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US reveals Soviet missile plan for Europe

A senior administration official disclosed for the first time details of the Soviet proposal at the secret US--Soviet talks in Geneva on limiting intermediate-range missiles in Europe, the Washington Post reports.

Eugene Rostow, director of the US Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, said the Soviet proposal would limit the number of missile launchers on both sides to 300.

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Here's the catch: Moscow insists British and French missiles be counted in the US total. That would essentially rule out the planned deployment of 572 new American-built Pershing 2 and cruise missiles in Europe, allowing the Soviets to retain virtually all of their new, triple-warhead SS-20 missiles, 315 of which are deployed.