The Soviet Communist Party leader, Leonid Brezhnev assured Yugoslav leaders on Tuesday (16 November) that they can trust the Kremlin after President Tito leaves the scene.
The Soviet Communist Party leader, Leonid Brezhnev assured Yugoslav leaders on Tuesday (16 November) that they can trust the Kremlin after President Tito leaves the scene. President Tito and Mr. Brezhnev held their second round of talks in Belgrade on Tuesday after which it was said there wide opportunities for expanding contacts on known principles. This is reported to be a key Yugoslav phrase indicating there will be no compromise on Yugoslavia's independence for the sake of better relations with the Kremlin.
SYNOPSIS: MR. Brezhnev arrived on Monday (15 November) for a two day visit to Yugoslavia -- his first in more than five years to the staunchly independent Communist country which broke with the Kremlin 28 years ago. At a lavish banquet on Monday night, President Tito decorated Mr. Brezhnev with the Order of Freedom, Yugoslavia's highest military decoration and the second highest Yugoslav decoration of any kind. Marshal Tito said he was decorating the Soviet leader to mark Mr. Brezhnev's 70th birthday next month and for his service in the struggle against the common enemy of fascism.
But it was in an address by Mr. Brezhnev that the high point of the Russian leader's visit was made apparent. Mr. Brezhnev firmly assured President Tito that the Soviet Union had no intention of attacking Yugoslavia and said such an intention was a fairy tale invented in the West. He said the authors of such fairy tales tried to present Yugoslavia as the poor helpless victim of the aggressive Soviet Union. He said that in its approach to relations with Yugoslavia, the Soviet Union kept firmly to "striving to strengthen and develop friendly relations with it on the basis of full equality, mutual respect and trust and absolute non-intervention in internal affairs".
A clear public statement of Soviet indentions is becoming more and more important to the Yugoslavs as Marshal Toto, now aged 84, grows older and the uncertainty of the post-Toto era comes nearer.