GENEVA — U.S. and Soviet arms delegations had only "administrative contact" Wednesday--the day of Soviet President Konstantin U. Chernenko's funeral--as each side prepared strategy for today's first working session of the new arms control talks.
The talks formally began Tuesday with a get-acquainted session between delegation leaders at the Soviet diplomatic mission.
Today's session, at the Geneva offices of the American Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, will include the three chief negotiators on each side who will start bargaining for reductions of long-range missiles, intermediate-range nuclear missiles, and space and defensive arms.
Officials said the only contacts between the two delegations Wednesday were on a staff level to nail down logistics.
American spokesman Joseph F. Lehman said U.S. negotiators Max M. Kampelman, Maynard W. Glitman and John Tower spent the day preparing for today's meeting, briefing members of Congress and consulting Washington.
Lehman said it was likely that Kampelman and Soviet delegation chief Viktor P. Karpov would present opening statements at today's meeting, but he did not indicate what such an American statement might say. Under rules set up Tuesday, the two sides will maintain "confidentiality" on the substance of the talks.