The Soviet Deputy-Foreign Minister, Leonid Ilyichev, arrived in Zambia on Wednesday (26 March) from Mozambique for a six-day official visit.
GV Lusaka International Airport terminal building
SV Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Leonid Ilyichev down steps of aircraft and is greeted by Zambian government officials
SV PAN Party walking across tarmac
CU INTERIOR Ilyichev
CU Government officials
SV Soviet officials seated at news conference
SV Ilyichev speaking in Russian and interpreter translates into English
TRANSCRIPT: INTERPRETER: "The Soviet Union has expressed great satisfaction over the victory of the Patriotic Forces in Zimbabwe....As is known the Soviet Union has rendered and is rendering support and assistance to the Patriotic forces in Zimbabwe and it will continue to render it assistance to the new government on a new basis....The Soviet Union will recognise the independence of Zimbabwe....It will establish diplomatic relations with it....and it will establish its diplomatic mission at ambassadorial level.
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Background: The Soviet Deputy-Foreign Minister, Leonid Ilyichev, arrived in Zambia on Wednesday (26 March) from Mozambique for a six-day official visit. Mr. Ilyichev leads a five-man Soviet delegation which later plans to hold talks with leaders of liberation movements in Southern Africa.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Ilyichev was greeted at Lusaka airport by Zambian government officials who later took part in an initial round of talks. It's the first visit to Zambia by a government team from Moscow since the Zambians signed an arms deal worth more than 90 million dollars with the Soviet Union late last year. Under the agreement, the Soviet government undertook to train several hundred Zambian military men.
The Soviet Union was a major supplier of arms to the Zambia-based wing of the Patriotic Front guerrilla alliance during the war in Rhodesia. At a news conference, the deputy foreign minister, speaking the through an interpreter, referred to the recent election results in Rhodesia and reaffirmed his country's support for the Patriotic Front.