USSR-POLAND: MOSCOW AND THE KANIA REGIME

Created: 9/30/1980

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

USSR-pOLAND: Moscow and the Kania Regime

The Soviets fully supported Polish Pirst Secretary Kania 'aof former party chief Gierekeptember and havedemonstrated Vat their backing remains firm. Hoecou, hcuever, remains deeply concerned about the trend of events in Poland. Both the Polish and Soviet parties are determined to limit the concessions granted the workers, but friction could arise over the extent of and timetable for the limitations. Although the Soviets realize that the Kania regtme cannot act precipi'austy inap on the liberalisation process, they will keeppressure on Warsaw to bring the process under control soon.

Soviet media treatment of Gierek before andBaltic strikes and reports from numerous seniorand East European officials indicate thatwas displeased with his handling of the

tleroents Moscow spread the word among the Polish leaders *eemm*emvmmemmmme1hsemmmmmem that Gierek had to be It cited Kania, party secretary Olszowski, and Deputy prime Minister Jagielsklas acceptable candidates, leaving the specific choice up to the Poles.

Whatever-the USSR's exact role in the Polishchange, it quickly endorsed Kania. eemTammemeememmin early-September that tne Soviet leaders regard Kania highly and are confident in his abilities.

his first speech as party chief, Kania thanked President Brezhnev'personally for: thehe Soviet leader showed for the Polish party during the strikes and the "confidence" he expressed in_

y to resolve the crisis.' Kania also I

gmemmmmmeavthat hevery long, cordial talk* wil Brezhneveptember,.a'few hours after assuming power, in which the Soviet party chief pledged full support for "our leadership."

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Soviet media treatment of Kania has been extensive and quite favorable. The Soviets portray himynamic leader, intent on shoring up the party's shaken power andattle against "antisocialist elements" in Poland. The dominant theme of Soviet coverage is that the situation is returning to normal. SJBfe

The Soviets also havo been quick to offer economic support. Although the amount of aid from thesigned in Moscow between the Sovietsolishled by Jagielski in mid-September is less than0 million announced, it will provide some measureconomic relief to Poland. It also is important for itsbeing first off the mark to assist its troubled ally. mjmf

Worries Remain

The Soviets continue to be concerned about.trends in Poland. The increasing activity of the proponents of free trade unions and the first rumblings of disquiet by students, journalists, and professionals probably signal to the. Soviets that the party may face even more serious -challenges in the near future.

The terms of the settlement in August remainto the Soviets. Moscow's failure thus far to inform the Soviet population' of those .terms reflects its sensitivity to the impact the precedents .of free trade unions and the right to strike could have at home. gff>

Soviets agreed to the concessions to theonlyactical move to end the immediate crisis and give the Polish party time fori

ie USSR docs not con- '

siderthe Baltic settlements binding. fjVffABBflBBx

S^BBBBfcm.Moscow expects the Kania regime to "dismantle the illegal workers' organizations" once tensions ease. The article in Pravda last week invoking quotes fromo condemn the idea of free trade unions reflects Moscow's uncompromising stand on this issue.

The Soviet press continues to pound away at "anti-socialist elements" it claims are taking advantage of the labor unrest. Press articles have now applied the "anti-socialist" label to strike leader Lech Walesa and, by implication, to all the strikers.

Moscow also has stepped up its attacks onin Poland and has advised otherto do the same. The four authoritativein Pravda this month were largely devotedthe West of attempting to push Poland "offpath and to reshape the postwar map ofprimary aim of these commentaries is to isolatethe free trade union leadership, but theyan ideological groundwork for any future fBf)

inimum, such activity suggests that Moscow is taking some preparatory military measures in -the eventhow or actual use of force gay becose necessary at some point in the crisis.

Keepina_ Che Hoa-

" Soviet anxieties over developments in Poland limit Kania's leeway in trying to restore social order and the party's power. Moscow will continue to scrutinize his every move, be suspicious of experimentation, and be uick to react'to.any signs that the liberalizationis gaining 'even more momentum. The Soviets, however realize that the situation is still tooxmmediate attempt to roll back the concessions.

t the moment, the Soviets have no reason to doubt he Kania regime's willingness to interpret.restrictively-the concessions to the strikers. They probably are also encouraged by the Polish party's historical record of reneging on compromises made to the populationressure. BJBJk

Moscow is thus likely tb give Kania some time to produce results. How long "some" turns out to be will depend upon the Soviet leaders' perceptions of the direction and potency of the liberalization movement. M

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