The Soviet news agency Tass said President Reagan's new arms control proposal, put forward in Geneva today, consists of old ideas that have been "slightly modified and presented in a new wrapping."
The critical commentary noted that the new U.S. proposal envisions no halt in the planned American space-based defense system, the Strategic Defense Initiative, and that it seeks to gain "one-sided advantages" at the negotiating table.
"Without solving the question of preventing militarization of outer space, it is simply senseless to speak of any limitations on and reductions in nuclear arms," Tass said, reiterating the Soviet position that a halt to SDI is the key to progress at the negotiations in Geneva.
The Tass report took issue with details of the proposal, although it noted that the particulars came from leaks in the press rather than from any official disclosure. However, it accused the Reagan administration of deliberately leaking its proposals as part of an "organized and purposeful" campaign.
Tass noted that if all nuclear weapons systems are taken into account, "the aggregate number of warheads will be much larger after the cutbacks effected according to the U.S. scheme."
The commentators specifically questioned the exclusion of strategic bombers, medium-range and forward-based weapons from the proposed cutbacks.
"As regards those systems, Washington has not gone beyond quite vague promises to tackle the questions of limiting them separately," Tass said.
The Tass article said that by establishing a compulsory sublevel for warheads on intercontinental ballistic missiles, the U.S. proposal was targeting "the basis of the strategic potential of the U.S.S.R."
"No tough restrictions are set for the systems in which the U.S.A. is strong -- sea-launched missiles and heavy bombers," Tass noted.
Reuter reported the following:
Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev accused the Reagan administration of slandering Third World countries and seeking to evade agreements on arms control.
Gorbachev was speaking at a banquet for the visiting Ethiopian leader, Lt. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam. His toughly worded comments did not name President Reagan but were clearly in response to the president's speech at the United Nations last week.
"All manner of inventions and calumnies" had been spread about Ethiopia and other African, Asian and Latin American countries, he said. "They are first of all an attempt to cover up real U.S. interference in the affairs of these states."
They also showed a desire to draw attention away from U.S. encouragement of aggressive policies by Israel and South Africa, he said.
"And of course they show a striving to avoid giving an answer to the main question that is worrying humanity today: how to stop the arms race that has engulfed the world and prevent sliding into the abyss of nuclear war," he said.