The U.S. and Soviet negotiators who will square off in Geneva on Tuesday are remarkable for their dissimilarities.
On the Soviet side, the three sets of simultaneous talks--on long-range nuclear weapons, intermediate-range missiles and space weapons, including "Star Wars"--will be headed by three highly experienced negotiators. Of the three chief negotiators dispatched by President Reagan, however, only one has experience in arms control diplomacy. In fact, the three U.S. negotiators have little in common except a skepticism about Communist objectives in the world and a reputation for tough bargaining.
Each side has designated one of its three chief negotiators to be the overall chairman of its Geneva delegation. For the United States, the delegation chairman will be Max M. Kampelman, the leader of the working group on space and defensive weapons. For the Soviet Union, the ringmaster will be Victor P. Karpov, the chief negotiator on long-range nuclear weapons.
Here are sketches of the six top negotiators:
LONG-RANGE NUCLEAR WEAPONS United States:
John Tower, 59, retired this year after 24 years in the Senate, where he served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. A conservative Republican from Texas, he was known as an outspoken anti-Communist and supporter of the Defense Department.
A political science teacher at a small Texas college before his election to the Senate, Tower is short in stature and dapper in appearance. Critics say that he can strut even when seated. He has never been in the forefront of arms control advocates, although he has said he believes a carefully drafted treaty could enhance U.S. security.
Victor P. Karpov, 56, is Moscow's most experienced arms control negotiator. He played a major role in the first Soviet-American strategic arms limitation talks, which ended with the SALT I agreement in 1972, and led the Soviet delegation to the talks that produced the SALT II accord in 1979. In 1982 and 1983, he headed the Soviet team in negotiations on strategic weapons in Geneva until it ended with a Soviet walkout.
A career diplomat, he is a graduate of the prestigious Institute for International Relations in Moscow and also has a law degree.
Maynard W. Glitman, 51, is the only chief U.S. negotiator with experience in earlier rounds of arms talks. A career diplomat known to his friends as Mike, he worked as deputy to Paul H. Nitze in the earlier phase of intermediate-range weapons negotiations, which ended when the Soviets walked out in November, 1983, to protest deployment of U.S. Pershing 2 and cruise missiles in Europe.
Nitze, who chose to remain in Washington as arms control adviser to the President and Secretary of State George P. Shultz, reportedly advised that Glitman be named his successor.
Alexei A. Obukhov, 47, was first deputy to Karpov in the negotiations on long-range weapons that the Soviets broke off in 1983. He was an interpreter and adviser at the SALT I talks and also took part in the SALT II negotiations. Along with Karpov, Obukhov was in the Soviet delegation at the January meeting at which which Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko and Shultz paved the way for the new negotiations.
A graduate of the Institute for International Relations, Obukhov studied at the University of Chicago in the early 1960s. In the Foreign Ministry, which he joined in 1965, he was a relatively young deputy head of the American desk as an arms control specialist.
SPACE & DEFENSIVE WEAPONS United States:
Max M. Kampelman, 64, a Washington lawyer and lifelong Democrat, impressed Reagan with his no-nonsense approach toward the Soviets when he negotiated the East-West agreement that concluded the European Security Conference in Madrid in 1983. He was picked by former President Jimmy Carter to head the U.S. delegation and was retained in that post by Reagan, one of the very few Carter appointees to survive the change in administrations. By all accounts, the negotiating sessions at Madrid increased his distrust of Soviet intentions.
Kampelman, probably the key U.S. negotiator, is a former aide to the late Sen. Hubert H. Humphrey (D-Minn.). In recent years, he has been at the forefront of efforts to rally Democrats to support a strong defense.
Yuli A. Kvitsinsky, 48, headed the Soviet delegation to the negotiations on intermediate-range weapons that were aborted in 1983. He and Nitze, during their celebrated "walk in the woods," developed a settlement formula that was later rejected by both of their governments, and it was Kvitsinsky who eventually gave the word for the Soviet walkout.
Some Western diplomats have speculated that his "walks in the woods" got him in trouble with his superiors, but his appointment to head the delegation to the negotiations on space and defensive weapons suggests that he retains the Kremlin's confidence.
Originally a specialist in German affairs, he was assigned to the Soviet Embassy in East Germany from 1959 to 1965 and served, from 1978 to 1981, in the Soviet Embassy in Bonn. Kvitsinsky is a graduate of the Institute of International Relations.