The Soviet Union reported without comment tonight that Polish government and Solidarity negotiators had averted a national strike set for tomorrow.
The one-sentence Tass agency dispatch said Solidarity representatives "announced their decision to hold off the general strikes" after talks with the government, and gave no further details to the Soviet people of the terms of the settlement.
The low-key report may signal a pause in the intense Soviet propaganda campaign of the past 10 days which has contributed its share to the tension in Poland as the strike deadline approached.
The Soviets are angered and alarmed by the events of the past week, which have shown the nationwide strength of Solidarity, most notably when it brought the Polish economy to a virtual halt last Friday in a four-hour warning strike. Since then, Soviet denunciations of the independent workers' movement and of KOR, the principal human rights group in Poland, have peaked. Yesterday, Tass from Warsaw said Solidarity had launched an open bid for power against the Communist government.
Although the Poles have asserted that allegations made yesterday by Tass of prestrike provocations in Poland are false, the Communist Party daily Pravda repeated the charges today. This kind of sharp public disagreement between official, state-controlled media is virtually unheard of in the socialist bloc, and Soviet repetition of the charges serves to underscore Moscow's annoyance at the Poles.
Tass earlier today concentrated on the grimmest warnings made at yesterday's Polish Central Committee meeting by Politburo member Kazimierz Barcikowski, but tonight supplemented its report with a description of the plenum resolution calling on the nation to hold fast and return to work.
The agency reported that the Polish communists had "come out for a strong trade union movement and will support all of its constructive initiatives serving the interests of working people." At the same time, Tass said, "The Central Committee regards as an important task resistance to the influence of socialism's opponents in sections of Solidarity."
The tone of today's reports keeps the door well open for further Soviet denunciations of Solidarity and the KOR group, whose activism Moscow finds especially irksome in view of the largely successful stifling of its own political dissidents in the past five years.