Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev has warned that France and Belgium's action in airlifting troops into Zaire jeopardised detente.
Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev has warned that France and Belgium's action in airlifting troops into Zaire jeopardised detente. He told Czech political leaders at a rally in Prague that such actions could lead to something slightly less than Cold War --namely a"luke-warm war".
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Brezhnev's statements were seen as retaliation to continuing Western claims that Russia and Cuba were deeply involved in the Katangan invasion of Zaire. In a sombre mood, and speaking ponderously, he said the France-Belgium incursion was an act of "cynical interference" harmful to the detente process.
The Soviet President also took the opportunity to deliver a verbal swipe at the 15-nation NATO summit conference in Washington, where most of the accusations of Russo-Cuban involvement have been made. He described the accusations as fabricated and part of a propoganda campaign designed to steer public opinion away from Western involvement in Zaire. Mr. Brezhnev said more Western leaders had made "nice speeches" about disarmament to the U.N. then gone onto the NATO conference to hatch plans for new warlike preparations. He said the Communist countries would continue to press for disarmament, however big the obstacles.
The 71-year-old President showed signs of fatigue and strain throughout the speech, and became animated only at the end, when he raised his fists and shouted "Long live peace, long live Communism."