The Supreme Soviet, the U.S.S.R.'s parliamentary legislature, was called into session on Wednesday (29 November)?
GV The Kremlin in Moscow.
GV INTERIOR Members of the Supreme Soviet session applauding entrance of President Leonid Brezhnev and Prime Minister Alexei Kosygin.
GV Members applauding.
GV Delegates take seats. (2 SHOTS)
GV Member announcing opening of session.
SV Delegates including Brezhnev and Kosygin listening. (3 SHOTS)
GV Delegates applauding.
SV Finance Minister Vasily Garbuzov announcing progress of economy.
GV PAN Leaders listening.
SV Finance Minister Grabuzov continues speech.
SV, CU & GV Delegates listening to speech. (5 SHOTS)
The announcement of the Kremlin's defence budget was awaited with more than usual interest this year, according to Reuters News Agency, because of Rumanian disclosures of a row about defence spending at last week's summit of the seven-nation Warsaw Pact in Moscow. Rumanian President Nicolace Ceausescu said on his return home, he had resisted plans for an increase in defence spending. No other details about the Summit's military deliberations were disclosed. Western experts believe the official defence budget disclosed by the Soviet Union does not cover research and investment in new weaponry.
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Background: The Supreme Soviet, the U.S.S.R.'s parliamentary legislature, was called into session on Wednesday (29 November) to approve proposed economic plans for next year. Most of the Soviet Union's top leaders attended the session.
SYNOPSIS: The plans presented to the Supreme Soviet, at the Kremlin in Moscow, had already received approval from the Communist Party's Central Committee. The session began after legislature welcomed their seventy-two year old President and Communist Party Chief, Leonid Brezhnev and Prime Minister, Alexei Kosygin.
Special attention was paid by Western observers as to which Communist Party members were on the rostrum and the seating arrangements which reflected the Politburo reshuffle announced on Monday (27 November). The seating of Konstantin Cheryenko, the Party Secretary who moved up to full membership of the 13-man Politburo int he reshuffle alongside Mr. Brezhnev and Mr. Kosygin is seen as confirmation of Cheryenko's promotion to the inner circle of the Soviet Union's leadership.
Finance Minister, Vasily Garbuzov, addressed the parliament about the proposed 1979 economic plant.
This is the fourth year of the Soviet Union's current five-year-plan. Mr. Garbuzov's speech indicated the economy would make a partial recovery next year from a showdown in growth in 1978. He said next year's budget provided for government income of 269.1 billion roubles (404.7 billion dollars) while spending would total 268.8 billion roubles (404 billion dollars).
The minister went on to say that the 1979 defence budget would remain at 26 billion dollars, about 6.4 percent of the national budget. But Western observers say that is only part of the real defence spending, which they say could be four times the amount announced.