MOSCOW -- Although their comments were brief, lacked detail and were aimed to reassure, both President Bush and Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander A. Bessmertnykh sought yesterday to address one of the most worrisome global issues in times of turmoil for a superpower: During the Soviet coup, who controlled the nation's nuclear arms?
Those strategic Soviet forces "were under control of the competent bodies, and the structure of military command was not changed or modified in any way," Mr. Bessmertnykh said. "Fears that these forces could get out of control are groundless."
In reply to a question at his morning news conference about the Soviets' nuclear security, Mr. Bush replied: "We see no reason to be concerned about that. Our people are taking a hard look at that all the time."