Intelsat, the international telecommunications satellite organization that provides telephone, telex and TV transmission to its 109 members, yesterday chided administration officials for speculating on technology transfer issues and a proposed agreement with the Soviet Union.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday that the Soviet Union was about to sign an unprecedented agreement with Intelsat to exchange technical information about Intelsat and Intersputnik -- the Soviet competitor of Intelsat that serves Eastern Europe -- so the two systems can be coordinated and their joint uses explored.
The agreement is awaiting the signature of V. A. Shamshin, Soviet minister of Posts and Telecommunications. In a verbal agreement between the Soviets and Intelsat, the Soviet Union may become a full member of Intelsat within two years.
"There is no question that Intelsat would have the right to determine what kind of information it can provide to the Soviet Union, the same way the Soviet Union has the right to limit the information they want to provide to Intelsat," said Jose Luis Alegrett, deputy director general of Intelsat.
"Most of the individuals speaking from the U.S. government ignore or do not comprehend what Intelsat is, how it functions and who can join," Alegrett said. He said Intelsat has no choice but to respond to interest on the part of a non-Intelsat member and that it could not ultimately deny membership to any country wishing to join the consortium.