In Helsinki, officials from the United States and the Soviet Union have been meeting for talks on ways of controlling the production of hunter-killer space vehicles capable of destroying or capturing satellites in orbit.
In Helsinki, officials from the United States and the Soviet Union have been meeting for talks on ways of controlling the production of hunter-killer space vehicles capable of destroying or capturing satellites in orbit. The meeting which began on Thursday (June 8) was proposed by the U.S. Secretary of State, Mr. Cyrus Vance, in April when he expressed concern that an arms race in space might be imminent.
SYNOPSIS: The first round of talks was held at the United States Embassy in the capital, Helsinki. Heading the Soviet delegation was Ambassador Oleg Hlestov while the American side was led by Mr. Paul Warnke, chief of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, which observers said indicates the importance Washington attaches to the talks.
Mr. Warnke said other countries could be brought into the discussions if they proved successful. Both sides stress the talks are exploratory at present. The two superpowers have been working for years on methods of destroying enemy satellites in a future war. American experts say the Soviet Union has developed a search-and-destroy vehicle which has successfully knocked out a target satellite in tests. The Soviets are believed to be ahead of the Americans in this branch of weaponry, but both sides have pledged not to put mass destruction weapons, like nuclear bombs, into space. A Swedish peace organisation has estimated the two countries have each spent about 30 billion dollars on military technology in space. An American embassy spokesman said the talks, expected to last a week, would probably not produce a final communique, although statements could be released from Moscow and Washington.