The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, has called on the Communist Economic group -- Comecon -- to seek new forms of co-operation to try and increase the effectiveness of the ten-member organisation.
GV Comecon delegates in conference hall, Moscow.
SCU Alexei Kosygin speaking.
GV Delegates seated in hall.
SV PAN Observers seated.
GV Conference room
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Background: The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, has called on the Communist Economic group -- Comecon -- to seek new forms of co-operation to try and increase the effectiveness of the ten-member organisation.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Brezhnev's call came at the opening of the three-day conference in Moscow. Soviet Prime Minister, Alexei Kosygin, read Mr. Brezhnev's message because the Soviet leader is on holiday following the Vienna summit conference
Comecon was founded thirty years ago as a loose-knit grouping with no supra-national authority. But, since the nineteen sixties, the soviet Union and some East European countries have been pressing for the development of more powerful central organs which could make decision which would be binding on all members. The annual Comecon Council is attended by Premiers and Economic Ministers of the ten member-countries. This year, it was also attended by observers from many Third World countries and the Soviet Union's neighbour, Finland. There were four top Soviet leaders at the opening session -- Mikhail Suslov, Andrei Kirilenko and Viktor Grishin, as well as Mr. Gromyko. All are members of the Communist Party's Politburo. As well as Eastern European countries Comecon members include Vietnam, Cuba and Mongolia.