US optimistic, Soviets skeptical on A-arms talks

In conflicting signals on the current nuclear arms talks, US officials voice optimism about the negotiations -- especially on limiting weapons in Europe -- while their Soviet counterparts see little chance of agreement.

Soviet officials here said US negotiators in Geneva are trying to stack the deck by presenting estimates on the numbers of existing Soviet strategic weapons higher than any public Defense Department figures. US arms control officials said they would not comment on the charge because of the agreement with Moscow to keep details of the talks confidential. They expressed surprise Soviet officials were discussing the subject with reporters.

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