Haig resignation rattles East bloc
The resignation of Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. sharply heightened concerns of East bloc leaders over the latest trends in United States foreign policy, Monitor correspondent Eric Bourne reports.
In Budapest, Warsaw, and Belgrade Mr. Haig was viewed as the one ''realistic'' voice in US policy. East bloc leaders expressed anxiety that the more ''hard-line'' views of Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger were outweighing Mr. Haig's, and that a tougher line by the Reagan administration may follow.
Prominent party and government sources here reflected resentment at US efforts to pressure West Europeans into abandoning their stake in the Soviet gas pipeline project and to persuade them to reduce government-subsidized credits to the Russians and their allies.
Ordinarily, East Europeans would show grim satisfaction at signs of friction between the US and its European allies. But leaders here see tensions within NATO as a threat to their own hopes that East-West relations can be repaired. One of Hungary's most experienced diplomats said a tougher US stance would ''not affect Soviet policy nor the Soviet Union's readiness to talk with the Americans , but it heightens the risks of miscalculation. That is where the danger lies.''
Opening the Yugoslav Party Congress here June 26, party president Dusan Dragosavac said detente is in ''a deep crisis'' that is being deepened by new East-West rivalries and new conflicts that ''separately or all together'' might turn into world war.