"The date is set based on the assumption that agreements on the settlement would be signed no later than March 15, 1988," Gorbachev added, "and that, accordingly, they would all enter into force simultaneously two months after that. If the agreements are signed before March 15, the withdrawal of troops will, accordingly, begin earlier.
"Recently, another question has been raised, whether the phasing of Soviet troop withdrawal could be arranged in such a way as to withdraw, during the first phase, a relatively greater portion of the Soviet contingent," he said. "Well, that too can be done. The Afghan leadership and we agree to it."