Kremlin casts its presidential vote for 'balance'
The name of the next president of the United States is not important. But it is important that he have a "reasonable, balanced" approach to world affairs and negotiate with the Kremlin in a "serious, responsible" way.
So says the government newspaper Izvestia here -- one of several Soviet press comments summing up the GOP convention in Detroit.
Moscow is condemning the GOP platform as hawkish and dangerous to peace. But , cautiously, it is holding back from direct criticism of Ronald Reagan himself, or of his running mate, George Bush.
The Kremlin may have to face Mr. Reagan as president and seems to prefer attacking conservative GOP policies, while leaving options open on Reagan as a man.
The Soviets have attacked Mr. Reagan often in the past, especially four years ago in his battle with former President Ford for the Republican nomination.
Asked who would be worse for Moscow, Reagan or President Carter, one senior Soviet source shrugged. "They're both bad," he said. "Reagan maybe worse than Carter." Despite the press attacks on the GOP platform, this source took a more realistic view. "I don't worry too much about platforms in your country," he said. "Candidates soon forget about them. What Reagan says now is one thing.What he says if he becomes president -- that's another. . . ."
Pravda July 20 said that if Reagan had always been distinguished by his extremely conservative views, then Bush's nomination was designed to appeal to party moderates.
Izvestia said the platform was trying to "put back the clock." Political commentator Stanislav Kondrashov criticized the GOP for trying to achieve military superiority, rejecting the SALT II treaty, and supporting the MX missile, a new strategic bomber, and other naval and military buildups.
"The Soviet Union . . . needs a serious and responsible partner in the capital of the United States, a partner that would be seeking real roads to a stable peace today and tomorrow and would not be dreaming of bringing back yesterday," Izvestia wrote.
Moscow gives every indication of being extremely disenchanted with President Carter on a wide range of issues. The Tass news agency has just heavily criticized all three main candidates on the Middle East. It called Carter guilty of all-out support for Israel. It said Reagan favored close US-Israeli military ties. And it said John Anderson had "insulted" the Arab world during his recent visit to the Mideast by supporting Israeli claims to East Jerusalem.
To further enhance its links to the Arabs, Moscow has invited Palestine Liberation Organization chief Yasser Arafat here for the Olympic Games.