INTRODUCTION: Twenty-four hours after the Soviet Kremlin announced a high-level reshuffle, East European foreign ministers gathered in Moscow.
INTRODUCTION: Twenty-four hours after the Soviet Kremlin announced a high-level reshuffle, East European foreign ministers gathered in Moscow. The ministers met on Wednesday (25 May) for the first time since the seven-nation Warsaw Pact decided last November to hold regular foreign policy consultations.
SYNOPSIS: The meeting began following the surprise demotion in Moscow of Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny and amid signs of a new Kremlin drive to tighten Communist block discipline. All foreign ministers from the member countries of Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary, East Germany, Rumania, Czechoslovakia were there. Soviet Union Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko played a prominent part.
The decision to bring foreign ministers together at regular intervals coincides with the approaching second-stage European Security Conference which opens in Belgrade on the 15th of June. Eastern ??? countries have faced severe criticism on their human rights policies from the West for their alleged failure to implement the Helsinki agreements calling for respect for human rights and a freer flow of people and ideas.