The Soviet Union announced on November 24 that it would scrap its ban on the deployment of SS-20 nuclear missiles in Europe in response to the deployment of United States Cruise and Pershing-2 missiles in Western Europe.
MOSCOW (TSS/NBC) (NBC COMMENTARY)
GV Kremlin, Moscow.
CU FILE of Soviet Communist Party Chairman Yuri Andropov.
CU Wire copy and radio. (2 SHOTS)
SCU Moscow television newscaster reporting over pictures of anti-nuclear demonstrations in Europe (3 SHOTS)
GV & SVs "The Day After" sequence being shown on Soviet news (8 SHOTS)
BRUSSELS (RTBF) EUROVISION RECORDING
CU Vice-president of Supreme Soviet Babgen Sarkissov speaking (Russian SOT)
NOTE TO EDITORS: THIS STORY HAS PART COMMENTARY BY NBC REPORTER STEVE MALLORY, WHICH MAY BE USED IF REQUIRED.
PART EUROVISION RECORDING
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Background: The Soviet Union announced on November 24 that it would scrap its ban on the deployment of SS-20 nuclear missiles in Europe in response to the deployment of United States Cruise and Pershing-2 missiles in Western Europe. The official news agency Tass, quoted Soviet leader Yuri Andropov as saying that the Kremlin would take measures against the US for the deployment of Cruise and Pershing-2. He said the threat would be stepped up by positioning new Soviet weapons in ocean areas and in the seas. Andropov added that the Soviet Union would install new short-range nuclear missiles in East Germany and Czechoslovakia, accelerating a process begun some time ago. His tough new statement followed the Soviet walkout on November 23 from the disarmament talks in Geneva, and Andropov added that any further participation in arms reduction talks would be impossible. The ending of the Geneva talks followed a vote in the West German Bundestag (parliament) approving the deployment of Cruise and Pershing-2 missiles - despite an opinion poll showing that a majority of West Germans were against them. The official Soviet news agency Tass, said the parliament's vote was a major historical error. The government newspaper, Izvestia said the Bundestag vote ignored the will of the people. Reuters reported that the halting of the talks have plunged relations between the Kremlin and the White House to the lowest depths since the Cold War although discussions between the superpowers on strategic weapons will continue. Soviet radio briefly announcing the ending of the Geneva talks but state television went further in blaming the West. One broadcast showed pictures of anti-nuclear demonstrations all over Western Europe and stressed the controversy surrounding Cruise deployment. To emphasize the point, Soviet television also showed clips of 'The Day After', a new film made by a US Television network showing the totally devastating and horrific effects of a nuclear strike on a US city. Speaking in Brussels on November 23, the vice-president of the Supreme Soviet, Babgen Sarkissov said the breakdown of talks was the fault of the West - but he did not entirely rule out the possibility of disarmament discussions resuming at an unspecified time in the future.