EAST BERLIN — The Soviet Union has begun dismantling part of its intermediate-range nuclear arsenal in East Germany, the state-run news agency ADN reported Tuesday.
The step makes "an important contribution toward disarmament even before" a U.S.-Soviet treaty to eliminate the medium-range missiles is ratified, the agency said.
According to the report, rockets stationed near Neubrandenburg, north of East Berlin, have been dismantled, crated and are ready for transport by rail back to the Soviet Union. ADN did not say how many had been dismantled or when they would leave East Germany. East German television showed soldiers loading missile crates onto transport vehicles.
The treaty to eliminate missiles with a range from 300 to 3,400 miles was signed in Washington in December by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, but the U.S. Senate has yet to ratify it.
According to figures released after the superpower agreement was signed, there are 54 SS-12s at four sites in East Germany. Of that number, 22 rockets, 12 launchers, 9 transport vehicles and 7 practice missiles were stationed at the Neubrandenburg site--the largest deployment in East Germany.