A senior Soviet Politburo member today accused the Reagan administration of formenting world tensions and rejected any linkage between the Kremlin's handling of the Polish crisis and future arms reduction talks with the West.
In a return to a harder line that contrasts with the milder approach to the Reagan administration and to Poland taken in recent speeches by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, Konstantin Chernenko declared at a Kremlin rally that Washington's purpose "is to depart from negotiations N strategic arms and to heat up conflict situations -- to interfere directly or indirectly in the internal affairs of other countries."
The 69-yer-old Chernenko, considered one of the more powerful figures in the ruling inner circle, accused "some politicians in the West" of linking detente to the outcome of the Polish crisis. At the same time, he said, they are "trying to destabilize the situation in Poland and make difficult the efforts to end the crisis there. This is a hypocritical and adventurist stand."
NATO defense ministers meeting in Bonn earlier this month formally linked Soviet behavior internationally to the start of arms-control talks. In an oral declaration shepherded through, after some difficulty, by U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger, they said, "The Soviets would gravely undermine the basis for effective arms control negotiations if they were to intervene in the internal affairs of Poland."
Soviet propaganda has depicted the United States as plotting to challenge the Communist Party leadership in Poland with "counterrevolutionaries" working through the Solidarity independent labor movement there.
Chernenko's combative rhetoric today marked a change from Brezhnev's stance recently. Two months ago, the Soviet leader opened the Soviet party's 26th congress with an offer of a summit with Reagan, and two weeks ago, in Prague, he expressed cautious confidence that Poles could solve their problems themselves.
Chernenko reiterated this limited endorsement of the Warsaw Communists today, asserting that "the Polish Communists, the Polish working people, have built a strong and independent socialist homeland. And they will not relinquish their gains." He did not mention Polish party leader Stanislaw Kania by name, and pointedly added, "I should like to stress that people's Poland has true friends on whom it can rely."
With Brezhnev and seven of the 12 other Politburo members present for a commemoration of the 11th birthday of Lenin at the Kremlin Palace of Congresses, Chernenko asserted that the new American administration "stubbornly reiterates" that East-West talks are linked "in a package with the entire spectrum of international problems." He compared this to "the utterly false concern" of the Carter White House for human rights in the Soviet Union.
Weinberger, hailing the NATO declaration, said the day after it was issued that a key difference between the Reagan White House and past administrations would be to speak out clearly before the Soviets take action against the interests of the United States and the Western allies.
The true policy of Reagan, Chernenko said, is meddling in other countries' affairs. "Is this not clear from the Reagan administration policy toward El Salvador, or the provacations against independent, nonaligned Afghanistan?" He said the consequences of what he called Chinese and U.S. imperialism are what "serious obstacles to detente have appeared. The war danger, which somewhat diminished in the middle of the last decade, has increased again," he said in an apparent reference to Weinberger's hint on his European trip of the possibility of the United States selling arms to China if the Soviets intervened in Poland.
Chernenko raised anew Brezhnev's Feb. 23 proposal for extending the notification of troop movements in Europe, and added, "We are ready" to do the same in the Far East. However, he said, Peking has "hastened to describe our proposals as a propaganda exercise."
Meanwhile, an influential Soviet journal today accused "Western Zionists" of seeking to undermine Poland's government, the first time Moscow has openly touched on this theme since the crisis began in its Warsaw Pact ally nine months ago.
Literaturnaya Gazeta, weekly paper of the official writers' union, said "Jews in Europe and America" are closely following events in Poland, with "admitted sympathies for the leaders of the movement for undermining the communist government." The paper alleged that a Chicago Jewish community leader "directly stated" that "it is exactly the anti-communist and anti-Soviet aspect of that movement that guarantees support to its leaders by the U.S. and Western Europe."