The Soviet Union adopted a cautious approach to the conclusion of a basic strategic arms limitation agreement with the United States, noting that there will be "heated battles" to come before the pact wins Senate approval.
The completion of the basic agreement was announced in the Soviet media, but a senior Soviet foreign policy specialist, Vitali Kobush, said today that no one should have "any illusions that this agreement, the signing of which as far as can be judged will take place in the very near future, will put an end to the arms race."
"However, it is obvious to all that [SALT] will play an important restraining role and promote the peace and security of nations, and that its logical continuation will be a SALT IIIagreement which goes much further," Kobush said in an article published in the newspaper Literaturnaya Gazeta.
Kobush is an adviser to the Communist Party Central Committee on U.S. affairs.
Another article in the Literaturnaya Gazeta said that "there are many more supporters in Congress of the military-industrial complex," a fact which it said, assures that "there are going to be some heated battles around the SALT pact in Washington."
The Kremlin's reluctance to confirm Washington reports that an accord had been reached appeared almost certainly to be linked to the fact that Secretary of State Cyrus Vance suggested that "a few remaining secondary items" remains to be resolved.
Today's silence contrasted sharply with the prompt handling by Soviet media of earlier developments in the 61/2-year-old SALT negotiations normally revealed through simultaneous announcements in both capitals.
The press here has denounced sharply such organization as the "Committee for the Present Danger," and carefully reported the remarks of senators favorable to ratification.
It is never said here publicly that a joint strategic arms agreement could aid the strained Soviet economy.Nor is it ever said that Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, who has made SALT the cornerstone of his detente policy, is ill and may not be able to travel far for a summit meeting and SALT signing with President Carter.
What is said, by Brezhnev himself two months ago, is that he is interested in meeting Carter at a summit. Eventually, when the exact time and place of that meeting are worked out, the Soviets will explain carefully to their public that it is in furtherance of world peace and in accordance with Leninist principles of foreign policy.
There has been no discussion here of the fact that the Kremlin and Washington recently exchanged Alexander Ginzburg and four other dissidents for teo convicted Soviet spies as part of a SALT warming up process, or that Brezhnev in mid-April abruptly commuted the sentences of five imprisoned Jewish activists, timing their release to a visit here of a congressional delegation.
That Jewish emigration now stands at a record 5,000 for the month of April alone is unreported and spoken about only within the Moscow Jewish community. If these matters are related to SALT-as they surely are- it is for the Soviet people to know.