INTRODUCTION: In the middle of the crisis surrounding the introduction of martial law in Poland, the Soviet President, Leonid Brezhnev, is celebrating his 75th birthday.
SV Bulgarian and Soviet flags flying.
SV Arrival of Bulgarian aircraft. President Todor Zhikov welcomed by Soviet officials. (3 SHOTS)
SV Rumanian and USSR flags flying.
GV Rumanian official aircraft arrives.
GV Ceausescu descends aircraft steps and is met by Soviet officials.
SV East German and USSR flags flying.
SV Official plane taxiing.
SV Soviet delegation waiting as East German leader Honecker descends from plane, to be greeted by Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: In the middle of the crisis surrounding the introduction of martial law in Poland, the Soviet President, Leonid Brezhnev, is celebrating his 75th birthday. For 17 years, he has held the top position in the Soviet political structure. His birthday has brought to Moscow all of the Eastern Bloc leaders, ostensibly for a birthday party, but in reality, for an informal Warsaw Pact summit meeting.
SYNOPSIS: First to arrive at Moscow Airport was the Bulgarian President. Todor Zhikov. He has been one of Mr. Brezhnev's strongest supporters amongst the Eastern European leaders, and observers expect him to be in full agreement with the action taken by the Polish government.
Shortly after, the plane carrying the Rumanian President, Nicolae Ceausescu, touched down. Unlike his Bulgarian colleague, President Ceausescu follows and independent line on foreign policy and, in the past, has often spoken out against the attitudes of Mr. Brezhnev to the Soviet Bloc countries. The Rumanian leader arrived as evidence mounted to suggest that the introduction of martial law in Poland has followed high-level consultations with the Soviet Union.
The leader of the East German Communist Party, Erich Honecker, has been strongly critical of the Polish government's handling of the crisis with the Solidarity trade union movement. He has attacked the Polish Communist leadership in the past for making too many concessions towards the trade unionists.