USSR: no more Polish concessions
Western observers here see the Soviet Union leaning heavily on the Polish government to avert what the Soviets are calling the "grave economic consequences" of the new round of Polish strike actions.
"We're seeing the kind of trigger words in the Soviet rhetoric that they would use to force a move in Poland," said one US diplomat. "They're not leaving the Poles very much maneuvering room."
While the Central Committee of the Polish Communist Party was meeting Sunday, the Soviet news agency Tass released one of its harshest statements yet on the Polish situation.
The dispatch, broadcast to the Soviet people, accused leaders of KOS and KOR, two dissident organizations, of "actually running Solidarity" and of pursuing "open methods of struggle against legitimate state authority."
Accusations against Solidarity itself are mounting. The independent trade union movement, which successfully called a four-hour general strike Friday, is charged with:
* Preparing to seize and occupy all Polish enterprises during the general strike called for Tuesday.
* Commandeering private and public automobiles and communications facilities to disrupt the country.
Most ominously, the dispatch contains just the kind of allegations Westerners fear most -- that Solidarity is accused of attempting to discredit and subvert the security forces of the country as well as disrupting road and communications networks. Tass says these are the kinds of action that could hinder troop movements in the event of a Warsaw Pact emergency.
The latest attack follows a similar harsh denunciation of KOS and KOR in the wake of last Friday's four-hour warning strike. Tass states that the "counter-revolutionary" organization KOR has taken control of the Solidarity movement and has "allied with anti-socialist elements to form a sort of fifth column that is trying to achieve anti-socialism."
"The way we read that is that they're telling the Poles to get out there and arrest these people," one diplomat said.
Observers here note that the latest spate of anti-trade-union propaganda was probably intended to influence the March 29 Polish Central Committee meeting in Warsaw.
"The Russians are saying that they don't want to tolerate any more concessions to Solidarity," one observer noted. "Now they see that things are on a collision course, and they will urge the Poles not to shrink from that collision."
Still, Westerners do not believe that the Soviets are on the verge of invading Poland. "Right now they are looking to the Poles to take some action," one American official said. "They'll only get panicky if there's an attack on the security forces, or a clear threat to the Warsaw Pact supply lines."
Although it was revealed earlier last week that the four-country Soyuz 81 maneuver (involving Soviet, East German, Polish, and Czechoslovak troops) will last longer than originally foreseen, officials here do not see that as a prelude to military intervention.
"They still want desperately to avoid a Czechoslovakia," one official said. "They do not want to intervene directly."
The Soviets have begun to emphasize the economic impact of actions on the Polish economy and on the Polish citizens. Tass commentator Sergei Kulik said March 28 that Friday's four-hour strike cost Poland 2.5 billion zlotys (about $1 .2 million). "And because of the last seven months of strikes, the national economy has lost 20 percent of its annual production," Kulik noted.
"The Polish people are asking themselves --the country?" Kulik continued. "What will be the consequences . . . of the chaos and anarchy of the leaders of KOR, who are acting ever more arrogantly?"
The Soviets have been appealing to the "healthy patriotic forces" inside Poland.
"They realize that they have a potential ally in the Polish middle class if they want to paint Solidarity as spoilers," one observer said. "Solidarity is calling for some purges of the security organs, an end to party corruption -- that talk threate ns a large segment of the Polish population."