News In Brief

Bulgarian leader calls off his visit to West Germany

The decision by Bulgarian President Todor Zhivkov to call off a visit to West Germany due this month suggests even tougher attitudes in Moscow towards Bonn than those which last week forced East German leader Erich Honecker to cancel an imminent trip to West Germany.

Zhivkov's visit could have been seen as a purely bilateral exchange focused on economic dealings, reports Monitor contributor Eric Bourne. It had none of the sensitivity of a projected Kohl-Honecker meeting.

Moscow, however, seems to be demanding a closing of its allies' ranks. How much further hardened the Soviet attitude is will be shown if the pressure is now extended to Romania, whose leader, Nicolae Ceausescu is also on Bonn's visiting list in mid-October.

Mr. Ceausescu might be expected less likely than the Bulgarians to yield. But should he likewise succumb to pressures, the hard line in Moscow would seem to be very much on the ascendant.

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