President Reagan, hinting at a superpower "moment of opportunity," said today the latest Soviet arms proposal, while flawed, could be a long-awaited turning point in arms talks with Moscow.
Reagan, calling on Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev to join him in taking "action for peace," said the Kremlin offer made in Geneva last week is a sign that the Soviets are serious about negotiating but he added that it will not be accepted without changes.
Reagan said the proposal to limit long-range weapons might lay the groundwork for more in-depth discussions to cut the nuclear arsenals of the superpowers.
Reagan made the major arms control address in remarks prepared for graduation ceremonies at Glassboro High School, across the street from the college where President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Premier Alexei N. Kosygin held a summit June 23-25, 1967.
Reagan said there have been "fresh developments" recently in dealings between the United States and the Soviet Union.
"The Soviets have made suggestions on a range of issues, from nuclear power plant safety to conventional force reductions in Europe," he said. "Perhaps the most important, the Soviet negotiators at Geneva have placed on the table new proposals to reduce nuclear weapons.
"We cannot accept these particular proposals without change, but it appears that the Soviets have begun to make a serious effort.