A top Soviet official has accused the United States and its NATO allies of doing practically nothing to respond to Soviet disarmament proposals.
A top Soviet official has accused the United States and its NATO allies of doing practically nothing to respond to Soviet disarmament proposals. Boris Ponomaryov, a candidate member of the Communist Party Politburo has also warned a group of twelve top-ranking United States Senators visiting Moscow that Washington should not delay ratification of a new Strategic Arms Limitation accord (SALT 2).
The warnings were made on Wednesday (15 November). The senators are returning the visit of a Soviet parliamentary delegation headed by Mr. Ponomaryov to the United States earlier this year. The two delegations will discuss SALT-2, disarmament, trade, and technical and cultural exchanges, in the course of their talks.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Boris Ponomaryov, heading the Soviet delegation greeted the leader of the United States delegation, Senator Abraham Ribicoff, at the Kremlin in Moscow. Senator Ribicoff said one of the main objectives of his group was to explain the problems involved in getting a two-thirds majority of the one-hundred member Senate to ratify a new Strategic Arms Pact.
Mr. Penomaryov greeted each member of the United States delegation before the talks began. Reuters quoted western observers as saying they believe the Soviet leadership may have misunderstood the Senate's workings in the past and underestimated its influence. However, Mr. Ponomaryov told the Senators that the Soviets were perfectly aware that the SALT-2 treaty is an object of serious internal political wrangling in the United States.
The talks were described as frank and forthright, with the Soviets accusing the Carter administration of putting forward proposals which would give the United States advantages in the SALT-2 treaty, but Mr. Ponomaryov also said that relations between the two countries had improved after an acute period of tension earlier this year.