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Soviet, U.S. Students Discuss Nuclear Arms In Television Link-up

March 5, 1988

BOSTON (AP) _ A group of 350 Tufts University scientists and students talked Saturday by a television hookup with Soviet counterparts eight time zones away and agreed that progress is being made to reverse the arms race.

″I think there’s not a single person here who thinks he will be able to survive a nuclear bomb,″ said Alexei Milayev, a Soviet physics student. ″We are gathered here in the final analysis to think about what must be done to prevent a nuclear war.″

In a classroom decorated with banners reading ″Boctoh″ and ″Mockba,″ as the two participating cities are written in Russian letters, about 200 Soviet undergraduates at Moscow State University waved at and talked with the Tufts group via satellite.

The candid ″space bridge″ forum was the first of three planned on the nuclear arms race and Cold War politics featuring 10 panelists and students on the opposite side of the Earth.

Heather Macon, 20, a Tufts sophomore from Colorado Springs, Colo., asked the Soviet panel whether U.S. secrecy about construction of the atomic bomb during World War II was due to fear of the Soviet Union, an ally of the United States during the war, or Nazi Germany.

She didn’t get a straight answer, but Andrey Kokoshin, deputy director of the Institute for U.S.A. and Canada, said the superpowers are moving past Cold War tensions to begin ″to clear off layers of mutual fears.″

″It seems to me what we are doing now in a first step to disarmament should create a new basis, a new faith to increase trust in each other,″ Kokoshin said.

As American heads nodded, one Soviet student asserted that political distrust was the principle factor in concealing the development of the atomic bomb from the Soviet Union.

A Soviet woman asked whether scientists from the two countries should work together today.

″The two societies were psychologically unprepared for such an agreement (during World War II),″ said Mikhail Anisimov, a Soviet physicist visiting the United States. ″Perhaps the world has come to such a deadline when such an agreement is possible.″

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