• Short Summary

    The United States has decided not to send athletes to this year's Olympic Games in Moscow because of the continued presence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan.

  • Description

    GV & CUs United States President Jimmy Carter speaking in English (5 shots)

    GV EXTERIOR News building in Moscow (Novosty Press Agency)

    SV Journalist typing (Mikhail Bruk)

    SCU Bruk speaking in English, answering questions from BBC's John Simpson

    CARTER: "At this very moment, some one hundred thousand Soviet troops, heavily armed, seek to subjugate a proud and a once independent nation -- a nation that presented no challenge to Soviet security and wanted only to retain their freedom. This Soviet invasion of Afghanistan poses a threat to the independence of countries throughout south-west Asia and to the economic life-blood of many nations -- oil. It has altered the careful balance of forces in a vital and volatile area of the world. That's why I did not hesitate to answer Soviet aggression with strong economic sanctions including restrictions on grain shipments and sales of high technology to the Soviet Union. That's why we join with more than a hundred other nations in the United Nations to condemn this aggression and to demand withdrawal of the Soviet invasion forces from Afghanistan. And that is why I have given notice that the United States will not attend the Moscow Olympics unless the Soviet invasion forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan before February twentieth. That deadline is tomorrow, and it will not be changed."

    BRUK: "Especially President James Carter who I think got on very high horse and can't get off it. It's impossible, I can't even explain it to you. No-one is going to be guided by that dictate, or (indistinct) whatever it is. We will withdraw the troops from Afghanistan, that is clear, but only when danger to the security of both the Afghanistan revolutionary government and the Soviet Union completely disappears and when we are sure, in our own minds, that it has disappeared, objectively."

    SIMPSON: "And what do you say to the fears of people in the west who believe that the Soviet Union has now shown itself to be an aggressor in world affairs?"

    BRUK: "There is a very good English or American word -- baloney."

    Initials BB/


    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The United States has decided not to send athletes to this year's Olympic Games in Moscow because of the continued presence of Soviet troops in Afghanistan. The decision was announced on Wednesday (20 February), the deadline set by President Carter for the withdrawal of Soviet forces. President Carter made it clear he would stand by his deadline, when he addressed the American Legion Legislative Conference on Tuesday night (19 February).

    SYNOPSIS: A journalist with the Novosty Press Agency in Moscow, Mikhail Bruk, down-graded the effect of the boycott when he spoke to BBC reporter John Simpson.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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