Created: 6/25/1981

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USSR: Absence of Party Plenum

Ths Politburo 'a decision not toentral Committee piemen before the Supreme Soviet session this week may involveor even political divisions within ths Politburo over what to do about Poland. UMJ

On all but four occasions since Brezhnev became party leader the Central Committee has metonth before every Supreme Soviet. Thefrom the norm appear to have been caused bycontroversy within tha Politburo. ggW

In the current situation, the failure of the recent Soviet letter to the Poles to stem the reformist tide presumably left the Politburo with nothing positive to reportlenumeoat certainly would have focused on the Polish question. Although the Supreme Soviet session had been announced publicly, and thus had tolenum may have been postponed ln order to allow nor* time to evaluato Polish developments. asssV

During the crisis over Czechoslovakia8 th* Politburo appeared to have acted ln this way. Itlenum in mid-July--almost three weeks after the Supremeeport on its handling of the situation. USA Institute Director Arbatov told aseapeeejnTuesdaylenum will be held but gave no date. seW

The complexities of the Polish problem also may be causing political divisions in the Politburo, although there is no direct evidence of this. Some leaders may be arguing for tough and decisive action, while others may prefer to continue temporizing. The stakes involved would makeebate highly contentious. WM

The Politburo would not want tolenum under such circumstances. It recognizes that such division* could leadolitical free-for-all in the Centralwhich would In turn reduce the USSR's political leverage in dealing with the Polish leadership. elay, on the other hand, might assist inolitburo consensus on Poland, where even leaders as powerful as Breshnev would want company.


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