Soviets Deny Agreement on Europe Missiles
A government spokesman today denied Western news reports that the superpowers have ironed out differences on the elimination of medium-range missiles from Europe.
Until agreement in principle is reached, there will be no reason for Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze to go to Washington, ministry spokesman Boris D. Pyadyshev told journalists at a regular news briefing.
Pyadyshev also disclosed that U.S. Ambassador Jack Matlock met with Shevardnadze on Tuesday and delivered a letter from President Reagan to Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev. He declined to discuss its contents.
Soviet and U.S. negotiators at the Geneva arms talks reportedly have been near agreement for months on eliminating medium-range missiles from Europe.
Talks Bogged Down
But the talks have bogged down recently, and U.S. officials disclosed last week that Shevardnadze was expected in Washington in mid-July for talks with Secretary of State George P. Shultz to spur the arms control process.
Pyadyshev repeatedly denied reports by Western news agencies which, quoting unidentified U.S. sources, said Soviet Col. Gen. Nikolai Chervov had proposed a compromise two weeks ago in Geneva to U.S. negotiator Maynard Glitman.
According to the reports, the Soviets would agree to dismantle their 462 missiles in Europe with a range of 315 to 3,125 miles, and 221 additional missiles in their Asian territory.
2 Basic Restraints
In return, the United States would remove its 316 missiles from Europe, agree not to deploy shorter-range rockets and accept two basic restraints: that the 208 ground-launched cruise missiles and the 108 Pershing 2 rockets could not be modified into shorter-range Pershing 1B weapons.