U.S. and Soviet negotiators agreed late today to extend their current round of arms talks now that both sides have presented new proposals for eliminating medium-range nuclear missiles from Europe.
Delegates on Intermediate Nuclear Forces--the medium-range missiles--will continue their negotiations into next week and beyond, a U.S. spokesman said, rather than recess today until their eighth round, tentatively scheduled for April.
Other negotiating groups on strategic long-range nuclear weapons and on space defense systems will extend their talks until Friday.
8th Round Uncertain
All negotiating groups had been scheduled today to end the seventh round since talks began two years ago. The proposed April 23 date for the eighth round is now uncertain, the U.S. spokesman said, because of the latest exchange of proposals.
Earlier today, the United States presented the text of a complete draft treaty on eliminating medium-range missiles in Europe, conditional on strict verification and integral limits on shorter-range missiles.
The U.S. text was in response to Moscow's proposal Monday, which followed the Soviet decision to drop their efforts to link any agreement with the American space-based missile defense system known as "Star Wars."
Ambassador Maynard Glitman, the U.S. negotiator on intermediate weapons, presented the proposal to his Soviet counterpart, Lem Masterkov, at an afternoon meeting at the U.S. delegation building.
He echoed President Reagan's comments Tuesday that limits on shorter-range missiles must be part of any intermediate missile agreement, along with strict verification to ensure compliance.
"It is a very complete text . . . a full-treaty text," Glitman told reporters. "It is a pretty hefty document, a complete document" with "no ambiguity."
Glitman said that if Moscow wants to retain its shorter-range missiles, "we want an equal number."
The U.S. draft treaty, he said, is based on the Reykjavik summit agreement in principle last October to eliminate all medium-range missiles in Europe, with each side retaining only 100 warheads elsewhere on its territory.
"U.S. territory includes the state of Alaska," he said when asked about Soviet opposition to American medium-range warheads in that state.
But Washington is prepared to eliminate those remaining 100 warheads as well, Glitman said.
"We would be happy to have such an outcome if the other side wants to go further," he said.
Glitman said he could not estimate how long the extended medium-range missile negotiations will last. He said the United States would like an agreement "as quickly as possible . . . but we have to do a good job."