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'No Road Back' on Arms Talks, Gorbachev Says

November 08, 1986|WILLIAM J. EATON | Times Staff Writer

MOSCOW — Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said Friday after the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the Bolsheviks' seizure of power in 1917 that there is "no road back" from the new arms control dialogue taken up at the superpower summit conference last month in Iceland.

"The fear of war should recede from life forever, and the madness of militarism should be driven away," Gorbachev said, according to Tass, the Soviet news agency. In the future, he went on, a new political mentality must be adopted, with nations respecting each other's decisions.

Gorbachev spoke to a gathering of dignitaries after the parade through Red Square. It was his first public statement since the Vienna meeting of Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze and Secretary of State George P. Shultz, which broke up Thursday without any progress toward agreement on arms control.

Defense Minister Sergei L. Sokolov, 75, was not present for the annual display of troops and military hardware. Western diplomats said none of the 16 types of equipment on parade differed from those displayed last year.

'He was Ill'

On the NBC "Today" program, Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady I. Gerasimov was asked about Sokolov's absence. He replied: "Well, I presumed he couldn't make it. That's it. He was ill. It's my presumption."

Sokolov has been a candidate, or non-voting, member of the ruling Politburo for the last two years, and has not been seen in public for almost two months. There has been no official explanation for his absence.

His place at the parade was taken by Gen. Pyotr G. Lushev, 63, one of three first deputy ministers of defense, who is considered most likely to be Sokolov's successor if the post goes to another military man.

Lushev is described as minister without portfolio, while the other two deputy ministers are Chief of Staff Sergei F. Akhromeyev and the Warsaw Pact commander, Viktor G. Kulikov.

Units of the Soviet army, navy, air force and marines marched by the assembled members of the Politburo and other leaders of the Communist Party on the biggest holiday of the year in the Soviet Union.

A Variety of Missiles

Tanks and self-propelled artillery rumbled through the square, along with a variety of missiles. The military procession was followed by tens of thousands of Soviet citizens who filed past the mausoleum of V.I. Lenin, father of the Bolshevik revolution.

U.S. Ambassador Arthur A. Hartman and other Western ambassadors boycotted the parade as they have every year since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December, 1979.

While Gorbachev's wife, Raisa, could not be seen, his daughter, Irina, and granddaughter, Oxanna, were standing beside the Lenin mausoleum from which Gorbachev and other top Soviet leaders viewed the parade.

Lushev, after reviewing the troops, delivered a speech accusing the United States of blocking progress on arms control. The Soviet Union, he said, will not allow the United States to achieve military superiority.

"Only the absence of readiness on the part of the American Administration to have an agreement prevented the first steps of a real process to halt the arms race and reduce the danger of nuclear war," Lushev said.

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