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Soviets Cool Pre-Summit Flap, Hand Over A-Data : U.S. Had Threatened to Hold Out

December 02, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Soviet Union has given the United States missile information required to close an arms control treaty, a high-ranking U.S. official said today, ending up a pre-summit flare-up as the two sides prepare to sign the accord.

The passing of the information to American representatives in Geneva today appeared to eliminate a snarl less than a week before the commencement of summit talks here between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.

Earlier today, U.S. officials had notified the Soviets that they would hand over missile information only after the Soviets provided data of their own.

Turned Over in Geneva

"We are ready, indeed eager, and we have been for some time to provide the remaining data as soon as the Soviets are ready," Charles E. Redman, the State Department spokesman, had said.

At mid-afternoon, a senior official, briefing reporters at the White House on grounds he not be identified, said "we did get" the needed missile data from the Soviets. "It was turned over today in Geneva, and it is being studied," the official said, adding that he hoped this solved the problem.

Asked to analyze what went wrong, the official said, "Look, it's obvious that we are in an end game" with the Soviets as the time for treaty-signing draws near.

Redman's earlier statement came on the heels of an angry Soviet blast from Geneva charging the United States with hampering completion of the treaty to ban intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

Data Indispensable

The statement by the Soviet negotiators warned that the U.S. data "is indispensable if work is to be completed" on the treaty. It is the summit centerpiece and is to be signed at the White House by Reagan and Gorbachev.

The Soviets said the data dealt with the locations of second stages of U.S. Pershing 2 missiles, which are to be outlawed under the treaty, and on the sites for dismantling banned rockets.

"Inaction on the U.S. side . . . is hampering the negotiations," the statement said.

State Department spokesman Redman said he had "no idea" what was behind the Soviet accusation.

"The U.S. has been prepared for some time now to provide the data as required by the treaty," Redman said. "In those data categories where the Soviets have provided their data we, of course, have done likewise."

Reports Balanced

But, the spokesman added: "Naturally, in those areas where they have not been ready to provide their data, we have not provided ours."

Redman sought at the same time to play down the controversy. He said at another point, "we'll have it."

The Soviet data relates to about 10% of the approximately 1,450 medium-range warheads the Soviets have in storage. Another 1,565 warheads are deployed on 683 missiles and will be withdrawn over three years.

The United States, meanwhile, is to dismantle 364 missiles with 364 warheads. About 430 others are in reserve.

Earlier, chief U.S. negotiator Max M. Kampelman also said "we understand we will get (the data) today." He said the Soviets promised the missile information three weeks ago.

'I don't look at it as a major problem." Kampelman said. In fact, he said, "there is no controversy."

At the same time, Kampelman accused the Soviet Union of technically violating the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty by moving radar installations without notifying the United States.

He said the new accusation "should bear no relationship to the summit."

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