BRIEFING NOTE: POLAND

Created: 12/14/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY NATIONAL FOREIGN ASSESSfcCNT CENTER

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BRIEFING NOTE: POLAND

According to press reports, nonetheless, a skeleton national Solidarity organisation has been created in the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk which is collecting information on strikes around the country. In its latest statement, these Solidarity leaders claimed that strikes were underway in several major Warsaw factories (Ursus Tractor Factory, Warsaw Fiat Car Factory,recision instrumenthat all major factors aretandstill in Poznan and Wroclaw, and that miners were refusing to leave the mines in Silesia.

Solidarity leaders could believe it in their exaggerate strike activity. They know their reportspicked up by Western media and then replayed back by Western radios; they probably hope that will stimulate others to go on strike.

The Solidarity statement speculated that troops were getting ready to evict strikers this evening. This will be much more difficult for the regime than the preventative actions taken so far and would increase the risks of bloodshed. -If?)

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Soviet Cotrmentary

TASS has issued the first Soviet corrrnentary on the imp lementation of martial law in Poland. While generally positive, the corrmentary stops short of explicitly endorsing Warsaw's action, except to note the "satisfaction" of the Soviet leaders over Jnruzelskj's reaffirmation of Poland's allegiance to the Warsaw Pact. Jp>^*

The corrmentary also stops short of predicting the outcome of the measures being taken, merely noting that the Soviet people "wish" the Poles success. While affirming that the steps underway are Poland's "internal affair," it asserts that the situation precipitating them concerned Poland's allies because Poland's ability to fulfill its Warsaw Pact commitments was threatened.

Soviet Central c^rx|mbrr

t he considerei 'arsaw'sositive step, but also stopped short of endorsing it. He stressed the importance to Poland of outside aid and stated that the USSR wou/ld "do all possible" to assist the Poles economic ally.

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h' Debts

Finance Minister Krzak informed representatives of sixteen major WEstern governments that Poland is unable to0 million of the interest due to Western banks today. Warsaw also notified all of its bank creditors of the shortfall and asked for a- six-month loan of that amount so that an agreement1 rescheduling can be signed later this month. The banks recently have rejected several other Polish requests for loans to cover interest payments, and the crackdown on Solidarity will probably make the banks even more reluctant. The Poles* only hope seems to he that the USSR, encouraged by Warsaw's tough stand, soon provide the hard currency needed to repay banks.

Original document.

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