Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev said he detected unfavorable changes in the U.S. attitude toward his country that could return the world to a "cold or semicold war."
Gorbachev made known his fears in a meeting in the Kremlin with Australian publishing magnate Rupert Murdoch, and his remarks were carried Sunday by the official Tass news agency."Gorbachev expressed his anxiety about signs of a change in the U.S. attitude to the Soviet Union," Tass said. "The changes are reflected not only in statements but also in some economical and political steps."
Gorbachev said the new relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union that began with perestroika in 1985 had given much positive to the world.
"This relationship must be treated with care and filled with new content and must move forward," he said.
"If what has been gained during the previous (Ronald Reagan) administration and the Bush presidency is jeopardized, the world again will fall into the depths of cold, or semicold, war or at least in the atmosphere of political dampness, which will harm the health of the entire international community," he said.
The Soviet president said it is necessary "to think continuously of the special value of the relations between two such great powers and not to subject them to unnecesary tests, especially at such a critical moment."
He said he still wants a summit with the United States to take place. Both sides have said they envision a summit in the first half of the year, which now means June.
"The U.S.-Soviet summits must be held on a regular basis and not be sensational happenings," he said.
The United States put off a Feburary summit with Gorbachev because of U.S. preoccupation with the gulf war and displeasure with Moscow's crackdown in the Baltics.
Gorbachev made it clear he is not happy over Western press descriptions of chaos in the Soviet Union and his perceived turn to the right to halt the decline.
Another Nobel delay?
President Mikhail Gorbachev, beset with domestic woes, may again postpone a trip to pick up his 1990 Nobel Peace Prize, a spokesman said Monday. Gorbachev was scheduled to travel to Oslo, Norway, last December, but asked the Nobel committee to postpone it until May 10. Now that trip may have to be put off until May 18 "or it may be postponed till the summer," said Gorbachev's deputy spokesman, Sergei Grigoriev.