A ranking Soviet military leader said tonight that Soviet-American arms control negotiations in Geneva are approaching a "deadlock" because of calculated U.S. attempts to block any progress in the talks.
Col. Gen. Nikolai Chervov, who is head of the general staff department on strategic weapons and a member of the inner leadership of the armed forces, accused the Reagan administration of deliberately seeking to create an impression that some progress was being made at the two sets of negotiations in Geneva.
"Actually, nothing of the sort has happened," the general said in an interview distributed by the official news agency Novosti.
Chervov's comment was the most direct official statement on the progress of the superpower talks on curbing medium-range nuclear weapons in Europe and reducing strategic armaments. It seemed to be in line with a harsher tone adopted by Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev recently. In two of his latest speeches dealing with foreign policy, Brezhnev had made no mention of the Geneva negotiations.
But Chervov appeared to go beyond all previous official pronouncements by asserting that the Reagan administration has put forward proposals "that they knew in advance cannot be accepted by the Soviet side" and that the Americans "remain wedded" to the positions in Geneva.
By doing so in the medium-range weapons talks in Europe, he said, the United States "essentially is refusing to search for mutually acceptable solutions." The same applied to the strategic talks, he said.
The general said that the Reagan administration was deliberately trying to make its European allies believe that some progress was being made at Geneva and that it was doing so in an effort to secure deployment next year of new U.S. medium-range nuclear weapons in Western Europe.
"In reality, the United States keeps the negotiations running idle as it demands concessions from the Soviet Union," he said.
Noting that any talks are a "two-way street," Chervov said:
"If the United States stand does not develop in a constructive direction, then naturally the Soviet Union will have no grounds to develop its stand. As a result, the negotiations will become deadlocked.
"I would say that they are already approching this condition."