Pacts with Soviets surface - subs don't
THIS APPEARED IN THE 1/18/88 WORLD EDITION A confident, smiling Soviet Prime Minister Nikolai Ryzhkov ended the official part of his visit to Sweden this past week by speaking of a substantial improvement in Swedish-Soviet relations.
During his visit three agreements were reached between the two nations, establishing a bilateral pact on the reporting of nuclear accidents, ending a 19-year-old dispute on economic boundaries in the Baltic Sea, and improving visa procedures.
Mr. Ryzhkov was asked repeatedly if he was concerned about allegations in the Swedish media that Soviet submarines regularly have violated Swedish territorial waters. The prime minister, who visited Norway next, denied the allegations. ``We are not afraid of this because we have nothing to do with it.''
Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson said he had clearly told Ryzhkov of the latest official reports that underwater intrusions had continued last summer. Mr. Carlsson said he also presented the official view that the nationality of the intruders could not be deter-mined.
A Swedish Defense Ministry report released just before Christmas did not target any nation for the series of territorial violations last summer, but press reports said the Swedish Navy had circumstantial evidence pointing to the Soviet Union.
Carlsson said he obtained from Ryzhkov repeated assurances of the Soviet Union's ``unconditional respect'' for Sweden's neutrality and territorial integrity. But he also said, ``the price that the violating power will pay will be very high in political and military terms''
The Soviet prime minister, in a separate press conference, also declared that ``it would be politically absurd'' to send submarines into Swedish waters after two years of improving relations since Carlsson's visit to Moscow in April 1986.
Swedes get fishing rights
[The 19-year-old Baltic dispute settled this past week concerned fishing and exploration rights, according to Reuters. The Baltic separates the Swedish and Soviet mainlands by 200 miles, and the Swedish island of Gotland lies in the middle.
[The Soviets have wanted to split commercial rights according to a line drawn midway between the two mainlands. Sweden has insisted on a median line measured from the eastern coast of Gotland, cutting deep into the Soviet claim.
[The conflicting claims resulted in a banana-shaped overlap called the ``gray zone,'' an area of 8,390 square miles east of Gotland. Sweden now will have 75 percent of the disputed area, the Soviets 25 percent. In addition, the Swedes will be allowod to fish 6,000 tons a year from the Soviet area, and the Soviets 18,000 tons a year from the Swedish area.
[The visa agreement concluded this past week provides for shorter and quicker procedures in granting visas, with both countries undertaking to issue more multiple-entry visas.]
Guarding against fallout
Commenting on the agreement on nuclear accidents, the Swedish prime minister said it went further than existing multilateral agreements in its requirements for exchange of information. It would, he said, compel the Soviet Union to provide regular reports on activities at reactors close to Sweden, such as the Ignalina facility in Soviet Lithuania. That reactor has been described as technically similar to the Chernobyl reactor and may have been leaking small amounts of radiation before the disaster in the Ukraine.
Of all Western countries, Sweden was among the hardest hit by Chernobyl fallout, which at one point threatened the existence of reindeer herding by the nation's Lapp minority.
Ryzhkov, who has extensive economic responsibilities in the Soviet government, said he hoped the improved climate between the two nations would lead to better business and commercial relations. In a reference to Swedish laws adopted to prevent the re-export of sensitive United States technology, the Soviet prime minister said, ``Some Swedish technology that is offered to us is not state of the art. We do not understand why businessmen are unwilling to sell this. This is an obstacle for bilateral relations.''