East bloc issues mild statement
Moscow — The Soviet bloc has capped a Moscow summit with a remarkably restrained declaration, omitting recent warnings of joint countersteps if new US missiles are sited in Western Europe.
The meeting preceded scheduled talks between Soviet leader Yuri Andropov and West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on the missile issue, reports Monitor correspondent Ned Temko.
The allies did endorse current Soviet proposals at the snagged Geneva arms talks and they voiced strong verbal opposition to plans to begin deploying new American missiles at year-end.
But, surprising Western diplomats, the Eastern alliance made no move to follow up warnings of joint bloc countermeasures issuing from the Kremlin and from recent talks between Mr. Andropov and East Germany's Erich Honneker. Also absent was the kind of tough criticism of Bonn policy carried by the Soviet media in advance of Mr. Kohl's scheduled arrival here July 4. The session's communique was largely devoted to an appeal for progress on various disarmament fronts.
Western analysts posited two explanations for the restrained tone: (1) that some Soviet allies, particularly Romania, had resisted tougher language sought by Moscow (2) that the Kremlin itself wanted to stress the carrot over the stick with Mr. Kohl coming to town and with the planned start of new US deployments in Europe also approaching.