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U.S. Sees Progress, Soviets Claim Standstill as Arms Talks Recess

November 13, 1986|Associated Press

GENEVA — The superpower arms talks entered a two-month recess Wednesday with the United States lauding the latest round as productive but the Soviet Union declaring that negotiations are at a standstill.

The talks, which began nearly two years ago in this Swiss city, will resume Jan. 15. The chief U.S. negotiator, Max M. Kampelman, said that experts from the two sides will meet in December, but he refused to elaborate.

In a statement to the official Soviet news agency Tass, chief Soviet negotiator Viktor P. Karpov repeated Soviet charges that the United States is not following up on agreements in principle reached by Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev and President Reagan at their Oct. 11-12 meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland.

"Conversely, everything was done to cancel what had been reached in Reykjavik," he said in the statement, which was published in Moscow.

The Soviets claim that Reagan agreed at Reykjavik to abolish all strategic nuclear weapons in 10 years and is backtracking from that agreement. Reagan says this was discussed but that he agreed only on eliminating ballistic missiles.

Karpov said the U.S. side must "display readiness to take practical measures to work out an agreement on eliminating all the strategic offensive armaments within 10 years" if it is serious about arms control. He said talks are "at a standstill."

In a separate commentary, Tass said, "One cannot regard as results the endless paper work and estimates on levels and sublevels, limits and sublimits with which the American experts have been inundating their partners and their superiors alike."

'Useful and Productive'

Kampelman, speaking at a news conference after Wednesday's meeting, said, "This has been a useful and productive round, our most productive to date."

But he said in response to a question, "We had hoped for more progress. . . . We're disappointed that we do not have full agreement."

He said the U.S. side is "determined to continue our search" for an accord.

Asked to explain the discrepancy between his statement and Karpov's, Kampelman said the Soviets "have a stake in communicating the negative" aspects of relationships.

He said that by doing so, the Soviets hope to influence public opinion in the United States and allied nations and thereby put pressure on the U.S. government to make concessions at the talks.

"I cannot permit that to influence my own evaluation of what's happening," he said.

Kampelman said the two sides agreed on the following:

--That arsenals of intercontinental missiles and bombers should be halved within five years, leaving each side with no more than 6,000 warheads and 1,600 delivery vehicles. The remaining problem is whether to impose sublimits on the various types of delivery vehicles. The U.S. side has proposed such limits, while the Soviets have rejected the idea, he said.

--That medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe should be eliminated and that each country could retain 100 warheads on its own soil, with the Soviet arsenal in Asia. The Soviets also agreed that British and French national nuclear forces need not be included in the negotiations--an earlier sticking point.

--That a medium-range missile agreement also should contain constraints on shorter-range missiles and provide for further negotiations on that subject.

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