Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev said today that he saw the opportunity for a "fruitful" Geneva summit that would "serve toward improving the international situation."
In his speech at a reception marking the 68th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, Gorbachev called for an international climate that would help remove "distrust, hatred and suspicion," according to a report by the official Soviet news agency Tass.
Defense Minister Sergei Sokolov took a tougher stance at an earlier two-hour celebration in Red Square, saying, "We will not allow the military balance between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R., between NATO and the Warsaw Pact to be upset."
Speaking of an "explosively dangerous" international situation, Sokolov said to the crowd of thousands that the government is aware of the "serious danger of war flowing from plans by reactionary quarters of imperialism, first of all American imperialism, to achieve military superiority."
The Soviet Union is prepared to deal a "crushing rebuff to any aggressor," Sokolov said.
Gorbachev stood next to the defense minister during the speech, the traditional display of tanks, troops and military hardware, and a civilian parade and demonstration.
At the reception, Gorbachev said, "If a businesslike, constructive approach prevails -- and we are ready for it -- then the forthcoming meeting in Geneva may prove to be fruitful and serve toward improving the international situation," Tass reported.
Western military experts reported that no new weapons appeared in the parade.
Red Square was decorated with red bunting, lights beaming the years "1917" and "1985," and a huge picture of V.I. Lenin, founder of the Soviet Communist Party, across the side of the GUM department store that faces the Kremlin.
The parade featured banners of past and present Soviet leaders, and placards calling for scientific and technological progress and condemning U.S. missiles and the Strategic Defense Initiative.
A mock computer blinked lights advertising Soviet production achievements and multicolored balloons provided air cover.
Gorbachev's daughter Irina and young granddaughter Oxanna watched and waved in the spectator bleachers next to Lenin's Tomb.