Gorbachev To Deliver Arms Control Speech, CBS News Reports
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev will deliver a speech on arms control next weekend in which he is expected to suggest new ideas aimed at reaching an agreement with the United States, CBS News reported Saturday.
The network, quoting unidentified Reagan administration sources, said Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Yuli Vorontsov, Moscow’s chief negotiator at the arms talks in Geneva, recently told U.S. negotiator Max M. Kampelman of Gorbachev’s planned address.
Administration officials have been led to believe the speech will contain ″new ideas aimed at achieving a major arms control agreement,″ the network said.
Gorbachev has decided he must push ahead and try to conclude an agreement with the administration, said the network, quoting knowledgeable U.S. sources.
Although the key sticking point is the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative, commonly known as Star Wars, Gorbachev may bend on the issue of testing in exchange for a guarantee from the United States that it will adhere to Moscow’s interpretation of the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty for 10 years, the network said. Such an agreement, in effect, would block Star Wars deployment for a decade.
State Department spokeswoman Laura Jehl said the department had no comment on the report.
The impasse over a U.S. anti-missile defense, which President Reagan has accused the Soviets of trying to cripple, has blocked agreements to reduce offensive nuclear arsenals.
Reagan and Gorbachev agreed in principle at the summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October to cut strategic nuclear forces in half. However, their talks ended in disagreement over Soviet efforts to link any arms cuts to the curtailment of the Star Wars program.