251. Telegram From the Embassy in Yugoslavia to the Department of State1

1006. Paris pass Wallner and Knight. Embtel 1058.2

Subject to more official Yugoslav interpretation when I see Foreign Secretary, following is our preliminary analysis and comment Soviet-Yugoslav conference.
Yugoslavia succeeded obtaining Soviet recognition “different forms socialist development are solely concern of individual countries” thus Soviets yielded on issue which heretofore has been basic. Yielding was done by Bulganin in name of Soviet Government and not by Khrushchev in name of Communist party. Nonetheless this is acknowledgement of Yugoslav position on one of main issues between [Page 657] them and Soviet Union with possible consequences not only in satellites but other Communist parties. This recognition partially offset by Yugoslavs associating themselves with USSR as countries with common interest in socialism.
Yugoslavs have obtained recognition their policy condemnation of military blocs although this doubtful value to west.
Although vaguely worded Yugoslavs give impression of supporting “establishment of general system of collective security including system of collective security in Europe based on treaty” which implies approval of Molotov security plan.3 They also give impression of putting establishment such security system before German settlement which is probably useful for Soviet propaganda. In addition, Yugoslavs now officially support pretentions of Chinese Communists to Formosa. Linking of these questions to security pact seems clear indication that Soviets have extracted more far reaching concessions than Yugoslavs indicated they would grant although it can be argued by Yugoslavs these problems only to be solved by creation conditions of confidence and lessening of tension.
Yugoslavs seem clearly to have given their support to Soviet effort to break down controls on shipment strategic materials by favoring “removal of all those factors in economic relations which impede exchange of goods.”
Yugoslavs give impression of having adopted Soviet position on prohibition of atomic weapons although this may be subject to later interpretation.
Re Section 3 of joint declaration it seems clear further steps for normalization are contemplated and that closer economic cooperation is envisaged. There is no hint of any monetary compensation to Yugoslavs but these matters may be subject of later negotiation. It may well be that if Soviets are contemplating any compensation they will hold out until they see how subsequent negotiations develop.
Statement re mutual cooperation on peaceful uses of atomic energy implies Soviets will assist Yugoslavs but this may be hint to us to offer more assistance.
Although question party relationships is not mentioned reasonable interpretation Section 3 paragraph 7 would indicate closer relationships, perhaps through trade unions, are envisaged. Yugoslavs claim they hope to influence Soviets through this declaration. I am told there was terrific battle re this paragraph with Soviets demanding much more and Yugoslavs resisting attempts re-establish party ties.

Impressions: (A) Most high Yugoslav officials with whom tripartite Ambassadors talked last night expressed themselves as highly satisfied with outcome negotiations and thought Yugoslav Government had successfully resisted Soviet pressure. Yugoslav officials claim they most careful on phrasing of paragraphs re European security and German problem although this hardly borne out by declaration. It does not detract from damage to free world interests that most of positions in which Yugoslavs have associated themselves with Soviets were ones which Yugoslavs had already expressly or impliedly taken. In short Soviets astutely took advantage of Tito’s already demonstrated neutralist tendencies.

(B) In spite of unsatisfactory character of declaration, there is good reason to believe atmosphere of conference widened rather than narrowed gap between Soviets and Yugoslavs. Tito who was optimistic about visit is reported from good sources to have been clearly disillusioned re real Soviet attitude and is not so convinced as formerly of Soviet peaceful intentions.

Tito also reportedly shocked at some of conversations at Brioni where Soviet boasted World War I had brought communism to Russia, World War II had added Eastern Europe and China and World War III would see it spread throughout world. This shocked Tito who above all wants avoid World War III. Tito also reported as shaken by frank statements of continuation of Stalinist line inside USSR. Other high Yugoslav leaders regard Soviet leaders as second-rate and have doubts about their capacity to conduct negotiations with West. From one excellent source I learned Tito apparently defended West most vigorously at Brioni. Another high Yugoslav official told me Yugoslavs resisted until last their mention of Formosa but finally gave in because it consistent with their general position on China. Another source said Yugoslav Government had no desire to see NATO dislocated.

UK, Turkish, Greek and US Ambassadors conferred today on their analyses. UK, French and Greek thought declaration, although unfortunate in some of its phrasing, not too discouraging from viewpoint of West. Turkish Ambassador and I were more pessimistic in our analyses. Subject to what Yugoslav Government may tell us officially, five Ambassadors were of opinion conference with tripartite powers should be held if only for purpose of ascertaining real Yugoslav position following this conference.
It now looks as if tripartite Ambassadors will not see Foreign Secretary before Monday4 to receive official Yugoslav comment.
Department pass Moscow as desired.
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 661.68/6–355. Secret; Niact. Repeated to Ankara, Athens, London, and Paris.
  2. Telegram 1058 from Belgrade, June 2, contained an official translation of the “Declaration of the Governments of the FPRY and the USSR,” issued at the conclusion of the Yugoslav-Soviet talks held in Belgrade and Brioni May 27–June 2. In the communiqué, both governments pledged to take additional steps to normalize their relations. (Ibid., 661.68/6–355) A slightly different translation appeared in Soviet News (London), June 3, 1955, and is printed in Documents (R.I.I.A.) for 1955, p. 267.
  3. Reference is to the Soviet proposals at the Berlin Conference of January–February 1954 on European Security and the general European Treaty. For texts, see Foreign Relations, 1952–1954, vol. VII, Part 1, pp. 11891192.
  4. June 6.