A high-ranking official of the Soviet Foreign Ministry said here today that the United States "has more or less stopped" its criticism of Soviet human rights violations, and that this "is a favorable fact to put relations between our two countries on normal terms."
The conciliatorystatement was made by Latif Maksoudov, chief of the the Foreign Ministery's Information Department who gave a press conference at the United Nations after attending meetins here on the world ganization's public information policy.
It was the first softening of the official Soviet since Moscow's harsh rejection of American arms Iimitation proposals last month.
The change came a day after the joint announcement that specialists on strategic arms would resume negotiations in Geneva on May 11.
The positive tone was reinforced by Maksoudov when he said that there were "no obstacles" in principle to a Carter-Brezhev summitmeeting this year, and the there were no preconditions for such a meeting.
The question on the summit was out to the Soviet official by an East European correspondent and Maksoudov responded as though he had been expecting the query.
Asked about the link between SALT and past American critism of Soviet human rights violations, Maksoudov said that "I will not link the problems."
Then he promptly did so, saying that "while you speak of our internal affairs it is difficult to expect a good attitude. It is up to the United States side to deided whether to stop ot not. But the fact that it is more or less stopped is a favourable fact to put relations between out two countries on normal terms."
East European officials based at the United Nations had cited President Carter's statements and actions on Soviet "internal affairs" as a contributing factor to the bluntness of Moscow's rejection of American proposals on SALT.
They had singled out as a particular irritant the American decision to provide $45 million in funding for Radio Liberty and Radio Free Europe transmitters, announced the day before Vance left for Moscow.