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Media Say U.S. Wants to Nullify Geneva Gains

March 11, 1986

MOSCOW (AP) _ Government-run media on Monday escalated their criticism of a U.S. order to reduce the Soviet staff at the United Nations, accusing Washington of trying to nullify the effects of the Geneva summit.

The Novosti press agency said Friday’s directive ordering the Soviets to cut their U.N. staff from 275 to 170 over the next two years is a ″new flash of anti-Sovietism″ following last November’s superpower summit.

Novosti, the No. 2 Soviet news agency, also said the order was intended to let the administration of President Reagan ″demonstrate its toughness″ prior to congressional elections this fall.

″The attempts to direct the developments into such a channel betray a desire of certain quarters, in the U.S. at least, to turn the summit into a mere formality,″ Novosti’s Alexander Malyshkin wrote in a commentary entitled ″Who is putting the clock back?″

Novosti also suggested the order was intended to draw attention away from Washington’s refusal to join the Soviets’ nuclear test ban and from a lack of progress at the Geneva arms control talks.

The main news agency, Tass, said, ″This provocative ploy is backed by those who are trying in every way ... to prevent a thaw in the international situation as a whole and especially the normalization of Soviet-American relations, the signs of which became obvious after the Geneva summit.″

Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev agreed at the Geneva summit to hold a second meeting in Washington this year, but no date has been set. The Soviets have said they first want progress at the arms talks.

The U.S. order said the Soviet staffing level at the United Nations is unreasonably high and that personnel were engaged in espionage.

Tass countered the charges Saturday with commentaries accusing the United States of launching a hostile action against the Kremlin and of spying on diplomats assigned to the United Nations.

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