The Soviet Union has apologized for the 1985 killing of U.S. Army Lt. Col. Arthur Nicholson and agreed on measures to prevent such an incident from happening again, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

"We have asked for an apology, and we have received an apology," spokesman Dan Howard.He said Soviet Defense Minister Dmitri Yazov offered the apology when he met with Defense Secretary Frank Carlucci during the May 29 to June 2 summit in Moscow.

"I express my regret over the incident, and I'm sorry that this occurred. This does not promote improved relations. Secretary Carlucci and I have agreed that we will do all we can to prevent these kinds of incidents in the future," Yazov said in a statement read by Howard.

Soviet soldiers shot then-Maj. Nicholson in East Germany on March 24, 1985, while he was on duty as a uniformed member of a two-man patrol of the U.S. military liaison team. The Army promoted him to lieutenant colonel after his death.

The Soviets prevented Nicholson's partner from seeking medical help for hours, at the end of which the officer had bled to death.

The Soviets claimed Nicholson was in prohibited territory. The United States disputes this.