The Soviet Union Saturday accused the United States of stalling on arms control negotiations and said there is little chance that an agreement reducing nuclear weapons will be ready for signing at the Moscow summit.
Viktor Karpov, head of the arms control section of the Foreign Ministry, said in an interview carried by the Tass news agency that "there was no radical headway in the solution" of the problems during Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze's visit to Washington last month."One is put on one's guard not even by the fact that some or other problems remain unresolved but by the lack of a pronounced political will on the part of the U.S. side to tackle these matters," he said.
The Soviet official said a draft U.S.-Soviet agreement to cut strategic nuclear missiles by 50 percent the original goal of the Moscow summit could be ready for the late May summit if both sides work "intensively and persistently." But he warned that time was running out.
"What is taking place now in Geneva in the work of the texts of documents does not give grounds for much optimism so far," Karpov said in the Tass interview.
But Karpov emphasized that the success of the May 29-June 2 Moscow summit, which would be the fourth meeting between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, would not depend on a missile agreement.
Karpov termed the continuing dispute over the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty the chief U.S.-Soviet disagreement. Both countries emerged from the summit in Washington last December with apparently different interpretations of the discussions.
Gorbachev said Reagan had agreed to observe the Soviet interpretation of the ABM Treaty. American officials maintained the Soviet Union had agreed that tests of Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, or Star Wars program, would be allowed, even though many believe the tests would violate the treaty.