Soviet President warning to the United States and its Leonid Brezhnev today issued another NATO allies not to station new U.S. medium-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe.
The latest Brezhnev effort to detour the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from taking such action came in a joint communique with East Germany Communist Party chief Erich Honecker at the end of a five-day visit to East Germany.
In the communique, Brezhnev also called for a quick Western response to his surprise, unilateral pledge Saturday night to remove, over the next 12 months, up to 20,000 of the roughly 400,000 Soviet troops and 1,000 of the estimated 7,000 Soviet tanks in East Germany.
Brezhnev also said the Soviets were willing to discuss reducing the number of Russian medium-range missiles but only if NATO did not go ahead with plans to deploy up to 572 U.S. built Pershing II missiles and cruise missiles.
Western leaders have reacted cautiously to what is acknowledged to be a clever proposal by Brezhnev.
The troop reduction pledge does not hurt the Soviets much militarily and has public appeal. But Brezhnev's mounting campaign to keep NATO from deploying new missiles is seen in the West as a way for the Russians to retain their advantage in the form of more than 100 new multiple-warhead medium-range rockets based in Europe.