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Soviets Admit Radar Station Violated Pact

October 23, 1989|From Reuters

MOSCOW — The Soviet Union acknowledged today that a radar station in Siberia violated a 1972 superpower arms treaty and that the leadership had known this for some time.

Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze told the Soviet Parliament that the Kremlin had breached its own demands for strict adherence to the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

The admission about the radar station at Krasnoyarsk, he said, was proof that the main plank of foreign policy was "not to conceal, (but) to acknowledge and to correct mistakes."

"All these years we have been fighting for preservation of the ABM treaty as a basis for strategic stability," he said in an overview of foreign policy achievements.

"Yet at the same time, the construction of this station equal in size to the Egyptian Pyramids constituted an open violation of ABM."

The United States had argued that some of the systems at Krasnoyarsk violated the treaty and had demanded that it be dismantled before a treaty on strategic weapons could be concluded.

The Soviet Union halted construction in October, 1988, and initially offered to turn the station into a space research center before agreeing to dismantle its disputed sections.

American and Soviet officials held several rounds of talks on the installations until late last year, when the State Department announced that Moscow had agreed to destroy those systems Washington had considered violated the accord.

Shevardnadze said the Soviet leadership had taken four years to "sort out matters with this station."

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