The Soviet Union will enter a significant new phase of development at the end of this month if the next Five-Year Plan is approved by the 24th Soviet Communist Party Congress.
The Soviet Union will enter a significant new phase of development at the end of this month if the next Five-Year Plan is approved by the 24th Soviet Communist Party Congress. For the first time, the Congress, which begins on March 30, will be asked to approve an economic plan aimed directly at boosting the standard of living of the population. Much of the credit for this change in emphasis from heavy industry to light industry and consumer goods goes to one man -- Nikolai Podgorny, Chairman of the Congress, and President of the Soviet Union.
This film profile of President Podgorny traces his development into a politician of international standing, to become one of the three most powerful men in the USSR.
SYNOPSIS: At the end of March, the 24th Soviet Communist Party Congress will be asked to approve a Five-Year Plan aimed at boosting the standard of living of the population. Their Chairman is Nikolai Podgorny. This change in emphasis of Soviet industrial production is largely due to him. He is now President of the Soviet Union. Nikolai Podgorny began his rise in 1960. Then, as a member of the Presidium, he took his first step in international politics. He accompanied Mr. Khrushchev to the United Nations.
Mr. Podgorny quickly earned the reputation of a Soviet "trouble-shooter". In 1964,he headed a Soviet parliamentary delegation to France, where he led the move towards a Paris-Moscow rapprochement Still in 1964, he visited Havana when Cuban-Soviet relations were strained. And the year before he had been sent to Bucharest to iron out the problems of Rumania's role in Comecon.
In 1965 he became President. This appointment was seen by many as the end of any supreme ambition he may have. But when this year President Podgorny attended the Requiem Mass for General de Gaulle, it was not as a figurehead of the Soviet state. He had taken upon himself much of the power that previously lay with the chief of the Communist Party and the Premier.
In establishing himself, President Podgorny undertook many delicate missions for the Kremlin. When the Middle East grew in importance in Soviet politics, Podgorny paved the way. Here he inaugurated the Aswan Dam in Egypt, financed with Russian funds. After the June War, he visited Egypt, Syria and Iraq. Nikolai Podgorny has made himself one of the three most powerful men in Russia.