WASHINGTON — The Soviet Union is expected to break its self-imposed isolation from Western satelite technology by signing an unprecedented information-exchange agreement with Intelsat, with a commitment to join the international satellite consortium within two years, according to sources involved in the negotiations.
Soviet agreement to do this would be a tacit admission that the Soviet Union's East Bloc competitor to Intelsat--Intersputnik--does not meet all of its telecommunications needs.
The sources said the proposed agreement with the Soviets was sent to Moscow last week by Intelsat, the global consortium that provides telephone, telex and television transmission to most of the world. It is awaiting the signature of V.A. Shamshin, minister of posts and telecommunications of the Soviet Union.
Intelsat, the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization, is an international satellite services monopoly controlled by its 109 member nations.
Although the 21-year-old system was created by the United States, which is the biggest single user, the United States has no legal means to prevent Intelsat from sharing technology with, or granting admission to, the Soviets.