The Soviet Union said today that archenemy China, aided by the United States and other "imperialists," is seeking to exploit the Indochinese refugee crisis at Vietnam's expense.
An authoritative article in the Communist Party daily Pravda also accused Peking and the "imperialists" of using the refugee issue to persuade other Southeast Asian nations from opening friendly ties with the pro-Moscow governments of Laos and Cambodia.
Pravda commentator Mikhail Nikitin said China is motivated by thirst for revenge after the February border war and the United States and Japan want expanded military power in the region.
As for the "boat people" - whose mass exodus has burdened Southeast Asian nations such as Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia - Nikitin portrayed them as either ethnic Chinese duped by Peking agitators into leaving Vietnam, or "direct agents of Peking" posing as refugees to infiltrate eventual host countries and direct new slanders against Hanoi and its Asian allies.
The Pravda article deals at some length with the Kremlin's position on th refugee problem and precedes a U.N. conference on the refugees set for Geneva Friday and Saturday. Moscow apparently will not send a delegation to the 70-nation session but wanted to set out its position on the issue well in advance.
Current international reaction to the refugee flood from Communist Indochina is "an artificially instigated campaign of political and ideological sabotage conceived and implemented by the forces of imperialism jointly with China," Pravda said.
"At the same time, it is obvious that the masterminds of the campaign, pretending they are seriously concerned over the fact that the problem of reguees is fraught with 'destabilization' in Southeast Asia, actually seek to complicate the situation in the region."
Soviet commentaries since the Vienna summit last month have dismissed the issue as an artificial problem created by Peking and Washington to discredit Vietnam.
China is expected to announce a date soon for the start of talks with Moscow aimed at improving relations between the two Communist giants.
Meanwhile, in Peking, China accused the Soviet Union today of exerting pressure on the oil-rich Persian Gulf area, Reuter reports.
[The agency quoted the official New China News Agency as saying: "The Soviet Union has quickened the pace of its southward drive toward the (gulf) at a time when the world is feeling ever more stronly the pinch of the energy crisis."]