USSR-POLAND: MOSCOW'S POSITION

Created: 1/12/1981

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

USSR-POLAND: Moscow's Position

aituaHon in Roland is again pointingossiblebetween the workers and the regime following aperiod of calm during the holiday season. &M)

Solidarity's successful work action on Saturday has renewed pressure on the regimeive-day workweek. Farmers and students continue to demand concessions^ and the Polish party still commands little authority, k.

Developments within the Polish party may be the key to any Soviet decision to renew military pressure against the Kania regime. The Soviets can liveertain amount of difference over economic issues. Moscow's' level of tolerance, however, will certainly diminish if Kania cannot restore internal party discipline before the Polish Party Congress in late March or early April, check the demand for greater democracy within the party, and preserve the regime's internal control systems, inoluding censorship. asme*

The Soviets clearly want the Polish party to prevent additional strikes and resist escalating demands from the unions and the dissidents, although specific guidelines may not have been defined at the Warsaw Pact summit in Moscowecember. Capitulation todemands of the workers will probably be read by Moscow as evidence that Kania is losing ground in his struggle against the unions.

Soviet Military Threat

* The prospect of Soviet military interventionobering impact on the key Polish actors last month. The Polish party and military stepped up their media attacks on dissident groups, particularly those connected with Solidarity. The Church, meanwhile, demonstrated a

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clearer involvement on tho side of restraint than it had earlier. Solidarity moderated its demands andoratorium on strike activity.

Row often the Soviets can profitably threatenactually usingoweve-, seems likely toan increasingly vexing question for theindefinite continuationhreatening postureother Soviet policy interests and servethe level of Western response to the Polishtime, the coercive value of Moscow's militarywill erode.as the Soviets fail to follow up onof

The Costs of inaction

- Solidarity has alreadytatus in Poland'/ that hardliners in the Soviet Politburo probably deemnacceptable. KGB chief Andropov, chiefuslov, and Minister of Agriculture Gorbachev reportedly believe that the situation in Poland has been allowed to develop too far and that Soviet intervention is the only answer.

That Moscow has not intervened yet is primarily due :to the recognition by President Brezhnev and other Soviet-leaders of the enormous political, economic, and strategic costs ofove. This recognition may cause thea. dramatic turn of eventsecision on more forceful action until after the Soviet Party Congress in late February.

An awareness of the costs will continue to condition Soviet behavior. If the Polish party can at leastepetition of the events of November, Moscow maytself ^reluctantly accepting the status quo for some . ime.

Continued Soviet forbearance, however, risksnotfurther strengthening of Solidarity and weakening of the party. Theof active opposition to the Polish regime byprobably is bolstering the hand of those in the

Soviet Politburo who are arguing that the longer Moscow waits the costlier an ultimate solution will be.

Intervention^

Having already increased their ailitary the Soviets will beter position tothe introduction of military forces at theJuncture. Although most of the Sovietreturnedeacetime readiness posture,experience ln mobilizing and training elementspotential invasion force leavoe them capable of

We believe they couldarsaw Pact

forceof*uioutivisions within approximately a. week,ubstantially, smaller .force of some half dozent would take only two to three days.

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