Polish Diplomatic Documents 1980 January-June

Sep 4, 2018

Editor: Piotr Długołęcki
Warszawa 2018
ISBN: 978-83-66091-14-6
Pages: LXXIV + 1048

The 25th volume in the series Polish Diplomatic Documents presents Polish foreign policy during the first half of 1980.
Due to the worsening of Poland’s economic situation, the country’s diplomatic efforts were to a great extent focused on economic issues, including endeavours to gain new credits and contracts for Polish companies as well as to improve the trade balance.
Politically, the Polish People’s Republic (PRL) attempted to play the role of mediator between the West and the Soviet Union, taking action to set a disarmament conference in Warsaw, despite the fact that the idea was virtually doomed to fail, and organising a top-level French-Soviet summit in Wilanów (a district of Warsaw). Furthermore, Poland’s MFA paid much attention to the international consequences of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979.
The diplomatic ties between Poland and the Holy See, which had a specific nature since Cardinal Karol Wojtyła’s election as Pope John Paul II, are definitely the ones worth mentioning, especially concerning the negotiations on setting up the Polish edition of the magazine L’Osservatore Romano. Poland’s diplomatic service was also making serious propaganda efforts against attempts to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Katyn massacre by the Polish community abroad.
Some documents illustrate the politicisation of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, boycotted by the U.S. and its allies. The security of Polish diplomatic posts (e.g., in Kabul or Luanda) was another issue of major concern.
The volume consists of documents mainly from the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Archives of Modern Records. The vast majority of them has not been published so far. The volume includes a person index and an extended subject index, as well as information about the MFA’s organisational structure and the list of Poland’s bilateral agreements signed over the first six months of 1980.