Soviet Says Medium-Range Missile Agreement Expected This Round
GENEVA (AP) _ The chief U.S. and Soviet arms control negotiators arrived in Geneva today for the eighth round of talks and the Soviet delegate said he expects the round to produce ″a full-fledged treaty″ on medium-range missiles.
The U.S. delegate, however, cautioned that much ″hard and painstaking work″ needs to be done.
On a separate subject, the U.S. negotiator, Max Kampelman, also announced that the United States plans during the round to put forth a draft treaty on strategic, or intercontinental, arms. He did not say when it would be presented.
″The United States attaches the highest importance to achieving a treaty providing for drastic 50 percent reductions″ in both superpowers arsenals, said Kampelman. This was agreed at last year’s Reykjavik summit and reaffirmed at last month’s U.S.-Soviet foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow, he said.
The talks on medium-range missiles, considered by observers to hold the best prospect for agreement, resumed two weeks ago. The negotiations on strategic forces and space and defense systems are to resume officially on Tuesday.
Yuli Vorontsov, deputy Soviet foreign minister and head of the Soviet delegation to the Geneva talks, spoke briefly with reporters at Geneva airport after his arrival.
Asked what he expected from the eighth round of talks, Vorontsov said, ″This round? I expect a treaty. A full-fledged treaty on medium-range missiles.″
Kampelman, in a prepared arrival statement read to reporters at the U.S. mission, said ″significant progress toward historic arms reduction agreements can be made during this round.″
Asked today how long the round might last, Kampelman said it was not likely to be a short one. ″There’s a great deal to be done.″
The U.S. side presented a draft treaty on intermediate-range forces during the last round of talks. It called for elimination of such missiles from Europe with each of the superpowers retaining 100 such warheads on its own soil. The Soviet triple-warhead SS-20s would be based in Asia.
The Soviets last week presented their own draft treaty at the talks, with a similar plan for removal of the medium-range missiles from Europe and retention of 100 warheads.
The Soviet Union has also offered to scrap its shorter-range missiles, which have a range of up to 600 miles.
The United States is consulting with its NATO allies on a response to the Soviet proposals. Some West Europeans have expressed concern that removal of both types of missiles would leave them vulnerable to Soviet superiority in conventional forces.