U.S. Sabotaging Weapons Pact, Gorbachev Tells Poles
Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev today accused the United States of sabotaging arms control efforts by ignoring Soviet reduction proposals.
“What is worse, Washington unblocks the last brakes which still halted the arms race--the SALT II treaty and other Soviet-American agreements,” Gorbachev told the Polish Communist Party Congress.
“American politicians generously spread declarations full of nice words about striving for peace and disarmament while they act in an absolutely different way,” the Kremlin leader told Polish delegates.
“They try to justify sabotaging this highly important issue by inventions about violations by us of particular points in the agreements,” he said.
In Washington, meanwhile, officials said the Reagan Administration was weighing an informal Soviet compromise offer on medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe. (Story, Page 5.)
Gorbachev told the delegates in Warsaw that in the last six months, the Soviet Union has proposed imposing a nuclear weapons test ban, reducing nuclear arms and limiting troop levels in Europe.
“It would seem to be enough,” he said. “Unfortunately, the problem of disarmament has not moved an inch because of the clear obstruction on the part of the American administration.”
The United States has justified its position on the strategic arms limitation treaty by saying the Soviet Union has repeatedly violated its terms, rendering it meaningless.
In an apparent reference to a proposed second superpower summit, Gorbachev said: “One cannot allow negotiations to become transformed into a smoke screen masking the arms race. In such cheating of the world community, we are not partners for Washington.”
The Soviet leader warmly praised Polish leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, saying he defended socialism in Poland during the turbulent early 1980s, when he imposed martial law to crush the Solidarity free trade union movement.
Gorbachev received a standing ovation when he referred to--but did not apologize for--the “misfortune” in Poland caused by radioactivity from the April 26 accident at the Soviet nuclear reactor at Chernobyl.
“I want to thank you, comrades, for the solidarity you showed in connection with this misfortune which affected us,” he said. “We know this misfortune affected you, too. That is why still more precious to us is your support.”
After the radioactive cloud passed over Poland, its fruit and vegetable products were temporarily banned for export to Western nations.