Full Citation

  • Title From Optimism to Doubt: Moscow's East-Bloc Allies React to the Summit
  • Author Markham, James M.
  • Publication Title International Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection International Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Friday,  Nov. 29, 1985
  • Issue Number 31967
  • Page Number 2
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
From Optimism to Doubt: Moscow’s East-Bloc Allies React to the Summit By James M. Markham New York Times Service BONN — The Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact allies have reacted to the Soviet-American summit meet¬ ing at Geneva with subtly differing positions, according to a variety of authorities on Eastern Europe. Within the East European camp, East Germany and Hungary have put the most optimistic interpreta¬ tions on the two days of encounters last week between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev. In the last year, East Germany and Hungary have quietly coordi¬ nated their foreign and economic policies, which assume a widening of their extensive economic links to Western Europe. Appearing on Hungarian televi¬ sion, Gyula Horn, state secretary in the Foreign Ministry, said that the meeting had accomplished “more than anyone could have expected” and concluded that the Geneva talks heralded “a new chapter in Soviet-U.S. relations and through them in East-West relations.” Touching a theme that stirs great interest in East Berlin and Buda¬ pest, the state secretary said that the earlier deterioration of Soviet- U.S. relations had restricted “the international possibilities” of small and medium-sized European na¬ tions. “It follows from this,” the For¬ eign Ministry official said, “that if Soviet-American relations improve — and things did move in this di¬ rection at Geneva — then for us this is certainly more favorable than the previous situation.” Addressing a weekend gathering of his Central Committee in East Berlin, Erich Honecker, the East German leader, described the Ge¬ neva outcome as “heartening and as such positive,” and he welcomed the decision to hold two further Soviet-American summit meetings. Once Mr. Gorbachev met with his allies on Nov. 21 in Prague, the state-run media in other Warsaw Pact nations began to echo the So¬ viet Union’s cautiously upbeat tone. But in the hard-line Czechoslo- vak press, there were undertones waming that apparent shifts in the Reagan administration’s attitude could prove “illusory.” The day after the Prague gather- ing, General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the Polish leader, made an unex- pected visit to Bucharest to meet with President Nicolae Ceaucescu of Romania. The two leaders issued a rather gloomy communique, which some Western diplomats took to be a reflection of Mr. Ceaucescu’s fear that improved So- viet-American ties could diminish the effect of his prized indepen¬ dence in foreign affairs. The economies of Poland and D . , Romania are in difficulty, which some analysts believe lessens their political weight within the Warsaw Pact. And unlike East Germany and Hungary, Poland and Roma¬ nia are not particularly attractive trading partners for the West and so may expect fewer benefits from East-West detente. According to Western diplomats and academic analysts, the Polish reaction to the summit meeting ap- pears to have been conditioned, too, by a continuing argument with the United States over credit sane- tions imposed by Washington after Warsaw’s crackdown on the Soli- darity movement in 1981. The Hungarian and East Ger- man views of the summit meeting have posed the question of what ieeway Mr. Gorbachev will allow his allies in their dealings with the West. At a Warsaw Pact meeting last month in Sofia, the language of a final communique made a bow to the Hungarian view that small na- tions should have a role to play in forging detente. But the communi- qu6 balanced this with calls for unity within the Communist alli¬ ance. “I would say that this is a matter that has not been fully decided by (he Sovjet leadership 4 said Chri/- ,ian Mei experiat the Federal r Romania’s official Agerpres news agency quoted Mr. Ceausescu as saying Thursday that the Gene- va meeting between U.S. and Sovi- et leaders had been a disappoint- ment. It said he urged both superpowers to reach a swift disar- mament accord, Reuters reported from Vienna. Institute for the Study of Eastern Europe in Cologne, West Germa- ny. ■ Romanian Reaction