At a Kremlin election rally in Moscow on Friday (11 June), Soviet Communist Party Chief.....Leonid?
At a Kremlin election rally in Moscow on Friday (11 June), Soviet Communist Party Chief.....Leonid Brezhnev....announced that Moscow was ready to discuss with the United States the reduction of naval forces cruising far from home waters. He emphasised however that such talks must be on a basis of equality. Mr. Brezhnev also indicated a willingness to discuss the reduction of national and foreign forces based in Central Europe, and said the world public was still waiting for an answer to the Soviet proposal for a conference of the five nuclear powers.....the Soviet Union, People's Republic of China, the United States, France and Britain. He deplored what he described as "double standards" on the part of the United States, with regard to arms reduction talks. They had advocated a cut-back in Soviet arms investment, he said, while going ahead making major weapons development decisions of their own. Mr. Brezhnev said this "double standard" could be clearly seen in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean where the Soviet naval presence was being strongly criticised, even though the U.S. Seventh Fleet was sailing "alongside" Russian vessels, and off the coasts of China and Ind-China.
During the past decade the Soviet Navy has emerged from the comparative shelter of Baltic, Black Sea, and Japanese waters to range over the world's oceans, and into areas which had rarely, if ever, seen the Russian flag before. In that period long naval missions became routine, and the Russian Navy has put to effective use the diplomatic technique of "showing the flag." NATO powers have taken a keen interest in this outreach of Soviet naval diplomacy and have joined in a continuous game of "cat and mouse" as navy watches navy, wherever and whenever. The vast expenses of such constant surveillance are not hard to imagine. Friday's announcement from Moscow recognises the almost impossible situation of stalemate. However, Mr. Brezhnev has taken pains to make clear that reductions can only be effected on an equal basis.