Over 200 Soviet police cordoned off the Ethiopian Embassy in Moscow on Friday (6 May), after a group of young men - some wearing helmets and flak jackets - entered the building.
GV: Kremlin, Moscow
SV: Ethiopian delegation greeted by Soviet President Nikolai Podgorny and Foreign Minister, Andrei Gromyko.
MV AND CU: delegates around table talking (5 shots)
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Background: Over 200 Soviet police cordoned off the Ethiopian Embassy in Moscow on Friday (6 May), after a group of young men - some wearing helmets and flak jackets - entered the building. According to a report from Reuters news agency ambulances were brought into the area and a large detachment of troops armed with sub-machine guns were stationed nearby. The group was believed to have included students who are opposed to the Ethiopian socialist military Government, headed by Lieutenant Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam, who is in Moscow for talks with Soviet leaders. The police action was called off four hours later and a group of some 60 students was seen leaving the building. Soviet officials denied anything unusual had happened. Colonel Mengistu is reported to be satisfied with the results of two days of talks with Soviet leaders on support for his beleaguered Government.
SYNOPSIS: The talks were held in the Kremlin after Colonel Mengistu arrived on Wednesday (4 May). Ethiopia, which is facing internal rebellion and hostility from its Sudanese and Somali neighbours, last month terminated its 20 year-old military treaty with the United States, depriving itself of over 58 million pounds sterling's (100 million dollars US) worth of supplies. These included fighter planes and tanks. Soviet leaders have voiced their support for the Ethiopian Government, but have made no direct mention of military aid, thus avoiding open commitment.
According to some western reports Moscow and Addis Ababa concluded a secret arms pact last December, after which Soviet-made tanks were said to have been delivered to Ethiopia from Aden. The tanks were T-34's-old and inferior to those Moscow had supplied to Somalia, with whom it is on good terms. This situation is seen as a Soviet desire to remain on good terms with Somalia, which is involved in territorial disputes with Ethiopia.