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USSR denies Brezhnev will resign

The Soviet Foreign Ministry denied a Newsweek magazine report that President Brezhnev will resign for health reasons.

Newsweek quoted a 10-page US ''intelligence document'' which concludes that, regardless of his physical condition, Mr. Brezhnev will probably be unable to hold on to his position and will likely be replaced at the Communist Party's Central Committee meeting in May.

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A Foreign Ministry spokesman denied the report, saying it ''did not correspond with reality.''

''Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev is on a routine winter holiday,'' he said. Asked whether Brezhnev had been hospitalized last month, the spokesman said he had no information on the subject.

Meanwhile Pravda, the party newspaper, published in its Sunday editions a terse, two-paragraph announcement in Brezhnev's name, apparently to silence speculation on his condition -- but the vagueness of Pravda's story seems to have raised more questions than it answered.

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