The first five Soviet Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty inspectors will probably arrive in Salt Lake City on Monday, U.S. officials said Wednesday.
Brig. Gen. Roland LaJoie, who heads the U.S. treaty inspection team, told reporters he expects the first Russians to be accompanied by U.S. escorts to Utah next week. They will live in hotels until July 1 and will then be housed at the Sun Arbor Apartments in West Valley City.Meanwhile, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said Wednesday that he is not satisfied that the U.S. teams will be able to match the Soviets. The Soviets, he predicted, will be trained intelligence agents, while the Americans will be hired technicians.
Hatch said he is also concerned about the defense industries within the 50-kilometer circle the Soviets will be able to operate within while in Utah.
The U.S. government is building a compound for the Soviets to occupy. It is expected to be complete in late January, 1989.
Twenty-five more Soviets are expected in Utah July 1, LaJoie said, completing the inspection contingent in the state.
U.S. inspectors will fly to Votkinsk in the USSR. A contractor to supply technicians for the U.S. team was to be selected Wednesday.
LaJoie will be in Utah next week to speak to Gov. Norm Bangerter and other state leaders and try to smooth the way for the treaty verification operation. While here, the Soviet advance team will establish liaison with Hercules Inc, where they will monitor U.S. compliance with the treaty.
David L. Nicponski, government affairs manager for Hercules, said he couldn't comment on plans being made to welcome the Soviet delegation, except to say all contact between his company and the Soviets will be handled strictly through the On-Site Inspection Agency.
LaJoie said that while in Utah, the Soviets will be escorted continuously and will not have diplomatic privileges. They and their belongings will be subject to search.
The Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty bans certain mid-range missiles in both the U.S. and Soviet arsenals. Teams in both countries will verify that no new missiles are being built. The treaty, a key element of the recent summit in Moscow, was signed by President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in December and was subsequently ratified by both the U.S. Senate and the Soviet leadership.