OTTAWA -- Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, hoping for a renewal of U.S.-Soviet disarmament talks, left Tuesday on a nine-day peace crusade to Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Romania.
Trudeau's Canadian Forces Boeing 707 departed Ottawa at 9:01 p.m. en route to Prague. It was scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning.
Before boarding the aircraft, Trudeau, accompanied by his 10-year-old son Sacha, was asked if he expected to make a surprise trip to Moscow before his scheduled return to Canada Feb. 2.
'That is not my intention,' Trudeau said.
Trudeau will brief the leaders of Czechoslovakia, East Germany and Romania on the progress of his peace initiative, which has taken him around the world in recent months. In enlisting the support of the three communist leaders, Trudeau hopes to encourage the Soviet Union to renew disarmament talks with the United States.
Trudeau will meet Czech President Gustav Husak in Prague Thursday. Between visits to the other East Bloc countries, he will attend a conference of international businessmen and politicians in Davos, Switzerland, this weekend.
The prime minister will confer with East German President Erick Honecker in East Berlin next Tuesday and with Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu in Bucharest Feb. 1.
Senior government officials denied the trip was arranged last week to replace Trudeau's long-sought -- but so far unforthcoming -- meeting with Soviet leader Yuri Andropov. In a telex message to Trudeau last week, Andropov, who has not been seen in public since Aug. 18, said he could not offer Trudeau an invitation to Moscow.
Andropov is the only leader of the world's five nuclear powers Trudeau has not seen since last October, when he launched his peace initiative calling for a summit of those countries: the United States, Soviet Union, Britain, France and China.
'There is no substitute for the Soviet Union,' an official told reporters. 'But these countries (the three he is visiting) have their own role to play.'
The official said the East Bloc was not 'a closed shop' and Warsaw Pact members could use their influence to put subtle pressure on the Soviets to tone down their rhetoric and resume arms control talks.