MOSCOW — The Soviet Union on Saturday supported Libya in its dispute with the United States over terrorist attacks at two European airports, calling U.S. hostility toward Libya a form of "state terrorism."
Newspapers, radio, television and the official Soviet news agency Tass all carried condemnations of "military threats" against Libya by Washington, which has accused Libya of backing the Palestinian group believed responsible for the attacks.
"The reasons for this open hostility of Washington and Israel with respect to Libya are Libya's consistent anti-imperialist foreign policy," the Soviet military newspaper Red Star said.
"The increased American hostility . . . proves that state terrorism is becoming the main weapon of the American imperialists and the Israeli Zionists in the international arena," Red Star said.
"The massive anti-Libyan campaign is in pursuit of setting the stage to prepare international public opinion for a possible armed action in the region under the notorious pretext of combating terrorism," Tass said in a dispatch from Damascus, Syria.
Despite the support, there was no indication that the Kremlin would take any stronger action if the United States did attack Libya.
When Libya's leader, Col. Moammar Kadafi, made an official visit to Moscow in November, there was little indication that he received much more than public praise.
A Soviet-Libyan friendship treaty concluded more than two years ago remains unsigned. However, Libya has bought most of its arms from the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union has vacillated on the problem of international terrorism, condemning individual attacks but generally accusing the United States of creating conditions that breed terrorism.
However, after one of its diplomats was murdered by terrorists in Beirut, and three others temporarily held hostage, Moscow joined with the United States in supporting a United Nations resolution condemning terrorism.