Full Citation

  • Title Berlin, A-Treaty, Missiles Are Key U. S.-Soviet Issues
  • Author Unna, Warren
  • Publication Title International Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Collection International Herald Tribune (European Edition)
  • Date Wednesday,  Jan. 22, 1969
  • Issue Number 26756
  • Page Number 2
  • Place of Publication Paris, France
  • Language English
  • Document Type Article
  • Publication Section News
  • Source Library The New York Times Company
News Analysis Berlin, A-Treaty, Missiles Are Key U.S.-Soviet Issues By Warren Unna WASHINGTON, Jan. 21 (WP).—1The Russians, in press¬ ing the Nixon administration to sit down for missile limitation talks, showed more eagerness today than the new U.S. govern¬ ment. But Soviet Embassy officials for the last few weeks have been indicating that the mis¬ sile talks, the nuclear non¬ proliferation treaty and West Germany’s determination to go ahead with its presidential elec¬ tion in West Berlin are the three matters by which they in¬ tend to take Mr. Nixon’s mea¬ sure regarding future Soviet- American relations. Both the new Secretary of State, William P. Rogers, and Mr. Nixon’s transitional liaison representative in foreign affairs. Robert D. Murphy, have been telling State Department and Disarmament Agency officials that the new president intended to pursue the missile talks. But time estimates have varied from the two to three months thought necessary to read up on the Johnson admin- istration’s lengthy preparatory papers to the six to nine months the new Defense Secre¬ tary, Melvin R. Laird, has said he would need to make sure tho United States would be dealing “from a position of strength.” The purpose of the nuclear missile talks is to reach Soviet- American agreement on limit¬ ing both offensive and defensive weapons, and particularly the development of an anti-missile missile system, which would be prohibitively expensive for both sides. Although both the Johnson administration and the Rus¬ sians had, for more than siw months, shown an interest in sitting down to find ways to do this, it didn’t happen. Invasion Intervenes The Russians, last summer and again yesterday, said they were ready and that it was up to the United States to name a time and place. The admin¬ istration was on the point of doing that when the Soviet troops invaded Czechoslovakia. After a decent period of mourning the Johnson admin¬ istration was a lame-duck one and it was apparent that the next move had to come from the new Nixon administration Secretary of State Rogers last week made an attempt to soften Defense Secretary Laird’s six- y to-nine-month wait and, accord¬ ing to some reports, Mr. Rogers wants to take advantage of the momentum toward a conference which already is under way. Mr. Nixon, on repeated occa¬ sions during last year’s cam¬ paign, indicated a go-slow ap¬ proach. “At this time, I do not believe that the United States can af¬ ford to accept the concept of parity with the Soviet Union,” he declared at one point. “Not only has the Soviet Union come near matching America’s nuclear striking power, it also has forged ahead, under the im¬ petus of the new technology, in the field of ballistic missile de¬ fense ... I believe that the credibility of our nuclear deter¬ rent and our hopes for détente with the Soviet Union are in¬ extricably linked together.” Berlin Toughest Issue If the renewed Soviet offer yesterday was not purely for propaganda purposes it would seem they are ready to dismiss Mr. Nixon’s campaign comments as necessary political oratory and now want to find out what he really means to do. Of the three issues, Berlin is the most imminent and possibly the most inflammable. For 20 years now, the Rus¬ sians have resisted West Ger¬ many’s claim to West Berlin as one of its states. Now they are hinting that it will be “serious” if the United States allows the West Germans to go ahead with assembling their electors in West Berlin for a federal presi¬ dential election there on March 5. The Johnson administration had made it clear that the loca¬ tion of the election was à mat¬ ter for the West Germans them¬ selves to decide, noting that the last three such elections also were held in West Berlin. The treaty is a worldwide agreement by nuclear nations not to furnish weaponry to the nuclear “have-nots.” It also involves a pledge by th: “have- nots” against accepting such weapons. Mr. Nixon, during the cam¬ paign, said he was not against the treaty as such. But he explained that any hasty U.S. ratification would “in effect say that the United States doesn’t care what the Soviet Union did to Czechoslovakia.” His subse¬ quent comments as president¬ elect were enough to discourage the extra votes needed for Senate ratification last year.