• Short Summary

    The Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, who has been in Canada for talks with Prime Minister Pierce Turdeau, left Vancouver on Wednesday (7 May).

  • Description

    CU Soviet Ambassador Dimitry Polyansky speaking in Russian at a news conference at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The Japanese Prime Minister Masayoshi Ohira, who has been in Canada for talks with Prime Minister Pierce Turdeau, left Vancouver on Wednesday (7 May). A joint communique issued before he left said both Leaders had expressed the "strongest objection to the continued Soviet armed intervention in Afghanistan". On the same day, the Soviet Ambassador to Japan, Mr. Dimitry Polyansky, gave his assessment of the Afghan situation to foreign journalists in Tokyo.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Polyansky said there were people who wished to link the present tense international situation with events in Afghanistan. This was not the case, he said. Even earlier , NATO had announced annual increases in its military budget, the United States has decided to introduce a new five-year military programme, and the decision had been taken to base new U.S. missiles in Europe. All these actions, said the Ambassador, were dangerous for the cause of world peace, and peace in Europe in particular. Mr. Polyansky saw other factors increasing international tension in the months before the Afghanistan crisis. He accused Washington of delaying the ratification of the SALT Two treaty, of freezing negotiations on arms limitation, and of threatening the Soviet Union by stepping up their friendship with China.

    On Soviet policy over Afghanistan, Mr. Polyansky said "a limited contingent" of Soviet troops had been sent there in response to repeated requests from the Afghan government. The Afghans, he went on , needed help to repel continued armed attacks across their frontiers, particularly from Pakistan. He claimed that forces crossing the frontier represented"counter-revolutionary elements" with American support. The Ambassador said neither Washington nor Pakistan had denied the truth of his accusations. In fact, President Carter had said the so-called insurgents were to be given American assistance.

    The President of Pakistan had admitted border crossings had taken place. Mr. Polyansky said it followed that thousands of men, armed with foreign weapons, were invading Afghanistan. He said that, in the language of the United Nations Charter, it was "flagrant, naked aggression." It was to solve this problem that Afghanistan had acted. The aim was to establish peaceful relations with Pakistan, and to guarantee these relations would continue. When such conditions were established, the Ambassador said, Soviet troops would be withdrawn.

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