The Soviet Union today accused Secretary of State Edmund Muskie of holding the future of Soviet-American relations hostage to the issue of Afghanistan.
In their first statement on the subject since the Olympics, the Soviets also accused the United States of expanding its interference in Afghan affairs and asserted that Moscow would yield to "neither force, nor pressures, nor sanctions."
The Soviet statement was the first public attack on Muskie since he became secretary of state. It suggested that the Soviets have given up their earlier hope that Muskie's appointment night bring about a more moderate position on Afghanistan than the stance taken by National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who is regarded as an arch villain here.
The attack on Muskie was made by Leonid Zamyatin, a ranking official of the Central Committee and one of the closest aides to President Leonid Brezhnev. Zamyatin's article was distributed by the official news agency Tass before being published by Moscow news, the local English-language paper.
Muskie was criticized specifically for his remarks last week before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. According to Zamyatin, "he attempted to a single issue -- Afghanistan -- and to tie their future as a whole to it."
Muskie had said that the Carter administration favored an improvement in Soviet-American relations, which are at their lowest ebb in a decade, but that the Soviets would have to "alter their conduct" in some parts of the world in return. A Soviet invasiona in December installed the current Babrak Karmal government in Kabul.
"Don't people in Washington realize that this policy is incompatible with the objective of improving Soviet-American relations?" Zamyatin asked.
Zamyatin's attack on the Carter administration was coupled with support of a May 14 proposal advanced by the Kabul government for a political settlement that would confirm its legitimacy and end "subversive activities from abroad" in support of Afghan rebels.
Zamyatin dismissed Muskie's idea of "transitional arangements" as an effort to replace the Babrak government. There are no indications here that the Soviets are prepared to settle for anything less than international acceptance of the current government in Kabul.
Political observers here said that the Soviets, buoyed by what they see as a successful conclusion of the Summer Olympics in Moscow, are renewing efforts to prepare groundwork for the eventual recognition, particularly in the Third Wold, of the Kabul government.
Moscow sees opportunities for a broader political settlement before any complete internal settlement, observers believe. Diplomats here say that the Soviets would have to at least triple the size of their military contingent in Afghanistan -- estimated at about 80,000 troops -- to effectively crush rebel resistance.