U.S. and Soviet negotiators held their third session of the arms control talks today but apparently were unable to agree on a timetable for tackling the separate issues of strategic, intermediate and space weapons.
The two sides met for 2 hours and 40 minutes at the Soviet Union's Geneva mission to the United Nations after a four-day recess.
Three senior negotiators for both nations attended the meeting: Max Kampelman, John Tower and Maynard Glitman for the United States and Viktor Karpov, Yuli Kvitsinsky and Alexei Obukhov for the Soviet Union.
In a bare-bones announcement after the session, the U.S. delegation said only that the two sides will meet again Thursday at the offices of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. It did not reveal what was discussed today.
Officials said the next meeting will be a plenary session and will include the three senior negotiators from each side, implying a continuing lack of agreement about when the talks should split into working groups to discuss the separate issues of space, strategic and intermediate-range weapons.
Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko, in setting up the talks Jan. 8, agreed that they should divide into three separate negotiations, but it has not been decided when that will happen.
The Soviet Union has said there can be no agreements on reductions in strategic and intermediate-range nuclear weapons until there is an agreement on space weapons--President Reagan's so-called "Star Wars" program.
Since the two sides met last Thursday, Karpov, the chief Soviet negotiator, went on Soviet television to accuse the United States of acting in bad faith on the space issue.
Karpov said U.S. officials are merely giving "lectures" about the supposed advantages of space weapons, rather than negotiating seriously for their elimination.