Soviet Official Casts Doubt on 1986 Summit
A senior Soviet official declared here Friday that he doubts that a summit between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev will take place as planned this year unless the United States changes its arms control policies.
Valentin M. Falin, chief of the Novosti news agency, told a news conference that the Reagan Administration’s apparent decision to abandon the SALT II agreement would decrease the chances of second meeting between the two leaders.
In Washington, White House spokesman Edward P. Djerejian brushed off Falin’s assertion, according to the Reuters news agency.
“We do still proceed on the assumption . . . that there will be a summit in the United States in ’86 followed by a summit in Moscow,” Djerejian said.
Falin said that Moscow wants concrete results from a summit but that the Reagan Administration appeared not to be interested in any agreements.
The Novosti official, a former ambassador to Bonn, is attending a meeting of the International Physicians for the Prevention of a Nuclear War, an organization awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 1985.
As for a possible summit meeting this year, Falin said that the United States has not adhered to an agreement struck at last November’s Reagan-Gorbachev meeting in Geneva that both sides should not raise new difficulties in their relations. “The Americans are not looking for ways of bringing our positions closer together,” he said, “they are looking for things which will drive us apart.”
On the SALT II issue, he said the Soviets are not prepared to halt what the United States calls violations of the compact in order to satisfy the Americans.
“We have reached the limits of our possibilities,” he said. “There is no more room for one-sided concessions.”