Soviet press breaks silence on Polish unrest
Moscow — The official Soviet press has broken its near silence on the latest unrest in Poland, but has given no immediate direct comment on the troubles. In what some diplomats saw as a reference to the Polish crisis, however, Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and East German communist chief Erich Honecker repeated a Moscow policy constant after meeting Aug. 3:
"Any attempt at subverting the close links among fraternal [East-bloc] countries will meet a resolute rebuff."
Analysts here suspect a more precise picture of Soviet thinking on Polish developments may emerge here in coming days. They are watching for statements in the press following an expected August meeting between Mr. Brezhnev and Polish leader Stanislaw Kania.
The Soviet President, on his yearly summer vacation in the Crimea, has been holding his traditional series of talks there with allied communist leaders.
There has been no Soviet announcement of a visit by the Polish communist leader. But East European sources here assume he will show up this month, probably after an announced Aug. 8 session of the Polish party's Central Committee in Warsaw.
The minimum message of reinvigorated Soviet press coverage of Poland seems that Moscow still views events next door with concern and does not think the Polish crisis is over.
After last month's emergency Communist Party congress in Warsaw, private comments from Soviet officials suggested something of a sigh of relief here at the fact the more extremist reformers had done less well than the Kremlin once feared.
The chief Soviet delegate to the congress said, however, that "life and practice will show to what extent" the meeting had managed to turn back Poland's crisis.
In the aftermath of the Warsaw congress, the official Soviet news media took a breather of sorts from coverage of Poland.
A Soviet news agency report Aug. 4 in Pravda ended that moratorium, speaking of the threat of new strike and of an alleged bid by the Solidarity labor union to "place in doubt" the decisions of the recent congress. A second dispatch reported a Polish military meeting on the "aggravation of adverse and dangerous phenomena in the country," and a decision to use troops to counter profiteering.
Diplomats were left largely to guess what Soviet leaders were thinking on the latest Polish unrest. The assumption was the Soviet leaders can't much like what they are hearing of "life and practice" in post-congress Poland.
The Soviets were seen as likely to welcome news of a Polis h troop role in dealing with commodity shortages.