INTRODUCTION: The Soviet Union has announced an end to the three-week old extended Warsaw Pact military manoeuvres which had been taking place in and around Poland, sparking off western speculation over a possible military intervention in the country.
GV Conference room with Brezhnev speaking and crowd applauding (4 shots)
SV Armoured vehicle being driven on to ship (2 shots) (MUTE)
SV TILT UP Radar scanner (MUTE)
SV Officer saluting as ship goes past (MUTE)
SV Ship at sea (MUTE)
GVs Helicopters flying over vessels on manoeuvres (2 shots) (MUTE)
GV EXT NATO conference building
SV PAN Weinberger getting out of car followed by officials (2 shots)
SV Luns getting out of car
SV Armed forces officials and Weinberger entering building (2 shots)
NOTE TO EDITORS: PROD 2537 CZECHOSLOVAKIA/EAST & WEST GERMANY:BREZHNEV/MANOEUVRES/NATO.
VISNEWS REGRETS THAT DUE TO A TECHNICAL HITCH SOME EXTRANEOUS SOUND IS PRESENT ON THE LAST PART OF THIS STORY, DURING THE NATO DELEGATES' ARRIVAL SCENES. YOU WILL PROBABLY NEED TO USE THIS SEGMENT MUTE AS A RESULT AND WE APOLOGISE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE CAUSED.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: The Soviet Union has announced an end to the three-week old extended Warsaw Pact military manoeuvres which had been taking place in and around Poland, sparking off western speculation over a possible military intervention in the country. The Soviet News Agency Tass broadcast the news on Tuesday (7 April) soon after Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev had expressed confidence in the Poles' ability to solve their own problems. The President was speaking at the Czechoslovak Communist Party conference in Prague.
SYNOPSIS: The Soviet leader told the 1,500 delegates that the West was trying to overthrow socialism in Poland and compared the situation there to the liberalising trend in Czechoslovakia that had ended with military intervention in 1968. But Mr. Brezhnev added that he supposed Polish communists, supported by all true patriots of Poland, would be able to give the necessary rebuff to the enemies of the socialist system.
Soon after Mr. Brezhnev's speech the Warsaw Pact manoeuvres which had been extended into a third week were officially called off. The exercises which had received widespread coverage on Polish television were officially described as command-staff exercise involving symbolic troop units, but large concentrations of men and armour were brought into the central operations area. U.S. defence officials have said that the exercises were used to improve communications networks inside Poland and could have been a prelude to military intervention.
Meanwhile at a Nato defence summit in Bonn, U.S. Defence Secretary Caspar Weinberger appealed for a bigger defence effort by Europeans. He warned that Soviet defence expenditure had increased by more than 50 percent during the 1963-1980 era and added that the American people would not want to face a Soviet threat alone. He said that any military intervention in Poland would make East-West nuclear disarmament talks quite useless. The Nato defence chiefs are meeting for the first time since U.S. President Reagan took power in January and are planning to review the Western Alliance's military strategy.