The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, has demanded that China withdraw all forces from Vietnam immediately.?
The Soviet leader, Leonid Brezhnev, has demanded that China withdraw all forces from Vietnam immediately. But in a speech at a Moscow political rally on Friday (2 March), he gave no indication of any Soviet action if Peking did not comply.
SYNOPSIS: The rally was the culmination of a campaign for single-candidate elections to the Supreme Soviet, the country's Parliament. It was the seventy-two-year old Party Chief's first public appearance since his return a week ago from a prolonged rest at a Black Sea resort. He denounced Peking leaders as treacherous and aggressive and said their current policies presented the biggest danger to world peace. Mr Brezhnev described the Chinese move into Vietnam two weeks ago as "an unprecedented bandit attack". He said the Soviet people demanded the immediate end of the Chinese aggression against Vietnam and the immediate withdrawal of all forces from Vietnamese soil.
But the Soviet President did not take up recent Soviet press accusations that the United States was an accomplice in China's move against Vietnam.
He did comment, however, on the current stage of negotiations with the United States on Salt, the Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty -- generally regarded as the key issue of Soviet American relations. And he gave an optimistic account of talks. Of course some things could have been better, he said, but it was a sensible compromise which took into account the interests of both sides. Mr Brezhnev reassured his audience that if a new treaty was signed and ratified it would not harm in any way the security of the Soviet Union, or that of the United States. He said an agreement would be, on the whole, advantageous to both countries.