The beginning of a dramatic realignment in East-West relations could take place this year. But a few critical obstacles to detente, or a relaxation of tensions, still stand in the way. With uncharacteristic speed, the Soviet Union is urging that positive steps be taken quickly to "relax tensions" between capitalist West and Communist East Europe. Appeals by Moscow for a detente, especially within the confines of a Soviet-inspired "European Security Conference," have been broadcast so frequently of late that leaders of the Western powers are finding it extremely difficult not to reply positively. As one U. S. military expert puts it, "It's a little difficult not to respond to things which seem to be directed toward more détente and cooperation."
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