One week after Soviet secret police released an American businessman held 15 days in jail on a charge of illegal dealing in currency, Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin declared yesterday that Moscow wants broader trade ties with the United States.
Kosygin made his remarks while reviewing the Soviet economic structure in a speech to the Supreme Soviet, or parliament. He told the delegates at the Kremlin session that at present, only 2 percent of the United States' foreign trade turnover is with the Soviet Union.
"This means that cooperation is at a preliminary stage," Kosygin declared. He said the United States was reluctant to take the path toward greater opportunities for business with the Soviet Union.
"It is important that the striving for wider business links should be mutual and the cooperation itself advantageous to both sides," he said.
On June 28, Francis Jay Crawford, a resident business representative for the International Harvester Co., was released by the KGB from Lefortovo prison, where he had been jailed after police dragged him from his car June 11.
Crawford's arrest was widely interpreted in the foreign community here as Soviet retaliation for the jailing in America of two accused Soviet spies. Crawford and the two Soviet men were simultaneously released after secret negotiations between the Carter administration and Moscow.
The Soviet Union turned to the West in the late 1960s in hopes of expanding business so that Western technology could help improve the productivity of its economy. More than three dozen American businesses opened offices here in the early 1970s following the Nixon-Brezhnev detente. The results, however, have not been as encouraging as the Americans had hoped. A major factor was Congresses' 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, which linked trade advantages to easing of restrictions on Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.
Moscow complained bitterly that this closed off one path toward greater cooperation between the countries.
According to recent compilations of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Trade and Economic Coucil, a group seeking to promote Soviet-American trade. U.S. trade turnover in the first quarter of this year amounted to about $669 million, as compared with $707 million for the same period last year.