The "Naim Frasheri” State Publishing Enterprise
Recently, and especially since the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Soviet propaganda, with a view to arguing the “hostile attitude” allegedly taken by the Party of Labour of Albania, the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania and the Albanian people against the Soviet Union, has been energetically resorting to slanders and fabrications through the press and radio to distort and falsify the truth about a series of questions. Among these we mention here only three: the question of the Soviet specialists who were working in Albania, the question of the Palace of Culture and the students’ issue. In order to shed light on the truth, we publish here some of the facts and documents which clarify these three questions.1. The Truth about the Question of the Specialists
The anti-Marxist and anti-Albanian attacks which N. Khrushchev and his group directed from the rostrum of the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union against the Party of Labour of Albania, the People’s Republic of Albania and the Albanian people, included slanders and fabrications concerning the question of the Soviet specialists who were working in our country.
O. Kusinen, member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, slanderously said that “the Soviet specialists in Albania, invited by the Albanian Government itself, were expelled by the latter from Albania.” P. Pospelov, former alternate member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, went still further. He fabricated the lie: “During the recent Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania we encountered a series of wholly impermissible instances of open anti- Soviet attacks by Albanian personalities, instances of a derisive and hostile stand against our specialists, geologists and Soviet sailors.” Harping on the same tune, that the Soviet specialists had been “expelled” by the Albanian leaders, now after the 22nd Congress, N. Khrushchev’s propagandists think that something will come out of their slanders. For truth’s sake we are obliged to refer to some facts which manifest themselves in the course of events.
On December 21, 1960, the Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Albania, Comrade Abdyl Kellezi, sent the following letter to the Chairman of the State Committee for Economic Relations with Foreign Countries under the USSR Council of Ministers, S. A. Skachkov:
“Highly esteemed Comrade Chairman:
On December 14, 1960, a list of the matters on which the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania requested the technical aid of the USSR Government for the year 1961 was handed to the adviser on economic questions to the Embassy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in Tirana, Comrade K. V. Artemiev. We ask you to study this request by the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania so that it may be carried out by the USSR institutions at the most convenient time.” The list of the matters for which the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania requested technical aid from the Government of the Soviet Union for the year 1961 includes the sectors of the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Mining and Geology, the Ministry of Construction, etc. The list specifies the kinds of technical specialities that are needed and the number of specialists. It specifies the period of their stay in our country, and, for some specialists, an extension of the term of their stay in Albania is requested.
However, while the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania was waiting for a positive reply to its request, on January 20, 1961, the acting adviser on economic affairs to the Soviet Embassy in Tirana, A. Pikalov, on his own request, had an interview with the Minister of Mining and Geology of the People’s Republic of Albania, Comrade Adil Carcani, and formally informed him that “the State Committee for Economic Relations with Foreign Countries under the USSR Council of Ministers has decided to recall within a period of 7-10 days the Soviet specialists working on the oil system in Albania, for the reason that the November 22, 1957 agreement has expired.”
Of course, the Soviet leadership had the right not to accept the extension of the term of the Soviet specialists’ stay in Albania as requested by our Government, but they by no means had or have the right to distort the facts in this case, trying to lay the blame for the departure of the specialists on the Albanian Government.
On February 24, 1961, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Albania, in relation to the withdrawal of the Soviet specialists from Albania, sent the following note to the USSR Government:
“As the Government of the Soviet Union knows, on December 21, 1960, the Vice-Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People’s Republic of Albania, Abdyl Kellezi, addressed to the Chairman of the State Committee for Economic Relations with Foreign Countries under the USSR Council of Ministers, S. A. Skachkov, the Albanian Government’s request for technical aid from the Soviet Union for the year 1961 including the extension of the period of the sojourn of the Soviet oil specialists.
“On January 20, 1961,- while our Government was waiting for a positive reply to this request, the acting adviser on economic questions to the Soviet Embassy in Tirana, A. Pikalov, called on the Minister of Mining and Geology of the People’s Republic of Albania, Adil Carcani, and formally informed him that the State Committee for Economic Relations with Foreign Countries under the USSR Council of Ministers had decided to withdraw within a period of 7-10 days the Soviet specialists working on the oil system in Albania. And in fact the Soviet oil specialists have already left Albania.
“The withdrawal of the oil specialists by the Soviet Government at a time when the Albanian Government had formally asked for an extension of the term of their stay, damaged such an important sector of the Albanian economy as the oil sector.
“The Government of the People’s Republic of Albania, pointing out the above, expresses its profound regret at this unilateral action of the Government of the Soviet Union.”
With a view to deceiving public opinion, distorting the truth and laying the responsibility for everything on the Albanian side, the Soviet leaders, through their representatives in Tirana, “recalled” after two months that the blame for the departure of the Soviet oil specialists lay not with the Soviet but with the Albanian authorities! With regard to this, in its note of April 24, 1961, the Soviet Embassy in Tirana pointed out:
“The assertion contained in the note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Albania that the departure of the 26 Soviet oil specialists from Albania to the USSR in February took place as a result of the unilateral actions of the Soviet Government, is entirely a fabrication. The Government of the People’s Republic of Albania was informed in due time that the Soviet Government, despite the expiry of the terms of the Soviet oil specialists’ stay in Albania, had instructed the Soviet bodies concerned to take into consideration the request of the Albanian side and leave the Soviet oil specialists in Albania.
“But the Albanian Administration of the Oil Combine, on the instructions of the Minister of Mining and Geology of the People’s Republic of Albania, dismissed the above- mentioned Soviet specialists, proposing to them to leave the Combine within three days.”
As is evident, everything is shamelessly reversed. But the facts mentioned above, such as the Albanian Government’s request for the extension of the term of the Soviet oil specialists’ stay in Albania addressed to S. A. Skachkov, to which there was no positive reply, as well as the official statement by A. Pikalov to Comrade A. Carcani on January 20, 1961 concerning the withdrawal of the Soviet oil specialists, refute the “arguments” adduced in the delayed note of the Soviet Embassy in Tirana.
It is clear that the note of the Soviet Embassy pursued also another aim. It had to prepare the ground for the departure later of all the Soviet specialists who were in Tirana. Indeed, in the April 24, 1961 note the issue is presented as if the Albanian authorities of the Central Administration of Geology were treating the Soviet specialists badly and impeding them in their work. And to “prove” this it is said that the offices where the Soviet specialists were working were opened and the documents which were on the desks or shelves checked; and, finally, that the Albanian Administration of Geology had obstructed for a certain time the work of the Soviet specialists engaged in the compilation of Albania’s general geological map. These “arguments” are sheer fabrications. In reality, according to the rules which are known in our State Administration concerning the preservation of State secrets, just as in every institution, in the Geology Administration, too, there have "been effected the usual controls for the preservation of the secret documents, whether in the offices of the Albanian workers or in those of the Soviet specialists. The commission that carried out this control included, besides the Albanian authorities, also three Soviet specialists, namely Konstantin Briantsev, Semyon Pogrebinsky and Vladimir Kurochkin, who displayed in this respect a full spirit of cooperation.
As regards the second “argument”, that the specialists engaged in the compilation of the geological map had been left without work, it is entirely preposterous and needs no refutation. We need only to point out that the Albanian authorities were interested in the earliest possible completion of the map and were paying salaries to the Soviet specialists for this purpose. Therefore there was no reason for the Albanian authorities to raise obstacles, as alleged in the note of the Soviet Embassy.
The real aim of the Soviet side in fabricating the above “arguments” is quite clearly shown by the very note of April 24, 1961 of the Soviet Embassy, the last paragraph of which reads:
“Considering the above, we cannot help reaching the conclusion that in the aide memoire and note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Albania attempts are intentionally made to deny the indisputable facts about the unfriendly attitude towards the Soviet specialists and there is shown a lack of desire on the part of the Albanian authorities to take the necessary measures with a view to creating normal conditions for the work of our specialists. This can be explained only by the fact that the Albanian side, apparently, not only has no interest in the aid of the Soviet specialists, but also, by its unfriendly actions towards them, is directly seeking to bring pressure to bear upon the Soviet side in order to oblige us to recall the Soviet specialists to the USSR.
“In the created conditions, the Soviet side does not deem it possible to send to Albania new Soviet specialists or to extend the terms of the stay for the specialists now working there.
“The USSR Embassy to the People’s Republic of Albania is availing itself of this occasion to reiterate its respect to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of Albania.”
Not even waiting for our Government’s reply to this note, which was handed to our Foreign Ministry on April 25, 1961, some 50 Soviet specialists, on orders of the Soviet Embassy in Tirana, quit their jobs on that same day and got instructions to leave Albania at once. Some of these specialists could inform the establishments where they worked only two hours before their departure. Thus, within the day almost all the Soviet specialists, including even those whose contracts of stay in Albania had not yet expired, were withdrawn. And after a few days the few specialists still remaining in the People’s Republic of Albania left the country, too.
This is the truth about the departure of the Soviet specialists from Albania. They were withdrawn by the Soviet leadership, calculating to damage our people’s economy on the one hand and to undermine Albanian- Soviet friendship on the other. The fabrications about the “unbearable atmosphere” and that “the Albanian side does not like the stay of the Soviet specialists in Albania”, etc., which aim at laying on our Government the responsibility for the ugly action committed by the Soviet leaders towards our country, are shocking indeed. They are fabrications and grave offenses against the feelings of fraternal love, deep respect and cordial attitude of the Albanian people towards the Soviet men and women, and against the Soviet men and women themselves who lived and worked in Albania.
He who makes such tendentious fabrications does not know the reality of the unbreakable ties uniting the Albanian people with the Soviet people. Just as in the struggle for Albania’s liberation from fascist occupation the blood of the Albanian guerrilla fighters was shed and mixed together with the blood of the glorious Red Army, in the struggle for the building of socialism in Albania the sweat of the Albanian workers and specialists was shed and mixed together with the sweat of the Soviet workers and specialists.
Whatever attempts are made and whatever “arguments” are invented, they cannot justify the unjust decision of the Soviet Government to withdraw the Soviet specialists from Albania. The best witnesses to the feelings towards the Soviet men and women, to the stand towards them and their treatment by the Albanian people and their Party and Government, the best witnesses to our just thesis are the Soviet citizens themselves, the Soviet specialists and military personnel who have been in our country, every Soviet citizen that has been in contact, anywhere in Albania, in the Soviet Union or in any other country, with any citizen of our People’s Republic.
Although the withdrawal of the Soviet specialists from Albania was decided upon by the Soviet Government itself with definite aims alien to the character of the relations between socialist countries, harmful to Albanian-Soviet friendship and opposed to the principles of the 1960 Moscow Declaration of the 81 communist and workers’ parties, the Soviet Government made a series of fantastic and groundless fabrications against the Albanian Government.
Our Party has continually and on all occasions imbued our people with a
feeling of love and most profound respect for the Soviet men and women,
whom they have considered as friends and brothers. Everyone in our
country feels a grave personal offense in learning how the Soviet
leadership speculates in slanders such as the so-called “unbearable
atmosphere” for the Soviet men and women in Albania. Documents may be
falsified and speeches may be delivered against our country. We have
seen and heard many times such slanders and charges up to the present
and we often have no time to pay attention to them all. But if you tell
the Albanian that he does not respect or that he offends the Soviet
man, he will never pardon you for this and he will simply consider
this' as one of the most vulgar and shameless provocations.
Recently, some Soviet propagandists, with the aim of sowing hostility between our two friendly and allied countries and between our two fraternal peoples, have taken up, among numerous slanders, the question of the Palace of Culture. They present the facts dealing with this question reversely. They shamelessly make out as if it has been the Albanian leadership who by “manoeuvring”, “trying to discredit the Soviet Government, have one-sidedly rejected this present”.
Here is what the documents and facts show about the truth on the Palace of Culture question.
By a January 1959 decision of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, a palace of culture was to be built in the city of Tirana as a present from the Soviet Union to the Albanian people. The construction of the palace was to be carried out during the years 1961-1962. In March-April 1959, representatives of the Soviet side came to Albania to discuss the principal conditions of the undertaking of the construction of the palace by the Albanian State Building Enterprise “December 21”. In April 1960, Soviet designers brought to Tirana some designs of the project of the palace. Together with the designs in Tirana arrived the director of the Mosproject, A. A. Osmer, and the author of the design V. A. Butuzov. These designs were broadly discussed by the technical council of the Ministry of Construction and at last, the design, on which the Soviet designers were also insisting and which had been approved by Gosstroi (the; State Building Committee under the USSR Council of Ministers), by GKES and the Architectural-Town Planning Council of the Mosproject, was approved. The protocol of the approval of the project was signed by the Minister of Construction, Josif Pashko, on April 23, 1960 and handed over to the director of the Mosproject, A. A. Osmer. In May 1960 the main plans for the carrying out of the building of the Palace of Culture were approved by the Albanian Government. In this protocol, the Albanian side made
some remarks and these were considered correct by the Soviet designers. These remarks concerned mainly the architectural execution of the work, suggesting a very small increase in the size of the project in two places: to add five to six rooms to> the club proper and two halls to the theatre. Besides this, at the end of the above protocol is stated: “All the above modifications and additions should be made on the basis of a more rational exploitation of the different parts of the Palace of Culture.”
On May 29, 1960 the planting of the stakes for the building was started. On June 6, 1960 the construction work got under way, and on July 14, 1960 the first concrete was poured at the project.
The Albanian side took all the steps and during the second quarter of 1960 the working pace was very rapid, and progress ahead of schedule. This work was carried out on the basis of the schedule approved by the representation of the orderer and the “December 21” State Building Enterprise of Tirana.
Beginning with December the work was slowed down and by January 1961 the Soviet side had completely stopped the supplies for the construction of the palace, both designs and materials, although even up to that time a very small part of them had been delivered. The failure to dispatch the designs and materials brought about the non-fulfilment of the plan for the first four months of 1961, which was carried out only by 52 per cent. The rational utilization of manpower and machines was greatly hampered and this brought to the “December 21” State Building Enterprise a loss of 975,000 leks. The Albanian side, from the beginning of the work up to the end of April 1961, had spent a sum of about 48 million leks for the building of the palace.
In October 1960, the head of the representation of the orderer, Engineer T. M. Shtoll, went to the Soviet Union on the pretext of fetching all the designs the woik, as well as arranging for the dispatch of the matei ials and equipment. In fact Shtoll did not return to Albania and the designs and materials were not dispatched.
In these conditions, the executing State Building Enterprise “December 21” had many times asked the deputy chairman of the Soviet representation, Engineer N. Kniazev, to intervene in order to ensure the designs and the materials. His reply was that their arrival was expected daily.
In the face of such a situation as regards the work of building the Palace of Culture, the Construction Minister of the Albanian Government, Josif Pashko, in a letter addressed to the Soviet Ambassador in Tirana, J. V. Shikin, on April 11, pointed out:
“In connection with the shortcomings in the work of building the Palace of Culture, I have the honour to bring to your knowledge the following:
“From the end of December 1960 onward, the pace of the building work at the Palace of Culture, which is being built in Tirana with the help of the Soviet Union, has been slowed down and is not being carried out according to the plans which had been drawn UP’ ^his due mainly to the lack of designs and of some materials. At the meetings held time and again at the palace, the Albanian engineers entrusted with the carrying out of the work have raised with the representative of the Soviet side at the project, Engineer Kniazev Nikolai Stepanovich, the above obstacles and have continually received from him promises for the quick arrival of the designs and materials. Towards the end of January this year, the Albanian engineers who are carrying out the project, considering that the schedule was being adversely affected due to the lack of designs and some materials, and as the specialist manpower and the installed machinery were not producing the planned productivity, reported to this Ministry to intervene so that the Soviet side should speed up the arrival of the designs and materials. For this purpose I personally called on the representative of the Soviet side, Engineer Kniazev Nikolai Stepanovich, at the project on February 5, 1961 and asked him to intervene for the speeding up of the arrival of the designs and some materials, lack of which hampered the work.
“During the month of February, owing to the lack of designs and some materials, the scope of work was further narrowed — the necessary designs still did not arrive. In this situation, on my instruction, the Deputy Minister of Construction, Engineer Kicho Gliozheni, on February 28, 1961, officially summoned to the Ministry Comrade Tukhtinov, GKES representative in Tirana, who was engaged in the construction of the Palace of Culture, in the presence also of Engineer Kniazev, representative of the Soviet side in the construction of the palace, asking them once more to intervene for the arrival of the designs. As we again failed to receive any reply after this call, on March 3, 1961, the representative of the GKES, Comrade Bekleshov, was once more officially summoned to the Ministry, where the Deputy Minister of Construction, Comrade Rahman Hanku, after describing to him the serious situation created at the project due to the lack of the designs and of some materials, asked him to intervene for their earliest possible dispatch, requesting that he should receive an answer within ten days. Comrade Bekleshov, who presented himself at this meeting as newly employed on the job and not yet acquainted by his men with the situation concerning the palace, promised Comrade Rahman Hanku that he would try to settle the questions put to him by responding in good time. However, even after this meeting not only did the requested designs and materials fail to arrive, but we were not so much as given a reply. On March 23, 1961, by our letter No. 150 addressed to the GKES in Tirana on the part of this Ministry, we repeated once more our request for intervention for the arrival of the designs and materials, but this request, too, has remained to this day without any response.
“As I reported above, owing to the fact that the designs and materials failed to arrive, and especially owing to the lack of a full reply by the Soviet side, the executing enterprise was kept waiting for a long time with manpower and specialists, as well as machinery, that have been very little utilized.
“In such circumstances, I ordered a reduction of manpower and machinery and, if the arrival of the designs should drag on further, in order not to entirely suspend the work, in order not to leave this big project in the center of the Capital in the present condition, I shall take measures for its designing to be taken up by Albanian engineers, which, in accordance with the agreements approved by the Albanian Government and by the Soviet Government, should have been carried out by the Soviet side in due time.
“Reporting the above, I request that you take immediate measures for the earliest possible arrival of the designs and materials in order to continue the work according to the schedule for the construction of the Palace of Culture, and on this occasion allow me, Comrade Ambassador, to express to you assurances of my high esteem.”
The Soviet side not only did not reply to these urgent requests but, on April 13, 1961, when the Soviet ship “Vostok” arrived at the port of Durres, bringing to Albania, in addition to other commodities, materials intended for the Palace of Culture, withdrew these materials under the pretext that they had been loaded by mistake and were not intended for Albania. The truth is that these materials were intended for the Palace of Culture according to the bill of loading No. 180, and in fact the destination was written on their packing. Besides, on April 26-27, 1961, the Soviet side unilaterally withdrew all the Soviet specialists working on the construction of the Palace of Culture. In the face of such a situation, when the construction work was suspended through the fault of the Soviet side and this big project in the center of the Capital remained with opened foundations heavily hurting the deep feelings of friendship of the Albanian people towards the fraternal peoples of the Soviet Union, the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania, on May 5, 1961, rightfully took the decision to finance the construction of the palace and ask our designing organizations to prepare the appropriate designs.
Only after three months and three days, on July 14, 1961, following the letter of the Construction Minister of the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania, there came as a reply the Soviet Government’s aide me- moire which gave no concrete facts except the date. It is not accidental that it does not provide any example, any fact from the development of the construction work or from the questions raised in the letter of our Construction Minister concerning the situation at the Palace of Culture for the year 1961. The Soviet Government’s aide memoire said: “In the letter of the Construction Minister of the People’s Republic of Albania, J. Pashko, dated April 11, 1961, a number of demands were put forward which showed that the Albanian side did not like to discuss in a sound manner the questions that had arisen in connection with the construction of the Palace of Culture as is customary in the relations between socialist countries”.
Now that you have read the letter of the Construction Minister you can see clearly in what a slanderous manner the Soviet Government raises the question at N. Khrushchev’s instigation, saying that our letter of April 11, 1961 “put forward a number of demands which showed that the Albanian side did not like to discuss the questions in a sound manner.” The letter of our Minister expresses only one desire: to meet the necessary demands in order to normally continue the work in connection with the construction of the Palace of Culture.
The actions of the Soviet Government, such as the failure to send the materials and designs, the withdrawal of the specialists and the silence of more than three months towards our answer, testify to the lack of desire and to the violation of the agreement on the construction of the Palace of Culture on the part of the Soviet Government.
N. Khrushchev’s hostile attitude in bringing all pressures to bear on the People’s Republic of Albania and the Albanian people is also apparent in this incident. It is clearly revealed by the Soviet Government’s aide memoire in which Khrushchev slanderously lays the blame on and attributes his malicious aims to others. The aide memoire says among other things:
“On May 5 of this year the Government of Albania took a decision in accordance with which it has undertaken the completion of all the work for the carrying out of the designing and construction of the Palace of Culture.
“Naturally, such a step of the Albanian Government cannot but cause justified surprise, for it allowed unilateral action towards the Soviet-Albanian agreement of July 3, 1959 on the construction of the Palace of Culture.
“Now it has become quite clear that on this occasion the Albanian Government has pursued entirely definite aims, which by no means contribute to the betterment of the relations between our countries. It is no secret that now in Albania the character of the Soviet Union’s disinterested aid to the Albanian people, including its aid in the construction of the Palace of Culture, is being distorted in a more irresponsible manner.”
These base fabrications do not merit comment. Such is the truth. Such are the facts. This was the confrontation of the facts with the slanders and fabrications. Now the question arises:
Who in fact utilized the humanitarian act, the gift, for “anti-Soviet propaganda?” Who is seeking to damage the traditional friendship between our peoples? Is it the Albanian Government, which was obliged to take measures in order to avert the shame and black stain which the Soviet Government drew on itself by earmarking the funds for the construction of the Palace of Culture at a time when these funds were not envisaged by the plan? Or is it the Soviet Government which, at N. Khrushchev’s instigation, broke the promise made to the Albanian people, violated the agreement which it had itself signed, leaving the groundwork of the Palace of Culture like an uncovered grave in the center of the Capital?
Our people, and especially the people of the Capital, gave a just
answer to this question, mobilizing all their forces to build the
Palace of Culture themselves.
A. Mikoyan, in his statement at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, playing the role assigned to him, had the task of producing “theoretical arguments” to back up N. Khrushchev’s calls for counter-revolution in Albania. His main argument was the question of the Albanian students and other Albanian citizens who were studying in the Soviet Union. He presented the case as follows:
“Some time ago, the naval students who were studying in our country returned to Albania. In conversations among themselves they asked themselves with surprise: What is the cause of this sudden aggravation of the relations between Albania and the Soviet Union? For this many of them were thrown into prison.
“The Albanian students who were studying in our country returned home to spend their vacations and afterwards many of them were not authorized by the Albanian authorities to continue their studies in the Soviet Union. Naturally, this created dissatisfaction, and many of the discontented suffered reprisals.
“The Albanian leaders persecute those wishing to preserve the friendship between our parties and peoples, while at the same time, in order to deceive the people, they organize Soviet-Albanian friendship month. This happened in September.
“They may say that these are their internal affairs and that we should not interfere in them. But we are here in face of persecutions and reprisals against the Albanians who defend the traditional friendship with the Soviet Union. And this concerns us directly. We cannot remain indifferent, and we are obliged to express our opinion”.
Since the 22nd Congress certain Soviet propagandists and their supporters have continued to slander us on the question of the Albanian students who were studying in the Soviet Union.
* * *
As you see, A. Mikoyan was pretending alarm at “the imprisonment” of many naval students; he was pretending grief that many Albanian students “were not authorized” by the Albanian authorities to continue their studies in the Soviet Union; he was pretending horror at “the reprisals” which many “discontented” students had allegedly suffered; he was pretending to revolt at the “persecutions” which the Soviet Union’s “friends” in Albania are suffering, which, according to him, were not an internal affair of the Party of Labour of Albania, of the People’s Republic of Albania and of the Albanian people, but which directly concerned (we repeat the word “directly”) N. Khrushchev’s group. We cannot say that such an attitude, that such an opinion, is surprising because in the logic of N. Khrushchev’s followers there is nothing surprising, nothing unexpected. To say that such an attitude, such a viewpoint, is loathsome, that it rests from beginning to end on slanders is saying nothing new, for in their activities slander is a usual practice. Therefore, let us call on facts and documents rather than epithets, to speak, to shed all the light on the truth, on the question of the Albanian students who were studying in the Soviet Union, to show who expelled them, who made provocations and blackmail against them, who closed the doors of the universities to them on the threshold of the new school-year.
During the 1961-1962 school-year, in accordance with the agreement concluded between the governments of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of Albania on July 5, 1952, under the terms of which the Soviet Union was paying 60 per cent of the scholarship and the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania 40 per cent, 1,213 citizens of the People’s Republic of Albania were regularly pursuing their studies in the Soviet Union.
During the 1961-1962 school-year, in accordance with the cultural cooperation programme signed in Moscow on February 8, 1961 between the two countries, another 100 young students were assigned and preparing to study in institutions of higher learning in the Soviet Union.
In August 1961, after having spent the summer vacation in Albania, the old students returned to the Soviet Union to continue their studies, while the new students were ready to leave for the USSR.
On August 26, however, only 4-5 days before the beginning of the courses for the 1961-1962 school-year, the Soviet Government, at N. Khrushchev’s instigation, implementing the policy of pressure and blackmail towards the Party of Labour of Albania, the People’s Republic of Albania and the Albanian people, the policy of blockade and isolation in many directions, went so far as to deprive the Albanian citizens of the right to pursue their studies at the universities and institutions of higher learning of the Soviet Union. Through a note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Soviet Government served notice on the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania that “as of September 1, 1961 there extends to Albania the rule common to all the European socialist countries concerning the expense for education in the Soviet Union of the students and post-graduates under which the students’ stipends are paid by the country that sends its own citizens to the Soviet Union to pursue their studies there”.
This unilateral cancellation of the inter-government agreement of July 5, 1952 was aimed at making more difficult the training of cadres of the People’s Republic of Albania and, consequently, impairing the building of socialism in Albania. It was an unjust decision adopted by N. Khrushchev to wreak his revenge on the Party of Labour of Albania for having expressed, through interparty channels, correct, Marxist-Leninist viewpoints on a whole number of ideological and political questions of the present-day world development and in particular of the international communist and workers’ movement, viewpoints which did not fit in with his anti-Marxist and opportunist theses.
In the face of such a situation, when the Soviet Government arbitrarily changed the study conditions of the Albanian citizens in the Soviet Union, creating great difficulties to our country, suddenly, as we pointed out, only 4 to 5 days before the beginning of classes, the Albanian students were obliged to return to Albania.
For what reasons, or rather under what pretexts, did the Soviet Government, under N. Khrushchev’s dictate, no longer allow the Albanian students to pursue their studies in the schools of the Soviet Union?
It is known that between the two governments of the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of Albania there was concluded in July 1952 an agreement on the education of the citizens of the People’s Republic of Albania at the higher civil institutes of the Soviet Union, stipulating (Article 5):
“The Government of the Soviet Union covers the expenses for the maintenance and study of the citizens of the People’s Republic of Albania at the institutions of higher learning of the Soviet Union”;
and (Article 6):
“The Government of the People’s Republic of Albania reimburses the Government of the Soviet Union 40 per cent of the expenses mentioned in Article 5 of the present agreement”.
This agreement was an expression of the fraternal internationalist aid which the Soviet Union was giving the People’s Republic of Albania for the training of cadres needed for the development of our national economy and culture.
Later, on March 16, I960, the Soviet Government demanded a modification of the agreement and the conclusion of a new one, on a basis and conditions different from those of the 1952 agreement.
The Government of the People’s Republic of Albania, taking into account the fraternal relations and close cooperation between the two countries, the specific conditions of the People’s Republic of Albania, the urgent needs for the training of cadres and the financial burden which would be incurred as a result of the change in the study conditions, instructed the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of Albania in Moscow, Nesti Nase, to request, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, not to change the study conditions of the Albanian citizens in the Soviet Union. And on June 6, 1960, in response to the Albanian Government’s request, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, N. P. Firyubin, verbally informed our Ambassador:
“The Soviet Government re-examined its proposal concerning the modification of the agreement on the conditions of the mutual training of students and postgraduates at the civil institutes of higher learning and at the scientific research institutes, took into consideration the request of the Albanian side and decided that the 1952 agreement conditions remain in force.”
Thus the problem was considered as settled and the question closed.
The Albanian Government, as always, appraised this just decision of the Soviet Government as a friendly act and precisely for this reason, as usual, during the 1960- 1961 academic year there were sent to the institutions of higher learning of the Soviet Union a considerable number of Albanian students and post-graduates who by August 1961 had completed their studies according to the above-mentioned conditions.
The Soviet Government, however, at N. Khrushchev’s instigation, continuing the repressive measures against the People’s Republic of Albania and with a view to creating for our country difficulties also in the training of cadres, went back on the official promise it had given to our Government on June 6, 1960. This is evident from the August 26, 1961 Soviet note which, raising again the question of the study conditions of the Albanian students at the schools of the Soviet Union and completely ignoring the June 6, 1960 official communication, says:
“As a result of the talks which took place between the governments of the USSR and other European socialist countries, with the exception of Albania, new agreements have been concluded on the basis set forth in the March 16, 1960 note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. Although almost one and a half years have elapsed from the time of the handing over of the note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the
USSR to the Albanian Embassy in Moscow, the Albanian Government has not thus far sent any written reply to the Soviet note”.
Carefully note: The whole “fault” of the Albanian Government is that “it has not replied in a written form to the Soviet note”. When did the verbal communication of our Ambassador to the Soviet Foreign Ministry and the June 6, 1960 verbal communication of the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister cease to be considered as official acts? N. Khrushchev’s conception of the official value of the written and verbal communications is really interesting! He insisted on a “reply in written form” from our Government to his March 16, 1960 note, whereas he verbally informed our Government of an affair whose importance has no need to be emphasized, namely the closing by the Soviet Government of the Soviet Embassy in Tirana and the demand for the closing of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Albania in Moscow. When the Charge d’Affaires of the People’s Republic of Albania in Moscow asked N. P. Firyubin to give him in written form his communication for the withdrawal of the staff of the Soviet Embassy in Tirana and the departure of the staff of the Albanian Embassy in Moscow, N. P. Firyubin, on behalf of the Soviet Government, replied to him that any verbal or written communication of an official representative is considered as an official act. Therefore, it is not necessary that we should give it to you in written form. In other words, this is to say: “Don’t do what I do but do what I say”.
Therefore, one can easily see the entire falseness of the pretext under which the Soviet Government has violated the 1952 inter-governmental agreement on the education of the citizens of the People’s Republic of Albania in the Soviet Union.
Very significant also is the fact that on August 26, 1961, the same day when the Soviet Government announced its decision to cut off the stipends to the Albanian students studying in the Soviet Union (at issue is the 60 per cent of the stipend), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union sent to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of Albania in Moscow a note which alleges:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR continues to receive information that some Albanian students and auditors who are pursuing their studies at the institutions of higher learning of the Soviet Union are spreading various fabrications and slanders concerning Soviet-Albanian relations, and are also seeking to draw the Soviet and foreign students into provocative conversations”.
It further continues:
“Reporting on the instances of the unworthy behaviour of Albanian students studying in the Soviet Union, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR draws attention to the fact that their anti-Soviet views are, undoubtedly, of a premeditated nature”.
The note concludes:
“The Ministry has been authorized to declare that, in case of anti-Soviet attacks on the part of the Albanian students, the latter will be asked to leave the Soviet Union”.
The authors of the note, N. Khrushchev’s group, need these slanders and trumped-up instances to attain their vicious aim, to deprive our country of the possibility to train cadres in the schools of the Soviet Union. How low those who slander the Albanian students in such a way have fallen! For it is well known that the Albanian students’ love and respect for the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union have become one of the loftiest qualities of the character of the citizens of new Albania, and the Soviet teachers and students have witnessed the noble feelings of their Albanian comrades and students. Therefore, the claim that there have been anti-Soviet expressions on the part of the Albanian students is a slander and an offense intentionally committed by the Soviet side to discredit the Albanian students and to back up its unjust measures towards them.
If we consider the Soviet note, the question arises: Which one is lying, the note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that presents the Albanian students as “anti- Soviet”, or A. Mikoyan, who at the 22nd Congress called the Albanian students “the friends” of the Soviet Union, who “suffered reprisals in Albania”? It is clear that in both cases we have to deal with fabrications aimed at justifying two evil aims against the People’s Republic of Albania and the Party of Labour of Albania. In the first case, through the note of the Foreign Ministry of the Soviet Union, the slander was needed to justify the departure of the Albanian students from the Soviet schools. In the second case, through Mikoyan’s declaration, the slander was needed to “argue” the situation of “terror and uncertainty” allegedly existing in Albania, with a view to implementing N. Khrushchev’s call for counterrevolution and, on the other hand, to deceiving world public opinion about the real situation in our country.
According to A. Mikoyan and some other Soviet propagandists, in Albania there reigns “terror”, “imprisonments”, “murders and assassinations”; in Albania sailors, students, and “all the honest men and women who stand for friendship with the Soviet Union” have allegedly been imprisoned. In a word, the whole people have been imprisoned! These monstrous calumnies, which rightfully arouse a feeling of revolt and justified hatred against their authors, have disgusted our people before whose eyes the slanderers have become ridiculous and appeared like enemies in the same dock with the imperialists and the Yugoslav revisionists, for they do not cause less evil, and they do not pose less danger with their calls for counter-revolution.
Their intention to create difficult situations, to create troubles, cannot be disguised by the veil of their “creative Marxism” which reeks of rank revisionism. The Albanian people, led by their Party, have gone through numerous tempests and have foiled many plots and intrigues; they are tempered and stronger than ever to frustrate the schemes of their enemies whatever the slogan under which they present themselves.
The Central Committee of the Party of Labour of Albania, the Government of the People’s Republic of Albania, and the entire Albanian people have appreciated and continue to appreciate the great internationalist aid which the Soviet Union, the CPSU and the Soviet Government have rendered to the People’s Republic of Albania in the training of Albanian cadres in the Soviet Union. Our sons and daughters who have studied at the institutions of higher learning of the Soviet Union, who have familiarized themselves with Soviet science and culture, which are the most advanced in the world, have brought to their country knowledge and the very precious experience of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, of the builders of communism in the Soviet Union. Educated by the Party of Labour of Albania, they have made and are making a great contribution to the strengthening of Albanian-Soviet friendship.
As to the question of the “imprisonment of many students” which has so much troubled N. Khrushchev and his followers that they have lost sleep over the issue, we can say that these students are in good health and are studying at the State University of Tirana and other institutes of higher learning at home or in the universities of fraternal socialist countries.
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