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Deciding Poland's Fate

In August 1980, a worker's strike in Poland led to a compromise known as the Gdansk Agreement, in which the Communist government agreed to several compromises with the strikers, including the legal formation of a worker's union -- which became Solidarity.

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More Alarming News from Poland

Deeply concerned about the ongoing economic and political crisis in Poland in the early 1980s, Soviet leaders regularly communicated with Polish officials, providing advice, support, and criticism.

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Soviet Negotiations with Poland

During the economic and political crisis in Poland in the early 1980s, Polish officials often met with Soviet leaders to discuss the crisis and to determine how best to approach the situation in Poland.

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Latest News on Solidarity

Leaders of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) grew increasingly concerned about the strength and growth of the Solidarity Movement as well as the largely unsuccessful actions of Poland's Communist Party against the opposition in Poland.

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On Lech Walesa's Trip to Italy

In January 1981, Lech Walesa, leader of the Solidarity Movement in Poland, along with other participants in the opposition, traveled to Italy. In response to this visit, the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union sent a telegram to the Soviet ambassador in Italy instructing him on how to handle the visitors.

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Brezhnev and the Warsaw Pact

In August 1980, a worker's strike in Poland led to a compromise known as the Gdansk Agreement, in which the Communist government agreed to allow democratic changes within the government, including the legal formation of a worker's union—which became Solidarity. This agreement may have brought stability inside Poland, but created a strong reaction from the Soviet Union.

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Tightening the Soviet Borders with Poland

This November 1980 directive from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) proposed a temporary reduction in travel between the Soviet Union and its neighbor because of the difficult ongoing political situation in Poland. The CPSU planned to decrease tourism in both directions by between 36 and 44 percent for the remainder of 1980 and the first half of 1981.

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Brezhnev's Report on Poland

Just a few days after Soviet leaders met with two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania (first party secretary) and Josef Pinkowski (prime minister), to discuss the critical situation in Poland, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev wrote an urgent letter to Erich Honecker, first party secretary in the German Democratic Republic (East Germany).

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Report on Poland

On October 30, 1980, two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania (first secretary of the Communist Party) and Josef Pinkowski (prime minister), visited the Soviet Union to engage in discussions with the Soviet leadership about the ongoing critical situation in Poland.

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Friendly Working Visit with Poland

In the summer of 1980, strikes erupted among workers in Poland, making Communist leaders throughout the Soviet bloc uneasy. The Central Committee of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union met in October 1980 to discuss and endorse a report compiled by some of its members about a forthcoming visit of two Polish officials, Stanislaw Kania and Josef Pinkowski.

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