A parliamentary committee on Saturday found Estonia's bid for sovereignty at odds with the Soviet Constitution, but activists in a nearby republic demanded their leaders approve similar autonomy.
In New Delhi, where he was on an official visit, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev said some Estonians were acting too emotionally but that the tense, formerly independent Baltic republics would settle down."What is happening in Estonia is perestroika," Gorbachev said.
A commission of the national Supreme Soviet ruled that an amendment to the Estonian Constitution ran counter to the supreme national law, according to the official Tass news agency.
The amendment, passed Wednesday, requires any new Soviet law be ratified by Estonia.
Laws approved by the Estonian parliament "contained a number of provisions which run counter to the norms of the Constitution of the USSR on which the Soviet socialist federation is based," Tass said.
The commission's conclusion was submitted to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, the country's highest executive body, which summoned Estonian leaders to a meeting in Moscow.
The Supreme Soviet of another Baltic republic, Lithuania, was set to debate similar legislation last week. But it was dropped without a vote when the republic's Communist Party leader, Algirdas Bra-zauskas, said it was unconstitutional.
The streets of the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, were quiet, but "there is huge dissatisfaction with the work of the session," said Alvydas Medalins-kas, a spokesman for the grass-roots Lithuanian Movement for Perestroika.
Scattered demonstrations were reported in Vilnius on Friday night after the republic's Supreme Soviet adjourned.
Medalinskas said in a telephone interview that the Movement was seeking the signatures of the 350 members of the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet on a letter declaring the session invalid because of "gross violations" of parliamentary rules.
"Seventeen already have signed it. Five rejected it all together," said Medalinskas in a telephone interview.
If one-third, or 117 legislators, sign the letter, a new session must be held, he said.
Spokesmen for the Lithuanian Movement for Perestroika said Brazauskas appeared on the republic's official television Saturday night, defending results of the session and saying the legislators could not go any further.
In the 15-minute speech, he also said efforts to pressure legislators into calling for a new session were impermissible, said representatives of the Movement.
In an apparent Kremlin effort to reassure the country's 15 constituent republics, the Council of Ministers met with their representatives Friday on economic power-sharing, official Radio Moscow said.
The small, Westward-looking Baltic republics have used Gorbachev's political reforms to push for greater economic and cultural autonomy. Baltic residents also contend that proposed amendments to the Soviet Constitution will limit their autonomy.
In his comments in India, Gorbachev said, "There is a lot of debate on how to approach the problem. I am sure things will settle down."
Soviets are considering many differing points of view, "but not all are constructive," the Soviet leader said.
"Some are purely emotional, and this has been causing some negative reactions," he said.
He offered no proposals for dealing with the problem.
Gorbachev said people in the Baltic republics were legitimately concerned about many things, including the migration of ethnic Russians.
The three Baltic republics - Estonian, Lithuania, and Latvia - were independent after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution until 1940, when they were absorbed by the Soviet Union under a secret agreement between Stalin and Hitler.