Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, here on his first official visit to the Soviet Union, is expected to meet Tuesday with Soviet President Konstantin Chernenko, western diplomatic sources said tonight.
The meeting would be Chernenko's first public appearance since Dec. 27. The Soviet leader, 73, has been reported to be ill in recent weeks, although according to an official Soviet communique, he made an appearance at a Politburo meeting last week.
Papandreou, leader of Greece's Panhellenic Socialist Movement, told his Soviet hosts at a dinner tonight that he had come to promote better ties with the Soviet Union and "to strengthen the cause of peace."
His visit comes during a period of difficult relations between Greece and the United States. Greece is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but it has opposed the deployment of NATO missiles in Europe and is committed to closing U.S. bases in Greece.
Papandreou made no statements critical of the United States or NATO tonight, but he noted, in a nod to the Soviets, that "our corresponding views on many international problems, all directed at reducing tension, strengthen the cause of peace."
Elections are expected in Greece later this year, and Papandreou's visit here is seen as helping shore up his support on the left.
Papandreou alluded to Greece's position in the East-West balance tonight when he noted that "world peace depends not only on the superpowers but also on the efforts of smaller countries . . . in particular of those situated in critical geographic positions."
Papandreou touched on a sore point in NATO's internal relations when he accused NATO member Turkey of aiming "to extend its control over a section of Greek national territory." He also blamed Turkish Cypriots and "by extension" Turkey for the failure last month of talks sponsored by the United Nations on the issue of Cyprus.
A Greek spokesman said tonight that these issues were among the topics discussed today in a meeting between Papandreou and Soviet Premier Nikolai Tikhonov.
The meetings, which will continue today, also dealt with a protocol for consultation that, according to Greek sources, would establish a format for regular diplomatic consultations in both Athens and Moscow.