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Leaders of the world's richest industrial powers - the so-called G-7 nations - conclude their economic summit in London today and will likely address a thorny problem: should the Soviet Union be bailed out? The Cold War is over, we hear, and the omnipotent menace for those decades of global tension is now calling out for assistance. Will the United States chip in? Be assured it will, if not overtly, at least in some fashion. Be equally assured that Americans continue to pay for the years when the Kremlin was viewed as the world's great evil and acted every bit the part.

An action taken by a Senate subcommittee last week, one necessitated by past Soviet chicanery, prompts in us some grim observations. You might say it bugs us. The panel sent to the full Senate Appropriations Committee approval for $130 million to tear down the unoccupied, never-been-used American embassy in Moscow and replace it with a new structure.

The reason your tax dollars are at work in such an absurd way is that the Soviet government did more than just monitor construction of the facility in the early 1980s. As was discovered when the building neared completion in 1985, the embassy walls were been laced with so many listening devices that the American diplomats deemed it unsuitable for use. It is almost incomprehensible: the electronic bugs were so thick that there was no feasible remedy for ever making the building secure. A debate has raged on how to deal with the matter. Some in Congress want to see the bug-infested building torn down and a new structure built from scratch; the State Department wants secure quarters but needs space quickly since a fire destroyed part of the current embassy on March 28.

Official Washington has now dithered over this problem for six years and the State Department has used inadequate facilities in a diplomatic hot spot the whole time. No one has yet stepped forward to attach sufficient blame to the guilty party. Though caught red-handed, the Soviets effectively gained an advantage by keeping American diplomats off-balance and in miserable facilities for years, in addition to burdening U.S. taxpayers. Now the Kremlin has come out from behind its cloak, stuck its hand forward and asked for a donation.

Even if the G-7 leaders take a hard line with the Soviet request, it appear inevitable that the United States will lend Mikhail Gorbachev some financial support to keep his reforms in motion. The issue is a complicated one and the stakes are high; Gorbachev wants a $65 billion Soviet foreign debt erased through some deal. Whatever America is willing to extend to Moscow for this cause, we recommend the amount be reduced by $130 million. Let it be a reminder to the Kremlin that American don't appreciate wastefulness, especially when it arises from Cold War subterfuge.