The General Secretary of the Soviet Communist party President Leonid Brezhnev has visited the Soviet Pacific Fleet and attended its exercises.
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Background: The General Secretary of the Soviet Communist party President Leonid Brezhnev has visited the Soviet Pacific Fleet and attended its exercises.
Addressing the troops participating in the exercises, he said that the determining feature of the present world situation had been the turn to a relaxation of international tension. It had not been achieved easily, and the struggle had been a tension. The battle around the further fate of relaxation continues to this day, and at times it grows very acute and intense. Leonid Brezhnev named as the main task the stopping of the arms race, ensuring progress towards a reduction in the threat of a thermonuclear catastrophe, and in the final count its elimination. It is no secret, he continued, that both West and East of our borders there are forces interested in the arms race, in whipping up the atmosphere of fear and hostility. That hinders agreement on practical measures to limit arms and to implement disarmament.
Leonid Brezhnev recalled the Vladivostok understanding of November, 1974 on the conclusion between the United States and the Soviet Union of a long-term agreement on limiting strategic offensive arms. Yet no agreement has so far been signed. The United States government is displaying indecisiveness and inconsistency, looking over its shoulder to the quarters that opposed such an agreement from the very beginning and are doing everything to torpedo it. In the course of the negotiations, the United States has repeatedly tried to change in its favour what has already been agreed on, if not question that agreement altogether. There is also a trend to link progress at the talks, and indeed the fate of the agreement, with other political problems so as to put pressure on the Soviet Union. The impression we get, Leonid Brezhnev remarked, is that certain people in the United States are not amiss to interpreting our readiness to conclude and agreement as an opportunity for the United States to obtain unilateral advantages. We have said and we repeat that the Soviet Union wants speedy agreement, but only that kind of agreement which would comply strictly with the principle of equality and equal security.
Any further delay and any kind of manoeuvring around the talks, he warned, could only lead to the loss of the very opportunity of concluding and agreement on the limitation of the strategic arms.
Leonid Brezhnev then touched on the problem of neutron weapons. He said that it increases the danger of nuclear war. It is time certain leaders in the West stopped to think properly about their responsibility to the people for the fate of peace and to display real readiness to take effective steps to curb the arms race.