Yugoslavia in fresh vigil

President Tito's recuperation from his Jan. 20 operation appeared to be set back Monday, with the latest bulletins indicating new complications. But the government has clearly reaffirmed its firm front in relations with the Soviet Union.

As Yugoslavs waited anxiously for further news after the weekend setback in President Tito's recovery, a government figure again blasted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. In an interview published Monday in Belgrade, Milos Minic of the governing presidium said, "Yugoslavia is today stable, firm, and united as never before and entirely ready to protect itself, its independence and sovereignty." He again blasted the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Under the circumstances, it was clear that the Minic interview had some special significance, Monitor special correspondent Eric Boume reports. It was clearly timed to reassure the Yugoslavs in the face of speculation about their future security in the "after Tito" period.

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