British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock said today that his talks with Soviet President Konstantin Chernenko had given him "moderate optimism" at prospects for arms talks between the United States and Soviet Union.
At a press conference, Kinnock said he felt that the Soviets, in approaching a preliminary meeting in Geneva, would "not seek to lay down preconditions which would make negotiations more difficult."
He said the Soviets indicated that they would "like negotiations to be preceded by a halt in NATO deployments and testing in outer space, but that these are not conditions."
A commentary on the nuclear missiles issue today by the official Novosti press agency made no mention of Moscow's previous demand that U.S. Pershing II and cruise missiles installed in North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries had to be removed before arms talks could resume.
Kinnock also said Chernenko had given him a "firm undertaking" with the promise that if Britain disarmed its nuclear arsenal, the Soviet Union would match it missile for missile by dismantling weapons in its European region.
Meanwhile, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said nuclear nonproliferation talks between the two superpowers will resume here as expected Wednesday, nine months after they were halted in Vienna. The talks are not directly related to the suspended negotiations on nuclear missiles in Europe.