News In Brief
East bloc plans to spur trade within the region
Comecon, the grouping of the Soviet Union and its communist allies, claims to have reached a major new agreement to promote trade within the East bloc, Monitor correspondent Gary Thatcher reports.
Further, it seeks to make the East more competitive with the West in high technology - a field in which the communist bloc lags far behind the United States, Western Europe and Japan. Comecon official N. V. Talyzin said particular attention will be paid to joint research-and-development efforts in ''electronics, microtechnology, and robots.''
The agreement was adopted at a summit of Comecon leaders, which ended here Thursday. The entire proceedings were conducted in a news blackout.
There were also indications that the Soviet Union might charge its allies more for oil in the future - a development which in itself could have important economic ramifications for East bloc.