Andropov to Reagan: get specific on talks proposal
Soviet leader Yuri Andropov has called upon President Reagan to put forward concrete proposals for discussions between the United States and the Soviet Union, Monitor correspondent Gary Thatcher reports.
Mr. Andropov criticized Mr. Reagan for failing to put forward ''a single new idea'' in his Jan. 16 address on US-Soviet relations. Significantly, however, Andropov himself did not move beyond restating previously known Soviet positions.
Andropov's comments, scheduled to appear in today's issue of Pravda, the official Communist Party newspaper:
* Rejected the notion of ''dialogue . . . for the sake of dialogue,'' and called upon Reagan to put forth concrete proposals or to respond to specific Soviet proposals.
* Took issue with the notion of the US entering into negotiations ''from a position of strength.''
* Called upon the US and its NATO allies to ''display readiness'' to remove new Pershing II and cruise missiles from Europe ''before it is too late.''
* Held open the possibility of reconvening discussions in Vienna on the reduction of conventional forces in Europe. (Western diplomats in Vienna said on Monday the Soviet Union had agreed to resume such talks in mid-March.)
* Asked the US to rule out the first use of nuclear weapons. NATO officials reject this idea, on grounds that renunciation of first use of nuclear weapons would leave Western Europe vulnerable to a massive conventional attack by the Warsaw pact.
* Repeated proposals for NATO countries and the Warsaw pact to renounce the use of military force to settle disputes. Western government spokesmen say such an agreement is virtually unenforceable.
* Called upon the US to begin talks on preventing the militarization of outer space.
* Repeated calls for the US to ''freeze'' the current levels of nuclear weapons. US officials argue that such a freeze would be to the Soviet Union's advantage, since, they claim, there is already an imbalance in nuclear arms in favor of the USSR.