Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze unveiled today what he described as a plan for “Star Peace” that would save the world from the Reagan Administration’s “sinister plans of Star Wars.”
In an address to the 40th U.N. General Assembly, Shevardnadze said the Star Wars program, known officially as the Strategic Defense Initiative, is the main stumbling block to a new U.S.-Soviet arms control agreement. He said it threatens to make the global arms race “uncontrollable and irreversible.”
Shevardnadze said Moscow has offered “far-reaching proposals” at the Geneva talks to which the United States has not responded. Secretary of State George P. Shultz made an identical claim for the U.S. position at Geneva in his address to the United Nations on Monday.
Shevardnadze accused the Administration of seeking to achieve nuclear superiority over Moscow through the development of a secure defensive shield against nuclear attack.
But he said the Soviet Union “will not permit military superiority over itself.”
“The state and party leadership of the Soviet Union has instructed me to reaffirm this once again from the high rostrum of the United Nations,” said Shevardnadze, making his first address at the United Nations since being named to succeed Andrei A. Gromyko as foreign minister earlier this year.
Shevardnadze offered only a brief outline of his so-called “Star Peace” plan, a title obviously picked to portray Star Wars in the worst possible light.
He said the Soviet plan envisions “broad international cooperation in the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes” under the supervision of “a world space organization.”
At the same time, he said, “all channels for militarizing the boundless reaches of outer space (would be) closed off.”
Shultz, who will meet with Shevardnadze here Wednesday, was in the audience and occasionally took notes as the Soviet minister spoke. Shevardnadze did not attend Monday’s U.N. session at which Shultz spoke.
Just as Shultz had declared the United States was making realistic proposals for a new arms control agreement at Geneva, Shevardnadze made a similar claim for the Soviet Union.
He said the United States and some of its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies are entirely to blame that “the threat of nuclear war continues to hang over the world.”
As did Shultz, Shevardnadze voiced hope for a successful summit meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev in Geneva Nov. 19-20.
But where the U.S. Administration has said it wants the summit to focus on a broad range of problems, Shevardnadze said the focus should be on arms control.