Eastern Europe backs West in talks

February 15, 1991|By Washington Bureau of The Sun

WASHINGTON -- The Soviet Union's former East European allies joined the United States and Western Europe yesterday in refusing to move forward on new conventional forces talks until the Soviets comply with an arms treaty signed last year.

As talks opened in Vienna, Austria, on troop levels in Europe, the United States said it would not engage in substantive negotiations until problems with the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty were solved.

Secretary of State James A. Baker III discussed the problems Wednesday with Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander A. Bessmertnykh.

The West has accused the Soviets of violating the still-unratified treaty by classifying three motorized infantry divisions as naval units. Western nations are also concerned about the movement of Soviet tanks outside the zone covered by the treaty and about Soviet figures on weapons.

Polish delegate Jerzy Nowak said that his delegation had "full sympathy with the Western position."

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