Gorbachev chairs first Politburo meeting


MOSCOW, March 21, 1985 (UPI) - Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev Thursday chaired his first regular Politburo meeting since taking power and members supported his call for renewed detente with the West.

Tass said the 10 men who rule the country met for their regular weekly session and assessed discussions held by Gorbachev and Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko with world leaders when they were in Moscow last week for the funeral of President Konstantin Chernenko.


Tass said the Politburo decided, ''The experience of detente of the 70s has proved that relations with capitalist countries can develop well, provided both sides are ready for it.''

''The Soviet Union is ready to follow this line,'' Tass said.

The call echoed Gorbachev's first speech as Soviet leader. But it gave no indication of how the Soviet Union may approach the relaxation of superpower tensions or what gestures it clearly expected from the West.

Diplomats said it was too early to determine if the Soviet Union intended to pursue a different approach to foreign policy under Gorbachev, although many Soviet statements since he came to power have toned down attacks on the United States.

The account of the meeting said the Politburo affirmed the Soviet Union will make serious efforts at the new Geneva arms talks to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons.


The meeting's agenda included a broad survey of events since Chernenko's death and a statement of domestic aims.

The Politburo reiterated Gorbachev's call for ''intensification'' of the economy and strict disciplining of those who are irresponsible, showy or behave in a non-socialist way.

Although the aims recalled those of the vigorous discipline campaign waged by President Yuri Andropov during his brief year in power from November 1982, diplomats again warned against comparisons before any campaign was evident since Soviet leaders habitually call for greater discipline.

Soviet specialists were also interested to see if the stated aim of ''intensification'' of the economy would be followed by a wider use of the ''brigade'' method of work that Gorbachev helped implement during his years of responsibility for agriculture.

Under the brigade system, groups of workers contract out to the state for projects. The method, giving less central control, was de-emphasized under Chernenko.

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