Soviet Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev, in a hearty and jovial mood, received a massive welcome in East Berlin when he arrived on Saturday (5 October).
SV Brezhnev, Gromyko and other Soviet dignitaries down aircraft steps and greeted by East German delegation
SV Brezhnev waving to chanting crowds: he, and Soviet delegation, stand to accept ovation form corwd
GV Brezhnev taking salute as troops march past
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Background: Soviet Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev, in a hearty and jovial mood, received a massive welcome in East Berlin when he arrived on Saturday (5 October).
The crowds at Schoenefeld Airport chanted "Welcome to the birthday of our Republic", and "Our friendship has no end" as the Eat German leadership -- headed by Communist chief Erich Honecker -- greeted the Soviet delegation.
Mr. Brezhnev, accompanied by the Defence Minister Andrei Grechko and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, clasped his hosts in a series of bear-hugs and showered them with kisses as the group were surrounded by newsmen.
Mr. Brezhnev's visit comes at a time when East Germany has pledged "an eternal and irrevocable" bond with the Soviet Union. A modified Constitution comes into force on Monday (october) in which all references to a common destiny with West Germany have been expunged and the bond with the Soviet Bloc???re-inforced.
Mr. Brezhnev is the only visiting Communist Party chief to grace the anniversary celebrations in East Germany -- a marked contrast to the 20th birthday pageant in 1969 when independent-minded Rumania and non-aligned Yugoslavia were the only East European states not represented at top party level.
Talks between the Soviet leader and Herr Honecker are expected to range over increased long-term economic integration within the Soviet Bloc trade grouping 'Comecon' and foreign-policy issues such as relations with West Germany.