America must restructure its own economic system before it can help capitalism take firm hold in the Soviet Union, Utah Lt. Gov. Val Oveson said.

Speaking at the Salt Lake County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner on Monday, Oveson was joined by Peter Serdiukov, a visiting Soviet professor at Brigham Young University, who echoed his sentiments.Despite cultural and historical differences, Americans and Soviets share the same desire for strength, success and world peace, Serdiukov said.

But the Soviets will not accept American assistance in creating a successful free market system until America strengthens itself economically, he added.

"Russians are definitely convinced that Americans are very much like us," Serdiukov said.

"We Americans everyday take for granted the commercial system we have," Oveson told the group. "That basic fact is a major obstacle in dealing with the Soviet Union.

"Heaven knows that the Soviet Union is in need of restructuring, but they're not the only ones. . . . We need to have our own perestrokia in Washington, D.C. to deal with tremendous budget problems," Oveson said.