Soviet Arms Proposal Not Timed to Iran Affair, Shevardnadze Says

United Press International

Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze denied Saturday that the Soviet Union timed its latest arms proposals to take advantage of President Reagan's political difficulties over the sale of U.S. arms to Iran.

Shevardnadze, speaking at a news conference at the end of his four-day visit to Indonesia, said he does not think the Iran scandal made Reagan any more eager to reach agreement on reductions of medium-range nuclear missiles.

"There is no relation at all between an agreement on medium-range missiles and Irangate," he said.

Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev on March 1 proposed a separate agreement with the United States on removing medium-range missiles from Europe, dropping a previous insistence that such a treaty be linked to restrictions on the "Star Wars" defense system and cuts in strategic weapons.

The Soviet foreign minister said the recent arms proposals will be the focus of talks with Secretary of State George P. Shultz planned for mid-April in Moscow.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World