At the end of a week of astonishing developments, two visitors to Moscow almost over shadowed the Soviet Communist party's his toric meeting. First U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister EduardShevardnadze made substantial pro gress on arms reductions. Then West Ger man ChanceUor Helmut Kohl, after four hours of talks with President Mikhail Gorba chev, announced that the way was clear for German reunification soon after the March 18 elections in East Germany. Kohl's statement came only hours after Baker had departed with an agreement that the United States and Soviet Union would drastically reduce their stockpiles of cherni~ cal weapons. The two sides aiso.made head way on conventional and strategic nuclear arms treaties-agreements that President.:
George Bush and Gorbachev intend to sign at a June summit. U.S. officials said that the agreement on chemical weapons mirrored an earlier U.S. pro posal that bath sides destroy 80 per cent of their stockpiles immediately, and later destroy all but two per cent. Gorbachev also accepted apropos al, made by Bush onjan. 31,that both superpow ers cut back to 195,000 troops each in Central Europe, excluding Soviet territory. But he re jected Bush's plan to keep an extra 30,000 U.S. troops in countries without a matching Soviet deployment in Eastern Europe. In an apparent compromise, the two sides agreed that the.issue would be put to the 35-member Conference on Security and Cooperation. in Europe. U.S. officials said that the Moscow talks had also "broken the back of the START agreement' `-the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks, which aim to slash the superpowers' arsenals of long-range missiles and bombers in half. The Soviets agreed th~. the hard-to verify sea-launched cruise missiles could be dealt with outside START. And most issues on
-launch~ crui~ 10issiles wet olve~L Khysanou~em~t soinarkedam~ot an isStt~ that has troulil~ e world, especiaTh~ MosCQ~ In his meet igs with Shevat~~~~' Baker had e~ esd~PP0~0t aVeSt~0PO a reunified Gerti~~Y Vart of NATO, but ot to deploY NP~TO trnOP5 on what is currentlY Last German soil. S~eVat~~ countered that unite~~m~ shoUld be neuttal. But Kohl said that Go~~ had agreed~t details such as eci.~Y couldbe left until later. And a report by the SoViet news agencY TASS appeared to cofl~~ that verSi0~ lASS quoted Gorba~ev as sayings `"The Gern~ themseX~~ shouk make their choice at what pace and wide vjhat condit0~~ they will be unitY." As the prosP~'~~ of reuunt~ looms, the progresa made On superP0'~ arm~ contrOl last week is clearly 1nore i~ i'ver.
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