NATION : Bush Aide Assails Soviet Dispatch Blaming U.S. for Panama Troubles

From Times wire services

sident Bush's chief spokesman today criticized the official Soviet press agency Tass for a dispatch blaming the United States for election disruptions in Panama. The spokesman said it raised new questions about Soviet intentions on improving relations with the West.

White House Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater called the Tass account "very disappointing."

"It certainly tends to throw cold water on many of the claims of a new thinking, a new openness in foreign relations," Fitzwater said.

Tass, in a dispatch from Panama City reporting on Wednesday's nullification of elections in Panama, said the action was necessary because the Panamanian opposition, "directly instigated by the United States," violated election laws and tried to rig the results through "subversive actions."

Fitzwater said, "These statements reflect a lack of changes that we all would do well to keep in mind."

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