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U.S. Aide Raps Soviets for 'Star Wars' Focus

April 02, 1985|Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — The Geneva arms control talks aren't going anywhere as long as Moscow continues to focus on the U.S. "Star Wars" project, Edward L. Rowny, special adviser to the President on arms control matters, said today.

Rowny said Moscow is avoiding discussing curbs on offensive nuclear arms, which he said is the main object of the talks that opened March 12. Rowny's remarks were the most explicit statement by a senior Administration official yet that the talks have so far been disappointing.

"If there is to be progress toward reducing nuclear arms, Moscow's attitudes must change," Rowny said in a speech to the St. Louis Committee on Foreign Relations.

Aides said the speech had been cleared by the White House.

Rowny said the Soviets will have to "bear the onus of world public opinion" if the talks fail.

He suggested that the "Star Wars" proposal is so tentative, and so far off in time, that it shouldn't be a significant factor in current talks.

"Reducing the threat of nuclear war now by an agreement on reducing today's offensive arms is far more important than discussing what might happen a decade or two hence if strategic defenses prove feasible," Rowny said.

He said Moscow also is engaging in defensive systems research, adding: "What the Soviets seem bent on doing is continuing their own research while trying to stop ours."

Rowny, who was the chief U.S. negotiator at the last round of strategic arms reduction talks that Moscow broke off in late 1983, said that the United States has made "several attractive proposals" for curbs on offensive weapons.

He also said U.S. negotiators are prepared to negotiate "more flexibly" on their proposals than they have in the past.

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