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Gorbachev Assails His Opposition : Blasts Military, Party Bureaucrats for Stalling on Reforms

June 25, 1987|United Press International

MOSCOW — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev today lashed out at the military and attacked opposition to his economic and social reforms that he said is rampant within the bureaucracy and the Communist Party.

Opening a two-day plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party--a meeting crucial to his efforts to revive the stagnant economy--Gorbachev singled out the defense establishment as a prime example of the failure to introduce reforms and shake off outdated thinking.

Gorbachev blasted the military for allowing the West German youth Mathias Rust to fly his single-engine aircraft from Finland through 400 miles of heavily defended Soviet airspace before landing May 28 near Moscow's Red Square.

Investigation Pending

Defense Minister Sergei Sokolov and several other senior military officials have since been fired, and Rust remains in prison pending an investigation. Gorbachev called Rust's landing in the heart of Moscow "an unprecedented occurrence."

"The revolutionary transformations in society have brought to the fore the contradiction between the demands of renewal . . . and conservative inertia and selfish interests," Gorbachev told the most powerful members of the Communist Party.

"The disbalance between the growing vigor of the masses and the still surviving bureaucratic manner of activity in most diverse fields and attempts to freeze the renewal drive is one of the manifestations of this real contradiction," he said.

New Law Urged

The centerpiece of the plenum is Gorbachev's call for a state enterprise law to loosen the central bureaucracy's control over the economy and give individual managers more responsibility for results.

While Western analysts agreed that a law of some sort will emerge from the secret debate inside the Kremlin, it was unclear if it would be broad enough and have sufficient enforcement provisions to reshape the economy.

The plenum of the Central Committee, which is held every six months, is the key policy forum. Its decisions are given automatic unanimous approval by the Supreme Soviet, the nominal Parliament, which will meet Monday.

Despite holding power for more than 27 months and making major changes in some areas of Soviet life, Gorbachev is not believed to have majority backing among the 300 members of the Central Committee.

Reports of opposition during the last plenum, in January, were reinforced by the contrast between the restrained wording of the plenum resolution and Gorbachev's speeches during the gathering calling for broad reforms.

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