The Soviet leadership has told the new West German chancellor, Helmut Kohl, that it wants to continue friendly political relations and economic cooperation with his government, authoritative sources said today.
The message from two influential members of the ruling Politburo was conveyed through diplomatic channels. The Kremlin also moved to establish direct contact with the top officials of the new center-right coalition to underscore its hope that the change in Bonn would not adversely affect East-West relations.
The sources said that Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko was delaying his departure for Moscow to meet with Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the Free Democratic leader who retained the post of foreign minister in the new Bonn Cabinet.
Genscher was due to fly tonight to New York to meet with Gromyko and Secretary of State George P. Shultz, according to West German diplomats. Gromyko is in New York attending the U.N. General Assembly.
Mikhail Solomentsev, an alternate member of the Politburo, is scheduled to begin a week-long official visit to West Germany on Wednesday. Diplomatic sources here said Solomentsev had made it clear that he expected to meet with Kohl.
The sources said they expected Solomentsev to deliver a Soviet message to Kohl emphasizing Moscow's intentions to continue the cooperative relationship and dialogue it had established with his Social Democratic predecessor, Helmut Schmidt.
Solomentsev is premier of the Russian Federation, the largest Soviet republic.
There has been no public reaction to the government change in Bonn, although Moscow television tonight gave extensive coverage to the composition of the new Cabinet. All press reports have been careful to avoid criticism of the new government.