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KGB Chief Meets New Polish Premier and Calls Him 'a Solid Man'

August 27, 1989|From Times Wire Services

WARSAW — Poland's new prime minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, won a vote of confidence Saturday from the head of the Soviet KGB security police.

"I liked him," Vladimir D. Kryuchkov told reporters after he emerged from a meeting with Mazowiecki at the Office of the Council of Ministers. "A solid man."

According to the KGB chairman, Mazowiecki spoke of his plans for Poland's government while he told Mazowiecki about social reforms in the Soviet Union. The talks were "productive and interesting," he said.

Poland's new prime minister "knows how to deal with things," Kryuchkov concluded. "We wished him great success, and he will be successful."

Also Saturday, several hundred railroad workers in the city of Lodz ended their strike at the request of Solidarity leader Lech Walesa.

Walesa also met with Labor Secretary Elizabeth Hanford Dole and Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and gave them a letter for President Bush seeking more U.S. economic aid to help Poland's struggling economy.

Party Central Committee Secretary Leszek Miller, meanwhile, told a meeting of leaders of party committees that they should be loyal to the new Solidarity-led government, the state-run PAP news service reported.

"There is no conflict between preserving ideological identity as party members and being loyal to the legal state authorities," Miller said.

Mazowiecki's meeting with Kryuchkov was his highest-level contact with a Soviet official since the Polish leader took office last week in a historic transfer of power from the Communist Party.

Polish state television later broadcast the first part of the meeting on its main evening news. "I am glad I can see you and that I have my first opportunity to talk to a representative of the Soviet leadership," Mazowiecki told his guest.

Kryuchkov turned up without prior public announcement Saturday and first met with Communist President Wojciech Jaruzelski and the acting interior minister, Gen. Czeslaw Kiszczak, whom Mazowiecki replaced as prime minister. Kiszczak then accompanied Kryuchkov to the meeting with Mazowiecki.

The KGB, the Committee for State Security, controls the secret police, intelligence gathering and border defense for the Soviet Union. Kryuchkov has been chairman since last year and has brought an unprecedented openness to the post, granting several press interviews.

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