USSR to Reagan: SALT warning
The Kremlin has sent what amounts to an inauguration-eve warning to Ronald Reagan: The USSR is in no mood to hold talks on a major overhaul of the still unratified SALT II treaty.
Analysts here noted that the policy statement from Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko did not rule out fresh talks on SALT II altogether. But the statement seemed designed to disabuse the incoming administration of expectations it could simply scrap the treaty signed by President Carter in 1979 , sit down to new talks, and get a substantively more advantageous deal for the United States.
The Soviet foreign minister's statement, which is to appear in the Communist Party journal Kommunist but was released in advance by the official Soviet news agency Tass, argued that any accord must be founded on "parity" between the superpowers.
"The Soviet Union cannot and will not participate in talks which will render null and void the SALT II treaty and destroy the basic principles on which this treaty was constructed, . . . " the Tass report quoted Mr. Gromyko as saying.