figures.
METTA: Gavriil Popov? Popov?
FABER: She succeeded to teach me [electro-discipline?] [Laughs]
KALDOR: So there were a lot… I mean it was the Soviet Institute. I mean it was the official Soviet Institute so they were all there for this. And it was quite interesting when I met them again six months later. They had completely behaved as though they had forgotten, after the ’89. They said, “Uh huh. We were the avant garde,” they said.
METTA: [Laughs] Giving themselves a little pat on the back!
KALDOR: Exactly. But they were so horrible and there was actually one moment where I actually just burst into tears with them all when the Americans and the Russians were saying to me, “Look. The key issue is arms control. Why are you doing this?”
METTA: Who were the Americans that let you down?
KALDOR: Well they didn’t really let me down. They just… Jim Skelly was obviously one of them and he was supporting me but he still thought I was just being too obsessive really. And another guy who was working with him in the University of California. They really didn’t let me down, they just didn’t bother, did they? They couldn’t see….
FABER: Allen, what was he?
KALDOR: I can’t remember.
METTA: So could you say that they were ways such as this? I mean, the thing that I got from Jaroslav was that, this may have been a way in which the peace movement acted as kind of a go-between — taking information from one side to the other when they couldn’t hear each other. And this would’ve been an example of actually getting a document heard or read in a place that it would not have been able to penetrate otherwise.
KALDOR: I think that in the case the influence was more the whole East European issue, and so it wasn’t, I would say, so much the documents in this case as the symbolism of having those people there in forcing those people to listen to them and recognizing we and the Americans and everybody else thought it was important that they should be there. So in that sense I think it had an influence. I think in terms of the… if you’re asking about the influence on ideas. Well in that sense this was important in just making the connection between arms control and human rights and democracy. But I don’t think it was so much papers as just the whole symbolism of the event. In terms of the influence on arms control thinking, I think that actually occurred earlier. I mean already by that time, they were talking about reasonable sufficiency.
FABER: Is that term, reasonable sufficiency you were thinking of?
FABER: In the car, you said it was not common security? [Pause] Reasonable sufficiency it might be.
METTA: Actually, it was a four letter word: GRIT.
KALDOR: GRIT. Now I think the key thing was reasonable sufficiency. Now, here there was…Do you know Stephen Shenfield?
METTA: I’ve read some of his stuff. I don’t know him personally.
KALDOR: Well Stephen Shenfield was quite a key figure in all of that. And in the mid 80s, there was a Colonel, who used to be known as Colonel X because was he’s someone who had been a colonel under Khrushchev.
METTA: Under what?
KALDOR: Under Krushchev?
METTA: Colonel what?
KALDOR: Well we called him Colonel X, because he came up with the idea of sufficient defence in the mid 80s. He was at IMEMO. He came up with the notion of sufficient defence for the Soviet Union. Stephen Shenfield discovered him. He interviewed him and publicized this in the West. When we went to Moscow in ’86, as an END delegation, we went to see Colonel X.
METTA: Lev Semeiko?
KALDOR: No. He was sacked from either IMEMO or ISCAN. He came up with these very radical ideas. He didn’t call it reasonable sufficiency. He called it sufficient defense, or something like that. And he had very radical, well worked out ideas about an alternative defence policy for Russia, which were his own ideas but very influenced by ideas of defensive defence in the West. His ideas were then taken up in IUSCAN and IMEMO.
METTA: But you can’t remember his name?
KALDOR: I can find it out for you. That’s not a problem. I mean, I have the notes and… I think it was even, we might have had… We certainly had something in IDU report. I don’t know whether we had anything in the END journal about him. Stephen Shenfield would certainly remember. But I mean, it’s quite clear that all those ideas — reasonable sufficiency — came out of Western ideas of defensive defence and I think that could easily be traced.
METTA: The reason I ask you about Semeiko is he was at IUSCAN and he was a colonel and I interviewed him in Toronto. And he said that he had written up something like that and sent it up the line. He wouldn’t let me report that as a claim. He said, “No, no. I don’t want anybody to think I’m boasting or anything like that.”
KALDOR: No. This guy, I think, he was sort of a semi-dissident guy, you know, one of those guys who came into the open during the Khrushchev period. Big beard, elderly guy, who certainly claimed it for himself and felt that because of his dissident views, he had suffered.
METTA: And had he?
KALDOR: Yes, he was kicked out of whichever it was, IMEMO or IUSCAN. And then his ideas were taken up.
METTA: Okay. Do you have any ideas, or any specifics about how INF was decided?
KALDOR: Well, there I think we played a huge influence, especially you and me, in the sense that we went on and on and on to the Russians, about it. We kept sending them proposals. We then said, and we were… both of us were criticized by the rest peace movement, that they ought to accept the zero option. I wrote in lots of, several newspapers saying they should accept the zero option, and then you remember all the efforts you made at the time of the Dutch deployment. We had that, again, trying to persuade the Russians to do it so that they wouldn’t deploy the missiles in Holland.
FABER: We talked about this earlier.
KALDOR: And then, remember the Reykjavik meeting, when the whole thing was stopped because of INF. I remember having a big public debate. We immediately said, why not delink INF from the rest, and accept INF. Because if you remember it was linked up with Star Wars.
KALDOR: And that would make such a big difference. And we immediately said this in all sorts of public places. I remember I had a big…
KALDOR: I had a big public debate with, what was he called. Your friend. Burlatsky, was it? The one who wrote the letter…
METTA: You’re a friend of Burlatsky’s?
FABER: At that time. They came to Holland, He and Korotich. They sent the most impressive delegations of the Peace Committee to meet with us, and so there were Korotich and Burlatsky.
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