OPINION

January 19, 1959

SOVIET PROPOSALS: Washington, 16 – Soviet First Deputy Premier Anastas Mikoyan made his first clear and specific proposals at a lunch that was given in his honor by the members of Congress’s foreign affairs committee. Senator Hubert Humphrey reported these proposals as follows: Russia is willing to withdraw its troops 500 miles east of the Elbe River, that is from East Germany and Poland as long as Western Allied troops in turn withdraw to 500 miles west of the Elbe, that is behind the Rhine. Russia also made known its willingness to offer a guarantee of free movement to West Berliners and additionally to agree to the holding of free elections in the city,provided all foreign troops withdraw from Germany. Moscow also views favorably an appeal by the UN calling on Russia to guarantee the freedom of West Berlin as well as the formation of a permanent international committee to monitor the administration of West Berlin. According to Humphrey, Mikoyan displayed considerable flexibility. He said it was clear that Mikoyan had visited the US to discuss two issues, Germany and trade with the US, though with an emphasis on the latter.