The Supreme Soviet ended its annual winter budget session on November 28 with its customary unopposed approval of the national budget and economic strategy for 1985.
1. SVs INTERIOR President Chernenko receiving applause on entering hall; waves to Supreme Soviet members (3 shots) 0.16
2. GV Supreme Soviet delegates in session 0.20
3. LVs Speaker at dais; members of Politburo; delegates listening (4 shots) 0.37
4. LVs Speaker calling for vote, members voting by show of hands (3 shots) 0.46
5. GVs Members applaud (2 shots) 0.54
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Background: MOSCOW, USSR
The Supreme Soviet ended its annual winter budget session on November 28 with its customary unopposed approval of the national budget and economic strategy for 1985. President Konstantin Chernenko attended the two-day meeting, but Defence Minister Marshal Dmitry Ustinov, suffering for several weeks from an undisclosed illness, failed to appear. Western observers indicated that this year's 12 per cent budget rise in defence expenditure, the first in the past fiver years, was difficult to rationalise, but speculation centred on an increasing frequency of military shipments to Nicaragua and the strains placed upon the USSR's armaments reserves by the continuing Afghan conflict. Several parliamentary delegates modified their praise of the nation's economic performance with criticism that production of certain consumer items, such as shoes, clothing and household durables, fell far shot of popular demand and earlier projections. The fourteen-hundred member Supreme Soviet last met in formal session in April this year.