Japan, Canada, Common Market impose sanctions on Poland

Japan, Canada and the 10 European Common Market nations joined the United States Tuesday in imposing economic and diplomatic sanctions on Poland and the Soviet Union to protest the military takeover in Warsaw.

The actions generally mirror those adopted by the Reagan administration after martial law was imposed Dec 13. Independently, Britain, Germany and Belguim imposed similar sanctions this month.


The latest sanctions, however, will not affect humanitarian aid to Poland through international relief organizations. Canada also pledged to honor Poland's $500 million credit to buy 1.5 million tons of wheat this year.

Of all, the Common Market sanctions were regarded as mild, affecting only 4 percent of the $15 billion imported annually from the Soviet Union, according to one estimate.

Canada froze all credit for goods other than food, suspended academic exchanges, put off talks to reschedule payment of Poland's debt due in 1982.

The sanctions were effective immediately.

Canada also said it will review all future high-level official contacts with the Soviet Union, postpone exchange programs in science, education and culture, and restrict Soviet flights to two a week.

External Affairs Minster Mark MacGuigan said Canada, with 'regret,' imposed the sanctions because 'the political and moral commitments' of Poland and the Soviet Union 'are not being observed.'


Both Canada and Japan reaffirmed travel restrictions on Polish diplomats that were imposed in retaliation for similar action by Warsaw Feb. 18.

Japan said it will suspend talks to offer new credit to Poland and to reschedule its debt payments. Japan also canceled trade and scientific cooperation talks with Moscow 'for the time being.'

In a statement, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kiichi Miyazawa said Prime Minister Zenko Suzuki 'considers unity and cooperation among Western countries of utmost importance in coping with the Polish question' and that Japan will not 'undermine the measures taken by other Western countries.'

The Common Market, at the end of a two-day foreign ministers meeting, approved 'by a wide margin' cuts affecting about $800 million in imports of Soviet diamonds, furs, cosmetics, vodka, caviar, cars and machine tools.

The measures must be approved by the permanent representatives of the 10 member states.

Belgian chairman Leo Tindemans said the executive commission will arrange a plan to implement the cuts 'as soon as possible, within hours if feasible.'

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