The latest round of U.S.-Soviet talks on a new long-term grain agreement ended abruptly in London Friday without an accord, but the American side said a deal was still possible.
The previous five-year pact expired Sept. 30, and, just before Thursday’s opening meeting, the Soviet side proposed a new one-year agreement. But the U.S., anxious to offer farmers a guarantee of long-term sales, held out for a five-year pact.
The Reagan Administration had hoped to wrap up such a deal in time to give a boost to Republican presidential candidate George Bush before the Nov. 8 election.
The talks have dragged on for seven months, with sessions in Washington, London and twice in Vienna prior to this latest round between the world’s biggest importer and exporter of grain.
In a short statement to reporters after the one-hour meeting Friday, chief U.S. delegate Alan Holmer said each side had presented new proposals and would now report back to their respective governments.
“The United States continues to seek a new, five-year, long-term arrangement which provides stability in grain trade between both countries,” he said.
Chief Soviet negotiator Yuri Chumakov said both sides had made new proposals, but he added that they seemed to be unacceptable, “so we have decided to report back to our governments.”