The Soviet Union reported President Reagan's swearing-in today without comment, while continuing bitter anti-American denunciations that show there will be no bilateral honeymoon despite the departure of the much disliked Jimmy Carter.
While avoiding direct attacks on the new president, the official Tass press agency in a dispatch from Washington declared the United States "intends to continue its imperialist doctrine of aggression and blackmail in the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean."
Taking a parting shot at Zbigniew Brzezinski, Tass said the former national security advisor had recommended the United States "should step its militaristic preparations in that part of the glove, thousands of miles from American shores."
In recent days, Soviet media have turned scathing attention on the new Reagan team, including Alexander Haig, Casper Weinberger, William Casey and others. The newspaper Pravda asserted in a Washington dispatch last week that "even the American bourgeois press [describes them] as supporters of an escalation of military preparations by the U.S."
The weekly magazine Za Rubezhom, which deals with foreign policy matters, said Reagan was becoming president at atime when the military-industrial complex is making "new efforts to inflate a military psychosis and push the world onto the path of an unbridled arms race."
Calling Reagan a creature of the arms lobby and big business. Za Rubezhom added that the new president won election in part because he promised "to restore U.S. authority in the world by raising its military might in order to achieve superiority over the Soviet Union and suppress national liberation movements."
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister AndreiGromyko, writing in the theoretical party monthly Kommunist, asserted that the Kremlin is "ready to accept any constructive steps to solve the problem of ending the arms race," but reiterated that "our country rejects categorically any approach that would place one of the sides at a disadvantage."
Reagan's avwed intention to expand U.S. strategic and conventional power while renegotiating parts of the pending SALT II treaty has been sharply criticized by the Soviets. Gromyko's article, using bland language, asserts that "the Soviet Union cannot and will not participate in talks that will render null and void the SALT IItreaty and crush the treaty's basic principles. The Soviet Union deals with any U.S. administration as the leadership of that country and hopes forcontinuity of their decisions and their reliability as a partner."
He repeated Soviet positions on conventional forces and theater nuclear arms talks covering Central Europe, saying the issue of medium-range nuclear weapons must be dealt simultaneously with talks on U.S. forward-based systems. He added, "Agreements reached in the course of the talks will be implemented only after the SALT II treaty comes into force."