News In Brief

Gromyko at UN matches Reagan's earlier tone

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko's address to the United Nations Thursday, like that of President Reagan on Monday, struck a delicate balance between firmness and flexibility, Monitor correspondent Louis Wiznitzer reports.

He pulled no rabbits out of his hat. Nor did he break any new diplomatic ground. But he invited the Reagan administration to relax its policies vis-a-vis the Soviet Union and to return to what he called ''the realistic approach'' of the 1960s, when US-Soviet relations were based on ''the principle of equality and equal security.''

He blamed the United States for the collapse of the projected Vienna talks on space weapons. Yet he was careful not to slam any doors. It was not the Soviet Union but rather US attempts to ''secure unilateral advantages,'' he said, that had blocked the Stockholm East-West security conference, the Vienna talks on conventional-force reductions, and the Geneva nuclear talks.

He also accused ''certain states'' of ''trying to undermine the sociopolitical systems of other countries'' - an obvious reference to US policy toward Poland.

After referring to World War II when the US and USSR were allies, he asserted that ''in recent years the US government spared no effort to destroy the good things that had been accomplished together.'' Today, he went on, ''every American family should know that the Soviet Union wants peace and only peace with the US.''

One West European ambassador, who found the speech ''remarkably unaggressive, '' said that ''the ice that has accumulated in US-Soviet relations during four years obviously cannot be broken in a few hours talks between Gromyko and Shultz , and Gromyko and Reagan.''

Mr. Gromyko, the diplomat went on, ''realizes that this policy of repeated 'nyets' has not been applauded in Eastern Europe and has played into Reagan's hands in Western Europe. The Soviets have a low opinion of the Democratic Party anyway and still believe they can achieve a better deal with the Republicans eventually.''

''Obviously Gromyko knows that sooner or later he will have to resume talks with us,'' a US diplomat said, ''and he has come here not so much hoping to achieve a breakthrough at this time as to pave the way for serious discussions with Reagan after he is reelected.''

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