Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko warned the United States Senate on Monday (25 June) that Moscow would not renegotiate the SALT II (two Treaty if they rejected it.
SCU: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko speaking in Russian at press conference
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Background: Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko warned the United States Senate on Monday (25 June) that Moscow would not renegotiate the SALT II (two Treaty if they rejected it. Speaking at a rare conference in Moscow, Mr. Gromyko said that a collapse of the accord could lead to a bad situation. The accord for SALT II was signed in Vienna on June eighteenth by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and U.S. President Jimmy Carter. However the treaty requires the vote of two-thirds of U.S. senators for its ratification.
SYNOPSIS: The statement by the sixty-nine-year-old Foreign Minister was the most forthright yet to come from a top Soviet official. Speaking in a government guest house in the south of Moscow, Mr. Gromyko appealed to the senators to take an "honest, just and objective position" in debate on the treaty.
He pointed out that the accord did not bring unilateral advantages to either side, and was needed equally by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. He stressed that if the treaty was not ratified there would be no curbing of the arms race, provided for in the treaty, and that without the curbing and limitation, bridges to a possible SALT III (three) would be destroyed. Negotiations on a third treaty were to begin once the SALT II accord, signed in Vienna, went into force.
Mr. Gromyko declined to give an overall assessment of the Vienna summit. But he said that the three-day Brezhnev-Carter talks were probably the most exhaustive exchanges between the two superpowers on bilateral and world questions that had ever taken place.