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No Certainty on Summit, Gorbachev Says

September 09, 1986|WILLIAM J. EATON | Times Staff Writer

MOSCOW — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said Monday that there is no guarantee he will meet President Reagan at a superpower summit this year and declared that Washington and Moscow have not moved an inch closer to agreement on arms reduction since their meeting in Geneva last November.

Gorbachev said he favors a second meeting with President Reagan but only if it can make headway on resolving at least one or two major international security issues.

"There is no sense in having a meeting for the sake of nothing," Gorbachev said in written answers to questions from Rude Pravo, the newspaper of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.

Gorbachev made no mention of the arrest of Nicholas Daniloff, the American reporter who has been imprisoned in Moscow on charges of spying since Aug. 30. Reagan has personally assured Gorbachev of Daniloff's innocence and asked for his release. On Monday, Reagan publicly warned the Soviet Union that Daniloff's prosecution could affect U.S.-Soviet relations. But the Soviet authorities appear to be going ahead with plans to put him on trial.

White House spokesman Larry Speakes said that despite the Daniloff case, the Administration is proceeding with summit planning "without a change in schedule."

He told reporters aboard Air Force One as Reagan returned to Washington from a three-week trip to California and a stop in Denver that "the summit can be productive if the Soviets want it to be productive."

"We've entered into an extensive series of discussions with the Soviets to bring movement toward agreement, not only on arms control but also regional and bilateral issues," he said. "If the Soviets want a successful summit, it's up to them. We have serious proposals on the table."

Gorbachev assailed the United States for refusing to join Moscow in a moratorium of nuclear testing. He said: "A summit meeting would hardly be of any use in the atmosphere of a feverish arms race, of the spiraling of tension, in an atmosphere where the existing (arms control) treaties are abandoned."

It would be optimistic, he said, "to create the impression that everything is almost ready for a meeting."

'Feigned Optimism' in Letter

Referring to an exchange of letters with Reagan on arms control positions and preparations for the summit, he said, "I do not want to reveal its contents, but I must say something about the conjectures. They are marked by feigned optimism and smack of a promotion drive."

Gorbachev, who is on vacation, forwarded his responses to the newspaper's questions through an aide, Yegor K. Ligachev. They were read on the main evening television news program here and carried by Tass, the official Soviet news agency.

Further on the question of meeting with Reagan, he said the scheduled Sept. 19-20 meeting of Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze will decide whether there is any reason for him to meet directly with Reagan.

On disarmament, he said there are growing possibilities for rational compromise, then added: "But as yet there is no turn for the better." This suggested that the Kremlin still insists on some kind of accord on arms control before Gorbachev will meet Reagan again.

"Since the Geneva meeting," Gorbachev said, "we have not moved one inch closer to an arms reduction agreement, despite all the efforts made by the Soviet Union."

He said the U.S. response to his peace initiatives were the recent spate of exercises by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization; Washington's determination to press ahead with its space defense program, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and Reagan's announcement that he will abandon the second strategic arms limitation treaty treaty later this year.

Nevertheless, other Soviet officials have said that plans for a summit meeting, in late November or early December, will go forward barring some unexpected hitch.

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