MOSCOW — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev today accused the United States of using the arms talks in Geneva as a "screen" to cover up plans for a military buildup.
The statement, carried in the form of a letter to a West German peace group, also warned that the Soviet people believe the deployment of new nuclear-armed U.S. missiles in Europe means West Germany is again presenting a threat.
"The Soviet-American talks which have begun in Geneva have given rise to many hopes," said Gorbachev's letter, carried by the official Tass press agency. "It must be noted, however, that things accompanying the beginning of the talks cannot but put one on guard.
"Already now, with the talks started, one gets the impression from statements by high-ranking representatives of the U.S.A. that they need talks as a screen for carrying through their military programs," he said.
The new Soviet leader criticized Tuesday's House vote approving funding for another 21 MX intercontinental-range missiles.
Gorbachev also condemned President Reagan's "Star Wars" anti-missile program. Moscow says the project aims to build a shield to protect America while attacking the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union previously criticized the U.S. position that "Star Wars" is open to discussion in the Geneva talks but will not be halted.
"The people of our two countries can do much to remove the threat of world war," Gorbachev wrote to the Peace Council of the West German city of Heilbronn.
"But this threat will grow, and not diminish, if the deployment of American first-strike nuclear missile systems is continued, in the first place, in the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany," he said.
Although he said that Soviet celebrations of the 40th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany would not be "anti-German," he warned that "Soviet people see with concern that a war danger for them is coming again from German soil."