EXODUS: Press releases


Reagan Takes Economic Action Against Poland

December 24, 1981, Washington Post

President Reagan ordered a series of economic reprisals against the Polish government yesterday and warned that he is prepared to impose more serious sanctions against both Poland and the Soviet Union if “the outrages in Poland do not cease.”

The United States will not conduct “business as usual” with Poland’s military government and “those who aid and abet them,” Reagan said in a nationally televised address in which he hailed the spirit of the Polish people and declared “their cause is ours.”

If the Polish crackdown continues, Reagan warned its perpetrators: “Make no mistake: Their crime will cost them dearly in their future dealings with America and free peoples everywhere.”

The measures Reagan announced will have only minor impact on Poland’s already desperately strained economy, but he made clear that he is committed to stepping up pressure with subsequent actions if there is no compromise in Poland.

Reagan reaffirmed last week’s suspension of all government-sponsored shipments of agricultural and dairy products to the Polish government until assurances are received that every bit of American food goes “to the Polish people–not to their oppressors.”

He also halted the renewal of the Export-Import Bank’s line of export credit insurance to Poland, ordered suspension of Polish civil aviation privileges in the United States, suspended Polish fishing boats’ right to work in American waters and announced that Washington has proposed to its allies a joint further restriction of high-technology exports to Poland.

An administration official said that without the credit insurance, private exports to Poland are likely to cease. In 1980, Poland was granted $25 million in such insurance, which expired Nov. 30 and now will not be renewed.

The Polish airline, LOT, has been making six flights a week to the United States. The Polish fishing fleet caught about 230,000 tons in U.S. waters last year, about one-third of Poland’s total catch, the administration official said.

Reagan said that to help the Polish people, food aid through private channels will continue as long as it is reaching the people, and that he is offering U.S. aid to Austria to help care for Polish refugees. Austria has announced it will welcome Poles fleeing the military crackdown.

Threats of future action played a major part in Reagan’s 14-minute speech as he sought to make clear that he has a course of future steps in mind if his initial measures bring no response.

“We have been measured and deliberate in our reaction to the tragic events in Poland. We have not acted in haste, and the steps I will outline tonight–and others we may take in the days ahead–are firm, just and reasonable,” the president said.

He said he has written to the Polish military chief, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, and also to Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev warning each that his nation faces further consequences if martial law is not lifted in Poland.

Reagan said he urged Jaruzelski “to free those in arbitrary detention, to lift martial law, and to restore the internationally recognized rights of the Polish people to free speech and association.”

The Soviet Union, Reagan said, “deserves a major share of blame for the developments in Poland.” Therefore he informed Brezhnev that “if this repression continues, the United States will have no choice but to take further concrete political and economic measures affecting our relationship.”

Again and again in his speech Reagan paid tribute to the Polish people and sought to inspire Americans with sympathy for their cause.

“When 19th century Polish patriots rose against foreign oppressors, their rallying cry was ‘For our freedom and yours,’ ” Reagan said. “That motto still rings true in our time.”

“There is a spirit of Solidarity abroad in the world tonight that no physical force can crush. It crosses national boundaries and enters into the hearts of men and women everywhere. In factories, farms and schools, in cities and towns around the globe, we the people of the free world stand as one with our Polish brothers and sisters. Their cause is ours, and our prayers and hopes go out to them this Christmas,” the president said.

He told the nation that when he met Romuald Spasowski, the Polish ambassador who sought asylum in protest against the suppression of Solidarity, Tuesday in the Oval Office, where Reagan sat last night for his televised address, Spasowski asked that a lighted candle burn in a window of the White House on Christmas Eve as a beacon of solidarity with the Polish people.

“I urge all of you to do the same. . . on Christmas Eve, as a personal statement of your commitment to the steps we are taking to support the brave people of Poland in their time of troubles,” the president said.

Reagan said that when the Polish authorities attack the union Solidarity they attack the entire Polish people. Ten million of Poland’s 36 million people are Solidarity members, he said. Together with their families they are an overwhelming majority. “By persecuting Solidarity, the Polish government wages war against its own people,” he said.

“I urge the Polish government and its allies to consider the consequences of their actions. How can they possibly justify using naked force to crush a people who ask for nothing more than the right to lead their own lives in freedom and dignity?” he asked.

Reagan not only threatened further economic actions against Poland, but promised economic aid should the Polish authorities honor their commitments to basic human rights.

The Polish economy cannot be rebuilt with terror tactics, Reagan said. If the government honors its agreements, “we in America will gladly do our share to help the shattered Polish economy, just as we helped the countries of Europe after both world wars,” he said.

By public and secret pressure, the Soviet Union precipitated the events in Poland, Reagan said. “It is no coincidence that Soviet Marshal Viktor Kulikov, chief of the Warsaw Pact forces, and other senior Red Army officers were in Poland while these outrages were being initiated. And it is no coincidence that the martial law proclamations imposed in December by the Polish government were being printed in the Soviet Union in September,” Reagan said in support of his declaration that Moscow bears much of the blame for the declaration of martial law and the arrest of thousands, incl ALL-SAVERS RATES 8.34% THROUGH CLOSE OF BUSINESS SATURDAY 10.16% EFFECTIVE MONDAY MORNINGuding Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

Reagan’s revelation that the United States knows of Soviet printing of the martial law declaration seemed a clear signal to the Soviets of how good U.S. intelligence has been, and therefore how much Washington knows about the events leading to the crackdown in Poland. A State Department official advanced the theory that the decree had to be printed outside Poland because otherwise it would have leaked to Solidarity.

Reagan mixed his emotional warnings about Poland with a Christmas message to Americans. He expressed sympathy for those unemployed Americans for whom this will not be a happy Christmas, but said that his economic program is beginning to work.

“We are winning the battle against inflation, runaway government spending and taxation,” the president declared.

Reagan imposes sanctions against Soviets

December 29, 1981, by UPI

LOS ANGELES — Accusing the Soviet Union of ‘heavy and direct’ responsibility for the Polish situation, President Reagan retaliated with seven economic sanctions against Moscow Tuesday and warned he is ready to take still harsher steps.

In a two-page written statement sharply critical of the Soviet leadership, the president served notice that the future of Soviet-American relations lies in the hands of Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev.

‘We will watch events in Poland closely in coming days and weeks,’ Reagan said. ‘Further steps may be necessary and I will be prepared to take them. American decisions will be determined by Soviet actions.’

Effective immediately, Reagan said, the United States will:

-Suspend all flights to the United States by the Soviet airline Aeroflot.

-Close the Soviet purchasing commmission in the United States.

-Suspend the issuance or renewal of licenses for the export to the Soviet Union of electronic equipment, computers and other high technology materials.

-Postpone negotiations on a new long-term agreement to sell U.S. grain to the Soviets.

-Suspend negotiations on a new U.S.-Soviet maritime agreement and impose new port-access controls for all Soviet ships when a current agreement expires Thursday.

-Require licensing for export to the Soviet Union for an expanded list of oil and gas equipment while suspending the issuance of such licenses, including pipelayers.

-Refuse to renew U.S.-Soviet exchange agreements coming up for renewal in the near future, including agreements on energy and science and technology and all other U.S.-Soviet exchange agreements will be reviewed.

Although the sanctions were perhaps the toughest imposed on the Soviet Union since the Cold War of the 1950s, they stopped short of such extreme measures as a full-scale trade embargo or cancellation of the Geneva talks on the limitation of intermediate range nuclear arms in Europe.

A senior administration official said the meeting between Secretary of State Alexander Haig and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko in Geneva scheduled for Jan. 26 ‘is now under review.’

But he said that ‘under present conditions,’ the United States plans to resume the arms reduction talks, now in recess until Jan. 12.

‘We are prepared to proceed in whatever direction the Soviet Union decides upon — towards greater mutual restraint and cooperations or further down a harsh and less rewarding path,’ Reagan said.

Reagan acted six days after he announced in a nationally broadcast address to Americans that he was suspending Poland’s commercial aviation and fishing rights in U.S. territory and refusing the credit it insurance Warsaw needs to make purchases in the United States.

At the same time, the president said he had written to Brezhnev warning he was prepared to impose economic and political sanctions on Moscow if the crackdown that began with the imposition of martial law Dec. 13 continues.

‘The Soviet Union bears a heavy and direct responsibility for the repression in Poland,’ Reagan said in the statement issued Tuesday.

‘For many months, the Soviets publicly and privately demanded such a crackdown. They brought major pressures to bear through now-public letters to the Polish leadership, military maneuvers and other forms of intimidation,’ he said. ‘They now openly endorse the supression which has ensued.’

Reagan referred to his letter to Brezhnev urging the Soviet leader to ease pressure on Poland and to adhere to the human rights provision of the 35-nation Helsinki accords that both the Soviet Union and Poland signed in 1975.

The president said he warned the Soviet leader that the United States had no choice but to take further economic and political measures against Moscow if the repression continued.

But, Reagan said, the response that the White House received from Brezhnev Friday ‘makes it clear the Soviet Union does not understand the seriousness of our concern, and its obligations under both the Helsinki Final Act and the U.N. Charter.’

The president did not completely close the door on an improved relationship with the Soviets. He said the United States desires ‘constructive and mutually beneficial relations’ with Moscow and ‘we intend to maintain a high-level dialogue.’

And he appealed to the Soviets ‘to recognize the clear desire of the overwhelming majority of the Polish people for a process of national reconciliation, renewal and reform.’

Reagan reported that Haig has informed the Western allies of the actions, but he gave no indication whether they have offered any support.

At the State Department, a senior official said the United States has asked its allies to take parallel action ‘or at least not to undermine what we have done,’ but the allies have not yet come forward with their announced actions.

The official said the United States is considering invoking a NATO agreement that provides for the 15 foreign ministers to be called together in emergency session to discuss alliance-wide actions.

The official said the president’s sanctions are ‘moderate and measured’ in relation to the Soviet actions in Poland, but they concentrate on the Soviet oil and gas industry, which are regarded as a weak and therefore vulnerable sector of the Soviet economy.

The ban on exports will force cancellation of a deal in which the Caterpillar Co. of Peoria, Ill., contracted to sell the Soviets 200 pipelaying tractors at a cost of $200 million.

A spokesman for Caterpillar said that the machines do not involve high technology and the Soviets already have ‘thousands’ of the machines, made both in the United States and Japan.

Reviewing the president’s sanctions, U.S. officials said:

-The cancellation of Aeroflot’s privileges will involve two flights per week between Moscow and Washington’s Dulles International Airport. There are no scheduled U.S. flights to the Soviet Union at present.

-The closing of the Soviet Purchasing Commission, which handles about one-third of the Soviet purchases of U.S. equipment, will make Soviet shopping in the U.S. markets more difficult but not impossible.

-The grain agreements, including a deal for an extra 23 million tons of grain to make up the Soviet shortfall in this year’s harvest, already have been signed and will go forward. But negotiations on a new agreement to start in September 1982 will not take place ‘under present conditions.’

-Measures such as the cancellation of the pipelayer contract will make construction of a Soviet natural gas pipeline to Western Europe ‘somewhat more difficult but will not prevent it’ from being built. The United State has opposed the pipeline for fear it will make Western Europe too dependent on Soviet energy.

-The ban on electronic technology will broaden restrictions which imposed in January 1980 in the wake of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It will be general, rather than limited to the higher ranges of computer and electronic technology.

-Soviet ships, which now can call in 40 U.S. ports without any special permission, now will have to apply 14 days in advance before making such stops, and U.S. officials will be inclined against grnating such permission.

-Among joint U.S.-Soviet scientific agreements to be canceled is one on cooperation in space and in energy research.

Speaking earlier as he signed 35 pieces of legislation at his hotel, Reagan said the United States does not intend to ‘increase the hardship on the victims of repression’ and the ‘flow of food and medicine and other necessities’ will continue to ‘the Polish people – not the government.’

‘By our actions,’ he said, reading from prepared notes, ‘we expect to put powerful doubts in the minds of Soviet and Polish leaders about this continued repression.’

Reagan said he is taking the new steps in order ‘to speak for those who have been silenced and to help those who have been rendered helpless.’


Sankcje gospodarcze USA były dla władz PRL wielkim ciosem

Sankcje USA miały nie tylko siłę gospodarczą, ale też polityczną i propagandową. Władze PRL szacowały, że straciły na nich ok. 15 mld USD – mówi dr Andrzej Zawistowski z SGH. 23 grudnia 1981 r., w reakcji na wprowadzenie stanu wojennego, prezydent USA Ronald Reagan nałożył sankcje na PRL.

PAP: – W jakim stanie była gospodarki PRL przed wprowadzeniem stanu wojennego?

Dr Andrzej Zawistowski: – Opłakanym. Gospodarka PRL była w stanie załamania już od kilku lat. Jednak teza o niereformowalności gospodarki socjalistycznej była do udowodnienia już od ćwierć wieku. Już w 1956 r. wiedziano, że ten model gospodarczy nie zadziałał. Od tego czasu pojawiały się tylko kolejne próby reformowania struktury czegoś, co było mało podatne na zmiany.

Kluczowa wydaje się dekada rządów Gierka. W gospodarkach działających w systemach niedemokratycznych przywódcy „kupują” poparcie społeczeństwa dopiero po objęciu władzy, a nie przed wyborami, jak ma to miejsce w krajach demokratycznych. Taką strategię przyjął Gierek, który postawił na rozwój konsumpcji. Jego działania dążyły do wzrostu płac przy jednoczesnym zamrożeniu cen. W latach 1971-1974 przychody ludności rosły w wysokim tempie 14 procent rocznie. Podaż również rosła, choć nie tak szybko. Wzrastała również stopa oszczędności. To zmienia się już w kolejnych czterech latach. Wówczas dynamika tych trzech wskaźników ulega zmniejszeniu. Ludzie wydają coraz więcej, bojąc się osłabienia swoich oszczędności za sprawą zmniejszenia siły nabywczej pieniądza.

Ostatnie dwa lata przed wprowadzeniem stanu wojennego to okres bardzo szybkiego spadku podaży przy jednoczesnym wzroście wymuszonych oszczędności nazywanymi nawisem inflacyjnym. Przy regulowanych przez państwo a nie rynek cenach powodowało to wzrost poziomu inflacji utajnionej, co powodowało brak towarów w sklepach. Brak jednego towaru działał jak tsunami – z obawy o deficyt innych artykułów wykupowano praktycznie wszystko. Jednocześnie ceny towarów w sklepach dalekie były od kosztów ich wytworzenia, co obciążało budżet. Generalnej podwyżki cen – pamiętając doświadczenia grudnia 1970 i czerwca 1976 r. – bardzo się obawiano. Do tego dochodziły olbrzymie problemy z fatalną strukturą gospodarki PRL, której nie można było zreformować ze względu na bardzo silne branżowe i regionalne grupy nacisków.

Na ile gospodarka PRL była uzależniona od kontaktów lub wręcz pomocy USA i innych państw Zachodu?

– Uzależnienie było dość duże i wynikało z wielu czynników. W dużej mierze miało swoje przyczyny w okresie rządów Gierka. Otwarcie PRL na Zachód przyniosło dwudziestopięciokrotny poziom wzrostu zadłużenia państwa. Kredyty były przeznaczone m.in. na spłatę zakupów licencji w ramach tak zwanej koncepcji samospłaty poprzez eksport towarów. Powstałe fabryki wymagały także importu niektórych surowców oraz części wykorzystywanych w produkcji. Olbrzymią rolę odgrywał również import do PRL żywności oraz pasz – szczególnie kukurydzy dla kurczaków. W połowie lat siedemdziesiątych PRL wpadł w tzw. „świńską pułapkę”, polegającą na konieczności sprowadzania pasz przy dużym nieurodzaju. Władze stanęły przed dylematem, czy wybijać stada podstawowe i przejściowo utrzymać podaż mięsa na rynku, czy jednak zaryzykować sprowadzanie pasz. To nakręcało spiralę zadłużenia. 37 procent kredytów gierkowskich zostało przejedzonych.

Uzależnienie od gospodarek państw kapitalistycznych było więc dość duże nie tylko w sferze eksportu i dostaw. Równie ważne było przełożenie sytuacji zadłużeniowej państwa na możliwość spłaty długów. W sytuacji wprowadzenia takich sankcji gospodarczych spada wiarygodność kredytowa. W 1981 r. PRL była bankrutem, choć oczywiście był to stan umowny, bo jak uzasadniał jeden z polityków „gdybyśmy byli winni Zachodowi 100 dolarów i nie mogli ich oddać to bylibyśmy bankrutem, ale skoro jesteśmy zadłużeni na 25 miliardów to jesteśmy partnerem do rozmowy”.

Jaruzelski nie znał się na gospodarce. Po 13 grudnia uważał, że wprowadzenie w gospodarce wojskowej dyscypliny przyniesie natychmiastowe efekty. Czy koncepcje gospodarcze jego ekipy wykraczały w jakikolwiek sposób poza pomysły militaryzacji wszystkich sfer gospodarki?

– Proszę pamiętać, że od końca 1980 r. przygotowywana była reforma gospodarcza nazywana później „trzy razy s” – samodzielność, samorządność, samofinansowanie. Jej założeniem było częściowe wprowadzenie mechanizmów rynkowych wzorowanych na rozwiązaniach węgierskich. Korzystano nawet z węgierskich propagandowych filmików animowanych, w których niejaki doktor Mózg tłumaczył jak powinien działać taki model gospodarczy. Koncepcje ekipy Jaruzelskiego wykraczały więc poza czystą militaryzację gospodarki.

Zdawano sobie sprawę, że o propagandowym powodzeniu stanu wojennego zadecyduje gospodarka. Już w grudniu 1981 r., podczas pierwszych posiedzeń rządu po wprowadzeniu stanu wojennego dyskutowano, czy należy wprowadzać planowaną od 1 stycznia 1982 r. r. reformę gospodarczą, czy jednak ograniczyć się do militaryzacji gospodarki. Zwyciężyła koncepcja wykorzystania stanu wojennego do wprowadzenia niepopularnych zmian, takich jak olbrzymie podwyżki cen żywności o kilkaset procent w lutym 1982 r., które oznaczały 25 procentowy spadek realnych dochodów ludności. Był to wielki cios nie do przeprowadzenia bez stanu wojennego. Informacje Służby Bezpieczeństwa o nastrojach społecznych z przełomu 1981/1982 również wskazywały, że dość powszechne było przekonanie, że realna i odczuwalna poprawa gospodarcza sprawi, że Solidarność znajdzie się w ślepej uliczce. W raportach SB przytaczano nie tylko opinie zwykłych ludzi, ale również ważnych działaczy Solidarności.

Na ile koncepcje reform gospodarczych Jaruzelskiego pokrywały się z pomysłami Solidarności sprzed 13 grudnia 1981 r.?

– Trudno powiedzieć, bo nigdy nie udało się ich do końca skonfrontować. Reforma gospodarcza władz była przygotowywana w warunkach ostrego konfliktu, narastającego zwłaszcza jesienią 1981 r., gdy Solidarność protestowała przeciwko wprowadzeniu nadzwyczajnych pełnomocnictw dla rządu. Solidarność była w dość trudnej sytuacji, ponieważ będąc ruchem społecznym stawała się jednocześnie ruchem politycznym, którego kierownictwo w dużej mierze zdawało sobie sprawę z konieczności radykalnych posunięć w sferze gospodarki. Z drugiej strony była związkiem zawodowym mającym na celu ochronę pracowników przed niekorzystnymi ich zdaniem działaniami, takimi jak ograniczanie popytu przez zwiększanie cen.

Warto jednak przypomnieć, że wszelkie próby usprawniania tej gospodarki były próbami reformowania niereformowalnego. Cały czas poruszano się w sferze oderwanej od rzeczywistości. Przykładem mogą być tu dyskusje nad ustaleniem ceny równowagi, która powinna być ustalana poprzez mechanizmy rynkowe, a nie decyzje władz. Jej odgórne wprowadzanie mogłoby oznaczać, że ceny po kilkunastu godzinach przestałaby być cenami równowagi. Same założenia były więc błędne. Próbą wyjścia z tej sytuacji było wprowadzenie w 1982 r. trzech rodzajów cen: regulowanych, urzędowych i umownych. Tylko te ostatnie miały być kształtowane przez mechanizmy podaży i popytu. Jednym z efektów stanu wojennego było kompletne fiasko programu gospodarczego Jaruzelskiego i zamrożenie sytuacji na poziomie z początku lat osiemdziesiątych.

Jak daleko idące były sankcje Zachodu?

A.Z.: Miały różne wymiary. Sankcje zawsze mają nie tylko siłę gospodarczą, ale również polityczną i propagandową. Sankcje amerykańskie miały właśnie taki charakter. Ich elementem było między innymi zawieszenie gwarancji dla kredytów, których PRL bardzo potrzebowała, ponieważ nie posiadała środków na spłatę odsetek i import żywności. Rząd miał problem z pokryciem zapotrzebowania nawet na przydziały kartkowe. USA wyrażały również sprzeciw wobec wejścia PRL do Międzynarodowego Funduszu Walutowego, który dla PRL miał być szansą uzyskania nowych kredytów.

Ważny był również zakaz połowów na wodach amerykańskich. Dziś brzmi to stosunkowo niegroźnie, ale warto powiedzieć, że 27 polskich trawlerów odławiało tam około 200 tysięcy ton ryb, czyli dokładnie tyle, ile pozyskiwano na Bałtyku. Wstępne rozmowy z USA z 1981 r. pozwalały sądzić, że PRL uzyska pozwolenia na odłowienie nawet większej ilości w kolejnym roku. Był to ogromny cios. Blokada dostaw dla rolnictwa również była ogromnym ciosem. Na szczycie listy towarów sprowadzanych były wspomniane już pasze. Innymi ważnymi sankcjami było zawieszenie współpracy w nauce, blokada transferu technologii oraz zakaz lądowania samolotów LOT-u w USA.

Elementem polityki administracji Reagana było także wprowadzenie sankcji przeciwko ZSRS. W ten sposób Reagan chciał wskazać, że polityka sowiecka wymusiła wprowadzenie stanu wojennego. W lutym 1982 r. do USA dołączają Brytyjczycy, którzy zawieszają rozmowy na temat restrukturyzacji długu PRL i anulują przyznane kredyty oraz rezygnują z dostaw żywności. Dodatkowym propagandowym ciosem było ograniczenie możliwości poruszania się dyplomatów po terenie Zjednoczonego Królestwa. Wreszcie w październiku 1982 r. administracja Ronalda Reagana zniosła klauzulę najwyższego uprzywilejowania, którą PRL w stosunkach z USA cieszyła się od 1960 r. Amerykanie ukarali w ten sposób reżim Jaruzelskiego za zdelegalizowanie Solidarności.

Jaka była pierwsza reakcja reżimu PRL? Do historii przeszły słowa Jerzego Urbana, że rząd sam się wyżywi, a sankcje uderzą w społeczeństwo.

– Z lektury dokumentów rządowych z tego okresu wynika, że początkowo nie do końca zdawano sobie sprawę z konsekwencji tego wydarzenia i skali sankcji. Popatrzmy na sekwencje wydarzeń tego okresu. Wprowadzenie stanu wojennego przypada niemal rok po objęciu urzędu prezydenta USA przez Ronalda Reagana, bardzo mocno akcentującego działania przeciwko ZSRS. 19 grudnia ambasador PRL w Waszyngtonie Romuald Spasowski prosi władze amerykańskie o azyl polityczny. Był to bardzo mocny cios dla Jaruzelskiego i jego ekipy. Kilka dni później w przemówieniu do Amerykanów Reagan ogłasza wprowadzenie sankcji przeciwko PRL.

Zaskakujące może być, że początkowo obawiano się sankcji wprowadzonych przez inne kraje, np. przez Włochy. Władze bały się o przyszłość produkcji Fiata 126p, których podzespoły produkowano we Włoszech. Biorąc pod uwagę ogromny program przedpłat na te samochody sytuacja mogła być dramatyczna.

Jerzy Urban mówił nie tylko, że rząd sam się wyżywi, ale również, że Polska nie jest kolonią USA i sama da sobie radę. Pierwszą reakcją władz pod koniec grudnia 1981 r. było wysłanie ministra handlu zagranicznego PRL do Moskwy. Efektem wizyty było podpisanie umowy o obrotach towarowych z ZSRS, którego celem było zastąpienie amerykańskich dostaw, co oczywiście nie było możliwe, ponieważ Sowieci również borykali się z problemami gospodarczymi, czego nie ukrywał Leonid Breżniew w rozmowach z Jaruzelskim.

Efekty sankcji były jednak coraz mocniej odczuwane. Szczyt propagandowego zainteresowania sankcjami przypadł dopiero na 1983 r., który był wyjątkowo trudny dla gospodarki PRL. Czytelnym znakiem niepowodzenia normalizacji było zniesienie i przywrócenie po kilku miesiącach reglamentacji tłuszczów.

W październiku 1983 r. Jaruzelski powołał „Zespół roboczy dla kompleksowej koordynacji działań zmierzających do dochodzenia rekompensat z tytułu strat i szkód wyrządzonych polskiej gospodarce w wyniku zastosowania restrykcji przez USA i inne państwa zachodnie”. Na czele tego organu o niezwykle długiej nazwie stanął minister spraw zagranicznych PRL Stefan Olszowski. To swoisty chichot historii, bo w 1986 r. Olszowski porzuci „socjalistyczną ojczyznę” i wyemigruje do USA. Był to moment szczególnego nasilenia propagandy przeciwko sankcjom. Zachęcano polskie przedsiębiorstwa do zaskarżania władz amerykańskich za poniesione straty i nieosiągnięte korzyści. Do tego samego namawiano zachodnich kontrahentów. Przygotowywano akcje dyplomatyczną w ONZ i Europejskiej Komisji Gospodarczej i wśród państw GATT-u.

Opracowano instrukcje dla ambasad mających prowadzić narrację przeciwko amerykańskim sankcjom. Mediom polecono przygotowanie 3-5 wystąpień pasażerów LOT-u, skarżących się jak niewygodne jest latanie do USA przez Kanadę. Ukazywały się również wypowiedzi pracowników różnych zakładów udowadniających jak wiele mogliby wyprodukować, gdyby nie amerykańskie restrykcje ograniczające dostarczanie części i surowców. W głowach Polaków miał powstać obraz, iż w rzeczywistości amerykańskie sankcje uderzają przede wszystkim w zwykłego obywatela PRL. Ukoronowaniem tej akcji była nota polskiego rządu skierowana do władz w Waszyngtonie z 3 listopada 1983 r., w której PRL protestowała przeciwko sankcjom.

Czy te działania przynosiły jakieś skutki?

– Paradoksalnie do apeli władz włączyła się Solidarność, która widziała w USA sojusznika. Tymczasem władze twierdziły, że sojusznik opozycji niszczy polską gospodarkę i z tego powodu niedostatek cierpią zwykli obywatele. 5 grudnia 1983 r. Lech Wałęsa wystosował apel o zniesienie sankcji. Warto zwrócić uwagę, że było to już po zniesieniu stanu wojennego. W lutym 1984 r. Amerykanie cofnęli zakaz połowów oraz sprzeciw wobec wejścia PRL do MFW. LOT otrzymuje zgodę na 88 lotów charterowych rocznie na lotniska w USA. W kolejnych latach apele Solidarności i władz PRL nawołują do zniesienia sankcji.

W 1987 r. zostają ostatecznie zniesione w wyniku postępującej odwilży politycznej w PRL, której symbolem było zwalnianie więźniów politycznych. Władze PRL szacowały, że straciły na sankcjach ok. 15 mld dolarów. Czy tak rzeczywiście było – trudno powiedzieć. Jedno jest pewne – że to Amerykanie wygrali to starcie.

Rozmawiał Michał Szukała (PAP)


By ELAINE SCIOLINO, Special to the New York Times

Published: September 26, 1985


UNITED NATIONS, N.Y., Sept. 25 — On his first full day in New York today, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski surveyed the city from the roof of Rockefeller Center. Turning to his host, David Rockefeller, at a private lunch, the Polish leader remarked that for such a big city, it was wonderfully clear, with little pollution.

Although aides say that General Jaruzelski does not like to travel, he seemed to be happy to be on American soil, from the moment he stepped off his jet on Tuesday. As Polish diplomats and their families greeted him at Kennedy International Airport with flowers and applause, the usually dour general almost cracked a smile.

Arrived from Visit to Cuba

”I come to New York because we are members of the United Nations,” he said, reading from a statement that he had written on the flight from Havana. ”This time I come personally because Poland wants to participate in the main story of today – the preservation of peace.”

So far, he has lived up to his reputation as ”the sleepless man.” His first day began at 6:30, when he started preparing for a series of meetings that included a lunch of Canadian salmon, steak, raspberries and cream, and American coffee in the Rainbow Room of Rockefeller Center with Mr. Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s Polish-born national security adviser, and Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former State Department official. General Jaruzelski also had meetings with President Jose Sarney of Brazil and Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez of Spain, gave a dinner speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, and met later with Edgar Bronfman, chairman of Seagram, the distillers, and president of the World Jewish Congress.

‘Worst Times Behind Us’


At the Council of Foreign Relations, where General Jaruzelski addressed leaders of business, government and the press, he charmed women by kissing their hands as they met and joked with some of the men. Although Council proceedings are off the record, one member, Zygmunt Nagorski, who is vice president of the Aspen Institute, later related an incident that had occurred during a question-and-answer session. When Mr. Nagorski asked a difficult question about the imposition of martial law in late 1981, ending the Solidarity period, he began by congratulating the Polish leader on being so Americanized that he used the Senate system of filibuster in taking a long time to answer questions.

”I’ll stay here all night if you like,” General Jaruzelski shot back, bringing forth laughter from the audience. On a more serious note, Mr. Nagorski said, ”I feel he has done a disservice to himself by not answering the questions that we asked.”

Wife a University Professor

On his visit here, General Jaruzelski is accompanied by his wife, Barbara, a professor of German philology at Warsaw University, and their daughter, Monika, 22, who studies Polish literature at the university. The general, whom aides describe as ”very modest, almost ascetic,” decided to stay at the Polish Mission to the United Nations on East 66th Street rather than in a midtown hotel.

With military precision typical of General Jaruzelski’s team, his United Nations schedule is planned hour by hour. When he arrived 15 minutes late for an appointment with editors of Time magazine, Major Gornicki pointed to this unusual tardiness as proof of how successful the preceding lunch at Rockefeller Center had been. The Americans were also pleased by the luncheon discussion, which touched on a proposed plan to foster Polish agricultural exports.

”This effort has been going on for a couple of years, and we seem to be getting some place with the Polish Government,” said Richard W. Lyman, president of the Rockefeller Foundation.

No Plan to See U.S. Officials

Because of the chill in relations between the United States and Poland, the general has no plans to meet with any Government officials. One American guest at the lunch remarked that the general, who did not wear his customary dark glasses, showed more liveliness and warmth than come through in his pictures. Another said: ”He is pretty unyielding and very critical of the United States. He doesn’t smile a lot, does he?”

However, General Jaruzelski did not appear to be critical of the United States as a country. ”America is so large and so diverse that it is overwhelming, but my first impressions are favorable.” he was quoted as having said. ”This trip has given me an opportunity to meet many important Americans from David Rockefeller to Arthur Schlesinger.”

On Thursday, General Jaruzelski meets with Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar of the United Nations, Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher of West Germany, Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze of the Soviet Union, Foreign Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy and King Hussein of Jordan.

He will attend a lunch given by the Secretary General for visiting heads of state and government.

On Friday, in a speech to the General Assembly, he is expected to stress the need for strenghtening the United Nations and for a solution to Poland’s economic problems. The speech will be ”brief and to the point,” aides said, its purpose to show that Poland, one of the founders of the United Nations, takes it seriously.

Polish-Americans are planning to protest General Jaruzelski’s activities. On Thursday, the Polish-American Congress, a Chicago-based group, intends to march from the Polish Mission to the Soviet Mission, at 67th Street and Lexington Avenue. A demonstration is also planned for Friday during General Jaruzelski’s speech at the United Nations.

15,000 Soviet Jews May get visas to Israel

Daytona Beach Sunday

Published: December 11, 1985


Bronfman, in Warsaw, to Confer with Polish President

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Published: December 12, 1985


World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman arrived in Warsaw today for a two-day stay during which he will confer with Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski, meet local Jewish community leaders and attend a performance of the Warsaw Yiddish Theater now celebrating its 35th anniversary. Bronfman arrived in Warsaw from Moscow. No details were immediately available on his stay in the Soviet Union. The Jewish leader was welcomed at Warsaw Airport by the Polish Minister for Religious Affairs, Adam Lopatka, who, because of the role of the Catholic Church in Poland, is considered one of the three most prominent ministers in the Polish government.

Jaruzelski’s special adviser, Maj. Wieslaw Gornicki, said that Poland is “warmly welcoming” the eight-man Jewish delegation led by Bronfman. He said the main subjects to be discussed will deal with the protection of Jewish monuments, the preservation of Jewish culture, and the upkeep of Jewish cemeteries and museums. Over three-and-a-half million Jews lived in Poland before the war and the vestiges of their civilization are considered a major chapter in the world Jewish cultural heritage. There are less than 20,000 Jews left in Poland today, most of them living in Warsaw.

According to foreign correspondents in Warsaw contacted by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by telephone, Bronfman told reporters at Warsaw Airport upon arrival, “I have come to Warsaw to discuss strictly Polish Jewish problems.” He denied rumors that he plans to discuss Soviet-Israeli relations or emigration plans for Soviet Jews. The World Jewish Congress president met Jaruzelski in September in New York where the Polish President attended the UN General Assembly. He also visited Moscow earlier this year carrying, according to certain unconfirmed reports, a message from Israeli Premier Shimon Peres to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.


New York Times

Published: December 14, 1985


WARSAW, Dec. 13, 1985. Edgar M. Bronfman, the president of the World Jewish Congress, spoke candidly today about his talks with the Polish leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, but he refused to say anything about the three days he spent in Moscow before his arrival here.

During his three-day stay in Poland, newspapers in Paris and London have published speculative reports suggesting that President Francois Mitterrand discussed with both Mikhail S. Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, and with General Jaruzelski a proposal calling for 15,000 Jewish families to be transported from the Soviet Union to Israel by French planes. At the lavish Polish Government guest house where he and three associates stayed, Mr. Bronfman acknowledged that the trip to Moscow was his second since September and that he hoped to visit there again soon. He said that he was interested in the plight of Soviet Jews who want to emigrate but that no interests would be served by revealing who he met with, what they talked about or even where he stayed in the Soviet capital. One newspaper report of the plan suggested that it would be linked to a conference on the Middle East. Another suggested that the Soviet Jews would go first to Poland, where they would board French planes. Mr. Bronfman dismissed the French and British reports as fanciful and declined further comment. Elan Steinberg, the executive director of the World Jewish Congress, who is with Mr. Bronfman, said that ”there are a lot of rumors out there.” He added, ”Some are true, some are not.”

High Polish officials have said Soviet Jews were not mentioned in General Jaruzelski’s talks last week with Mr. Mitterrand. Officials at Elysee Palace denied that the Mitterrand-Jaruzelski meeting concerned Soviet Jews. The Bronfman group was not reticent about its reasons for visiting Poland, where the prewar Jewish population of three million has been reduced to about 6,000 people, most of them old. ”We are businessmen who have come to do business,” said Israel Singer, the secretary general of the Jewish organization, which represents Jews in 70 countries around the world. The fourth member of the delegation is Kalman Sultanik, vice president of the congress.

‘The Road to the West’

”We wanted to emphasize to the general that the road to the West can lead through Jerusalem,” said Mr. Steinberg, adding that the group had stressed that ”the fact that Rumania and Hungary have most favored nation status in the U.S. is not just accidentally linked to the fact that those Governments have relatively good records in their treatment of Jews and Jewish issues.” Poland lost the favorable tariff arrangements with the United States that is known as most favored nation status after martial law was declared in December 1981. Mr. Bronfman said the general ”was gracious and appreciative” in their talks but ”bitter that there was not enough understanding in the United States about Poland’s social and political situation.”

Mr. Bronfman said General Jaruzelski was resentful that American sanctions remain in force despite Poland’s release of political prisoners, which the Americans had said was a condition for lifting sanctions. Though the visitors said General Jaruzelski never mentioned any other Communist country, they said they got the impression that he was pained by the fact that Secretary of State George P. Shultz is on his way to Rumania. The three-day visit of the the Jewish leaders was well covered by the Polish press, with television reports of their attendance at a performance of the Jewish theater and their visit today to the site of the Treblinka death camp.

Bronfman Confers with Polish Leader

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Published: December 15, 1985

Screenshot 2015-07-17 04.23.35

World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman held a three-hour meeting last Thursday with Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski with whom he reviewed all outstanding problems of mutual interest. Bronfman remained in Poland over the weekend to visit the site of the former Auschwitz concentration camp. Polish officials, queried by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by telephone, said that the meeting had been friendly and sincere. They said that only subjects of mutual interest had been discussed. Thursday’s meeting was the second of this year. Bronfman and Jaruzelski met in September in New York where the Polish leader attended the United Nations General Assembly. Bronfman had earlier last week attended a two-day business meeting in Moscow during which he conferred with a variety of Soviet personalities.

Diplomacy Flight Plan for Freedom

Time Magazine

Published: December 30, 1985



When Edgar Bronfman, chairman of the Seagram Co., flew to Moscow in September as president of the World Jewish Congress (W.J.C.), he was allowed to travel in his private jet, a relatively rare privilege for a Western visitor. At Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, he was received cordially by Kremlin officials. Bronfman’s stated objective was to ask the Soviets to lift emigration restrictions for Jews who want to leave the Soviet Union and to allow religious freedom for Jews who wish to remain. Earlier this month Bronfman made another visit to Moscow, and last week sources familiar with the talks confirmed that he has been serving as a conduit in tentative negotiations between the Soviets and Israelis, whose diplomatic relations were broken off by Moscow following the 1967 Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel. The highly secret purpose of these talks, say these sources: to engineer the airlift of possibly thousands of Soviet Jews to Israel.

The complex scheme, which involves the Soviet Union, France, Poland and Israel, probably would not take place until at least after the Soviet Communist Party Congress in late February. The plan is to move the Soviet Jews first to Poland and then airlift them to Israel. In this way they would be prevented from attempting to emigrate directly to the U.S. or other Western countries. Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres told TIME during a visit to Geneva last week that “the Soviets have always complained that those allowed to emigrate go to the U.S. instead of Israel. Well, I agree that it is in the interest of the Soviet Union as well as my own country that they go to Israel.” Peres, however, was cautious in his comments on the negotiations, saying only that Bronfman “got no concrete assurances whatever in Moscow.” The possibility of an airlift was looked upon skeptically at the U.S. State Department. In Moscow, diplomats from Western and Arab countries characterized reports of a pending airlift as “wishful thinking.”

Even so, the following scenario has been confirmed by sources in the U.S. who have been close to the negotiations. The plan for the airlift, they say, was Peres’ brainchild. When Bronfman visited the Soviet Union in September, he reportedly carried with him personal messages from Peres. One source with knowledge of the Bronfman visit insists that the communications indicated that if the Soviet Union were to release a significant number of Jews and renew diplomatic relations with Israel, it could perhaps have a larger role in Middle East peace negotiations. If the Soviets delivered the Syrians to the conference table, Peres allegedly implied, the Israelis might return part of the Golan Heights to Syria. In late October, Peres met with French President Francois Mitterrand in Paris. After that meeting, Peres publicly announced that an airlift of Soviet Jews was being proposed, and said that France had offered to supply the planes.

Then three weeks ago, Poland entered the picture. Polish Leader General Wojciech Jaruzelski arrived unexpectedly in Paris for talks with Mitterrand. The meeting brought the French President criticism from his supporters, including Prime Minister Laurent Fabius.

Neither leader would comment on the subject of the discussions, but sources now indicate that the two talked about an air link for Soviet Jews to Israel via Poland. Such discussions are, however, denied by Jaruzelski’s aides, and Israeli officials dismiss a broker role for Poland. Indeed, Budapest and Bucharest have been mentioned in the Moscow discussions as possible transit points, according to one source. Yet two weeks ago Bronfman visited Warsaw and, say W.J.C. sources, discussed with Jaruzelski the emigration of Soviet Jews.

Whatever the exact state of these negotiations, everyone involved has something to gain from an airlift of Soviet Jews. It might serve to increase trade between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, now restricted by the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which ties Soviet-American trade to improvements in human rights, particularly Jewish emigration. For his middle-man role, Jaruzelski might win some points on human rights, perhaps enough to erase U.S. trade sanctions against Poland. Jaruzelski is already making moves in that direction: when Bronfman visited him in Warsaw, the general agreed to make pension payments to Polish Jews living in Israel and to restore Jewish monuments in Poland.

For now, at least, the major players are noncommittal. As observed in Paris last week by Samuel Zivs, a law professor at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and himself a Jew: “There must not be too much noise made around it. In other words, it must be pursued in the ways that Henry Kissinger once understood so well.” Skeptics at the U.S. State Department point out that the Soviet Union remains intransigent on its emigration policies.

While 51,300 Soviet Jews were allowed to leave the country in 1979, only about 1,200 are expected to leave this year. And a Western diplomat in the Soviet Union insists that two weeks ago Bronfman met with Vadim Zagladin, a Central Committee functionary, and went away “empty-handed.”

There is one sign of a thaw. Last month Jewish leaders were notified that Eliyahu Essas, the leader of the Jewish religion and culture movement in the Soviet Union, would be allowed to leave the country. Essas, 42, a mathematician, has been waiting for an exit visa for twelve years. Some Jewish leaders are optimistic about an airlift.

Says one source close to the negotiations: “The Soviets haven’t said when or how many, but they’ve indicated they’ll do it.” For Soviet Jews, this could be the first crack in what might be an opening door.

With reporting by Nancy Traver/Moscow and Adam Zagorin/Paris, with other bureaus

U.S. Praises Poland’s Plans To Fly Soviet Jews to Israel


Published: March 28, 1990


WASHINGTON, March 27— The United States praised Poland today for agreeing to fly Soviet Jews to Israel and deplored the decision of the Hungarian airline, Malev, to stop flights in the face of threats of terrorism.

”We deplore the terrorist threats which have led to these decisions. We believe a more appropriate course of action would be to provide the required levels of security,” said the State Department spokeswoman, Margaret D. Tutwiler.

Malev announced last week it was stopping the flights, which have carried thousands of Soviet Jews to Israel in recent months, because of threats by a pro-Iranian group based in Lebanon, the Islamic Holy War for the Liberation of Palestine.

Poland offered Monday to increase its flights to Israel to accommodate Soviet Jewish emigrants, and the Israelis have also pledged to find alternative routes. Miss Tutwiler said: ”We regard as outrageous the efforts by terrorists to threaten or disrupt the flights of Soviet Jews going to Israel. We are very pleased to see that Poland is willing to act as a transit point. They are acting very responsibly, and we hope that others will as well.”

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) has praised Tadeusz Mazowiecki

World Jewish Congress

Published: October 29, 1990


Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Poland’s first prime minister after the fall of Communism, as one of the architects of the modern, democratic Poland and as a friend of Israel and the Jewish people. Mazowiecki died on Monday at the age of 86.

“Tadeusz Mazowiecki’s silent but effective diplomacy ensured that his country’s transition was successful. Together with Lech Walesa, he laid the foundations for what is today the strongest country both economically and politically in Central and Eastern Europe,” said WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

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