A senior Soviet general warned last night that the deployment of new American nuclear missiles in Western Europe would bring a new military threat closer to the United States, Washington Post correspondent Dusko Doder reported.
Gen. Nikolai Chervov, department chief at the Soviet general staff, said the scheduled deployment next year would upset the strategic balance in favor of the United States, an outcome he said the Soviet Union "will not allow" to happen.
Chervov and Valentin Falin, the Kremlin's deputy spokesman on foreign affairs, appeared on an hour-long television discussion program and were asked to elaborate on President Leonid Breznev's warning that deployment of new U.S. nuclear missiles in Europe would compel the Soviet Union to place American territory "in an analogous position."
Soviet sources had said Brezhnev's warning was intended to raise the possibility of introduction of Soviet nuclear arms in Cuba.
Neither speaker mentioned Cuba although both struck the theme that there can be no double standard in evaluating security needs.
While quoting Brezhnev's statement, Chervov said: "If the United States brings closer to our threshold hundreds of new medium-range missiles, thus posing an additional threat to the Soviet Union and the socialist countries, it invites the Soviet Union to adopt in the same manner adequate measures of response."
The general said such a Soviet response was "extremely undesirable to us and that is why we call on the United States to desist from its designs" to deploy 572 Pershing II and cruise missiles in Western Europe.
"By moving a threat closer to others," Chervov said, "the United States is in the same manner bringing it closer to itself."