Eastern Bloc Cooperation 1948–1989

In the context of the political changes which brought about the 20th Congress of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the USSR in 1956, the shape of the management and supervision of satellite security services also changed. Beginning with the end of the 1940s, several dozen up to as many as several hundred advisers already functioned in Czechoslovakia; therefore, in contract terms, only their stay, including compensation for their “consulting” activities, was in broad terms revised. No concrete cooperation agreements between the State Security Service, or StB, and the Soviet KGB have hitherto been found for that early period. The first documents on joint negotiations which can be found in the Security Services Archive are dated 1958, and focus on the conception of the work of select StB departments or the coordination of their activities with their Soviet counterparts – that is to say, the overt attempt to manage them Moscow-style.

As of 1960, large, representative meetings were organized at intervals of one to three years, alternately in Moscow and Prague, at which meetings took place involving the top leaders of both apparatuses – the chair of the KGB and his deputies and chiefs of select KGB directorates, together with the Czechoslovak Ministry of the Interior, some deputies, chiefs of intelligence, counterintelligence and so on. They started by generally debating about the political and so-called operative situation in the world, the so-called “main enemy” and its activities (particularly the USA), followed by the situation in Czechoslovakia and occasionally even in the Soviet Union. Only after that the delegations divided up according to specialization – representatives of both intelligence and counterintelligence services, the surveillance directorates and regional departments negotiated independently. Heightened security was requested even on these occasions. Representatives of both sides tried, on the basis of pre-prepared documents, to evaluate the elapsed period and establish parameters for cooperation into the future. If lower officers from certain directorates participated in the negotiations – from the level of section chiefs or other specialists, for example – relatively concrete discussions, leading to the evaluation of the activities of Czechoslovak or Soviet agents (informers) in joint operations, took place.

The result was usually the signing of general protocols on negotiations, signed by the chairman of the KGB and the Czechoslovak Minister of the Interior, or in some cases cooperation agreements (the top-level ones, for longer periods, were concluded in July 1962, February 1972 and August 1989); more concrete ones were then signed by relevant directorate chiefs.

Bilateral cooperation - documents

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