The Communist Party's policy-making Central Committee says the Kremlin has in the past wrongly stressed military over diplomatic solutions to world problems and that its foreign policy is no longer dogmatic.
A position paper approved by the 300-plus member body also sharply criticizes the role the party has come to occupy in Soviet society, saying bureaucrats are too often impeding the effectiveness of government bodies.It proposes limiting party officials to two five-year terms, with exceptions that could include Mikhail S. Gorbachev, and says elections for party jobs should be by secret ballot with more than one candidate.
The report will serve as the foundation for an extraordinary party conference that begins June 28, the first such gathering since 1941. Its details were distributed Thursday by the official Tass news agency.
Approved Monday, it sets the agenda for a possible showdown between reformers led by Gorbachev and conservatives resisting change.
The report says foreign policy before Gorbachev came to power "trailed behind fundamental changes that occurred in the world and missed chances to reduce tensions and enhance understanding among nations."
Praising changes made by the Soviet leader, it said Kremlin foreign policy now addresses problems of a world faced with nuclear destruction while "not imposing any conditions or dogmas on anyone."
The new Soviet approach has led to a "definite improvement" in relations with the United States.