Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev, in a personal letter to President Reagan six months ago, suggested a summit meeting and "honest and constructive negotiations" in a search for solutions to all major questions between the two nations.
The letter, a reply to one Reagan wrote April 24 while recovering in the hospital from bullet wounds, was made public by the Soviet Embassy here yesterday after Reagan had quoted from his letter to Brezhnev during his foreign policy speech Wednesday.
The release of Brezhnev's reply comes during a week of daily claims and counterclaims by Washington and Moscow generally regarded as a prelude to Brezhnev's visit this weekend to Bonn and U.S.-Soviet arms reduction negotiations scheduled to begin a week from Monday in Geneva.
Reagan, revealing the U.S. negotiating stance in the forthcoming talks, on Wednesday offered to cancel deployment of a new generation of U.S. nuclear missiles in Europe if the Soviet Union would dismantle intermediate-range missiles already deployed.
Moscow immediately rejected that proposal as a pre-Geneva propaganda ploy. Since then the Soviet Union has launched a major new propaganda drive to portray Reagan's arms control proposal as an attempt to "deceive" public opinion and undermine Brezhnev's Bonn summit.
Reagan, rejecting Soviet charges of U.S. imperialism, pointed out that at the end of World War II the United States could have easily dominated the world with no risk to itself because it was the only power possessing nuclear arms. Instead, Reagan said, the United States used its "power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravaged economies of the world."
Brezhnev, in his letter to Reagan dated May 25, countered by charging the United States "did the most it could using a wide array of military, political and economic means to . . . restructure the world the way the United States wanted it to be."
But, he added that this proved beyond U.S capabilities. "The ultimate weapon didn't make the USA omnipotent," Brezhnev said.
He accused the United States of only aiding "those countries which chose to submit their policy to foreign interests."
After taking note in the letter of a period of improvement of relations between Moscow and Washington, Brezhnev blamed the United States for a deterioration that began shortly thereafter.
"It is known that the lion's share was contributed to this by the Carter administration. That was done consciously and purposefully, but in the final analysis, let us be frank, it brought no laurels to Carter. Isn't it so, Mr. President?" Brezhnev stated.
He added that the new administration had decided to continue on the same path by revitalizing military and political alliances, adding new bases and increasing U.S. military presence abroad.
Brezhnev assured Reagan that the Soviet Union does not seek confrontation, but "peace, cooperation and a sense of mutual trust and benevolence." Therefore, "we propose now to the USA and other Western countries honest and constructive negotiations, as well as a search for mutually acceptable solutions . . . ."
He added that an exchange of correspondence has its limitations "and in this sense a private conversation is better."