NATO ambassadors agree to use more muscle on Poland
Western Europeans paraded their new ''measures'' - they shrink from calling them ''sanctions' - against repression in Poland at a NATO ambassadorial meeting in Brussels Feb. 3.
The measures against Poland and the Soviet Union are to be announced individually by each country in the next few days.
Monitor contributor Gary Yerkey reports from Brussels that the sanctions were taken, according to a NATO spokesman, because repression is getting worse in Poland. There has been ''no progress,'' the spokesman said, on the three NATO demands of Jan. 11: an end to martial law; release of detainees; and resumption of the domestic dialogue in Poland.
The spokesman said there were even ''some indications that (Polish) authorities are even less interested in negotiations with the (Roman Catholic) Church and Solidarity.''
New steps to be taken by European countries include reduced Soviet participation in oceanic cross trade; suspension of transport talks with the Soviet Union; suspension of meetings, visits, and bilateral economic, commercial , technical, scientific, and cultural agreements; curtailment of credit facilities; elimination of exceptions to the Western (COCOM) ban on technology transfer to Poland; and insistence on full reciprocity with the Polish airline LOT.
West Germany, France, Britain, and some other countries have already canceled LOT flights to their cities in retaliation for Polish cancellation of Western European flights into Poland. These steps were announced by a NATO spokesman after the meeting.
A senior American official said further that several European nations had announced at the closed NATO meeting a suspension of negotiations with the Soviet Union on opening new Soviet consulates in their countries, and that there might also be higher West European tariffs on nonessential (i.e. nonenergy) Soviet imports.
Noting that only one or two countries were not moving on sanctions, the official stated, ''Virtually every government here today announced new measures taken.''