U.S., Soviet Officials Extend Military Exchange Program With AM-US-Soviet, Bjt
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ The United States and the Soviet Union have agreed to extend a military exchange program to help eliminate the ″atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust″ between the two countries, a Soviet official said Thursday.
Gen. Mikhail Moiseyev, Soviet first deputy minister of defense, and his American counterpart, Gen. Colin Powell, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, announced the agreement, signed earlier this week.
It extends a program of goodwill exchanges between the two superpowers until 1992. The previous agreement, which included visits by U.S. and Soviet navy ships to Vladivostok and San Diego, respectively, expires this year.
″The plan include a wide range of military exchanges,″ said Moiseyev, speaking through an interpreter. ″I do hope that the result of that mutual exchange program will give us the possibility to get to know each other much better. And of course we do plan to carry on the military exchanges which will be instrumental in eliminating the atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust.″
Powell said improved relations between the former Cold War rivals had already opened new avenues of trust.
″Obviously we both protect that information which we believe is classified (and) is essential to our national security,″ Powell said. ″What is impressive is the degree of openness that now exists where we can share information with each other that a year or two ago we never would have thought of sharing.″
The two generals made their remarks following a tour of two U.S. Navy vessels, including a nuclear-powered attack class submarine, at the North Island Naval Air Station in San Diego.
Moiseyev, who is on a five-day tour of the United States, is expected to travel to Washington on Friday with Powell to hold a joint news conference.
The Soviet general said he was pleased with the welcome he had received at American military bases.
″I was especially deeply impressed by the degree of openness, by the degree of unlimited and open desire to tell us, the members of the military delegation, about their military hardware,″ Moiseyev said of his American hosts.