An international ban on the neutron bomb is being sought by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev.?
An international ban on the neutron bomb is being sought by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev. At a state dinner in Bonn on Thursday (4 May) in honour of his four-day visit to West Germany, Mr. Brezhnev called for "real steps" to reduce armed forces and arsenals throughout the world, especially in Central Europe. He urged the signing of binding, mutual agreements to prevent the appearance of the neutron bomb and to curb the East-West arms race. The Soviet Union recently pledged it would not make a neutron bomb of its own if the United States renounced production.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Brezhnev's arrival in Bonn was his first visit to the West since a trip to Paris last summer - and his first trip to West Germany since bombing President. He was farewelled by most of his Politburo colleagues at Moscow Airport and, in the televised departure, appeared tired and drawn. However he arrived in Bonn smiling and looking fitter than in recent public appearances. Soviet officials reportedly insisted on plenty of rest for the 71-year-old President between rounds of talks. His visit to Bonn had been postponed several times for health reasons.
Both West German President Walter Scheel and Chancellor Helmut Schemidt were at the airport to greet the Soviet leader. Their talks were expected to concentrate on bilateral trade, detente and disarmament issues.
Government sources said West Germany would point out its concern over the heavy concentration of Warsaw Pact tanks, missiles and troops in Eastern Europe. Shortly before his visit, Mr. Brezhnev told a West German newspaper that the Soviet Union was prepared to scale down its forces in Central Europe by fifty percent if the West would do likewise.
The visit provoked anti-Soviet demonstrations and police detained fie protestors soon after Mr. Brezhnev's arrival. Thousands more police were on duty en route to Gymnich Castle, where the talks were to be held. There was one worrying moment when the speeding limousine carrying Mr. Brezhnev blew a tyre. But there was no damage and the Soviet leader was swiftly transferred to a reserve car.