Also of note in the Soviet transition ...

* The minor leadership changes made at a Nov. 22 session of the Communist Party Central Commitee seem to leave new party leader Yuri Andropov in firm command of foreign policy matters, while shifting a relatively young technocrat to a key economic post.

Senior Soviet sources suggested this reading in comments to the Monitor Nov. 23.

They said N.I. Ryzhkov, a senior official from the state planning organization who was moved to the Central Committee's inner Secretariat, would be handling the main economic portfolio there. As such, they said, he replaces Andrei Kirilenko, a veteran member of the leadership whose retirement ''for reasons of health'' was announced Nov. 22.

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One official added that Mr. Ryzhkov would not be handling matters of internal party organization, which foreign analysts include in their portrait of Mr. Kirilenko's Secretariat role. These, the official said, were the province of another Secretariat member, Ivan Kapitonov.

* The committee meeting announced no successor for Mr. Andropov in his former Secretariat post for ideology and foreign affairs. Soviet sources, while stressing it was too early to draw final conclusions on the post-Brezhnev lineup , said Mr. Andropov was in effect continuing to handle many of these duties for the time being. A further addition to the Secretariat, the sources indicated, was conceivable in the months ahead.

The sources said among close aides to Mr. Andropov was I. Laptev, his effective chief of staff. He was said to be a colleague of Mr. Andropov from his 1960s stint as Secretariat member specializing in Soviet relations with other ruling communist parties.

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