Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, joining the appeal for nuclear disarmament in Europe, was quoted today as calling on his ally the Soviet Union as well as on the United States to remove nuclear weapons from Europe.
In interviews with two West German newspapers, the Romanian Communist Party chief and head of state said "decisive actions" were necessary to stop the nuclear arms race and the particular danger it poses for Europe.
"This applies just as much to stopping the stationing of rockets produced by the United States as to withdrawing the Soviet rockets," Ceausescu told the Frankfurter Rundschau. He also urged a stop to production of the neutron weapon, and repeated the same line to the West German weekly Die Zeit.
Often a maverick in the East Bloc on foreign and defense policy, Ceausescu appeared to be setting himself apart once again from the Soviet Union, which has held that its new SS20 missiles already being deployed against Western Europe are necessary to reestablish parity. The Western view says the new U.S. Pershing II and cruise missiles planned for Western Europe are needed to counter the Soviet buildup.
Ceausescu's balanced appeal for reductions in East and West can be welcomed by Western officials, particularly in West Germany and the Netherlands, where there is still hope the new U.S. medium-range nuclear missiles can be made unnecessary by a Soviet reduction.
The interviews, which received wide attention in West Germany, were clearly timed for the start today of an official state visit to Romania by West German President Karl Carstens.