Chernenko Speech Says Soviet Policies Prevent War
MOSCOW (AP) _ Mikhail S. Gorbachev, widely believed to be the No. 2 man in the Kremlin, on Wednesday claimed Soviet foreign policy has prevented another world war and accused the United States of entering new arms talks without ″an honest striving″ for success.
In a speech leading up to Sunday’s elections for the parliament of the Russian Republic, Gorbachev alluded to President Reagan’s plan for a space- based anti-missile system by saying ″activities have been launched in the U.S.A. on the eve of the talks that breed doubts about the true intentions of the U.S. side, which agreed to the Geneva talks.″
″The Soviet Union is entering the talks with an honest striving to achieve practical results,″ Gorbachev said. ″Regrettably, this cannot be said about the approach of the Washington administration.″
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko said the United States will ″bear full blame for the consequences″ if it does not alter its position on the so-called Star Wars system after the talks start March 12 in Geneva.
Both Gromyko and Gorbachev stressed that the Soviet Union expects a constructive attitude from the United States during the negotiations that are aimed at nuclear arms control.
On foreign affairs, Gorbachev claimed that ″the past four decades without a world war are a result of major shifts on the world scene in favor of socialism, freedom, democracy and peace, and a historical achievement of Soviet foreign policy and of all the peace forces in the world.″
He said the Soviet Union and its allies ″have been producing all the major initiatives aimed at removing the threat of war, expanding international cooperation and averting the arms race.
″Washington’s policy of confrontation is laying bare the source of the war threat,″ Gorbachev said. ″It is being rejected ever more vigorously by the peace-loving peoples as an alien and dangerous phenomenon.″
Gorbachev was the ninth member of the 11-man Communist Party Politburo to speak to voters in preparation for the single-party balloting for Supreme Soviet seats in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union. Only Premier Nikolai A. Tikhonov and President Konstantin U. Chernenko have not yet addressed their constituencies.
By tradition, Chernenko would speak on Friday, but Soviet officials have refused to say if he will deliver a speech. The 73-year-old Chernenko has been reported ailing and has not made a public appearance since Dec. 27.