Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev today charged "aggression-minded circles" in the United States with "attacking" the results of last month's summit and seeking "to disrupt or at least to deprecate" another meeting between him and President Reagan, according to the Soviet news agency Tass.
"Unfortunately," Gorbachev told Nobel peace laureates Bernard Lown and Yevgeny Chazov in a Kremlin meeting today, "the latest statements by U.S. statesmen are at variance with the spirit of Geneva," according to Tass.
Reiterating Gorbachev's charge at a separate press conference, Georgi Arbatov, head of the Institute for the Study of the U.S.A. and Canada, accused Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger of "backpedaling" on the results of last month's meeting in Geneva. Arbatov added that critical statements Shultz made during his trip to Eastern Europe came as a surprise.
He said that the next summit, expected in June, must move beyond last month's. It "has to bring something specific and concrete in the field of security and the arms race," he said.
Arbatov and three other senior Soviet officials used a press conference, billed as an opportunity to assess the summit, to allege flaws in Reagan's program for a space-based missile defense. They also argued for the effectiveness of the countermeasures the Soviet Union plans to employ.
The space defense shield is not fail-safe and thus is not workable, said Roald Sagdeyev, a top Soviet space expert. Soviet studies showed that the kind of shield envisioned under Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative would be vulnerable and not more than 80 to 90 percent efficient, he said. "This vulnerable and costly system, in effect, is not foolproof," he said. "The shield is full of holes."
Yevgeni Velikhov, vice president of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, said that the Soviet countermeasures would be twice as cost-effective as Reagan's program.
Other Soviet officials have described the countermeasures the Soviet Union plans to use to combat SDI as a system of orbiting space mines and use of coatings to deflect lasers. In addition, Moscow may increase its deployments of long-range missiles to counter the threat that they feel a shield would pose.
In assessing the aftermath of the summit, Arbatov, one of the leading experts on the United States in the Soviet Union, said, "U.S. right-wing circles got frightened by Geneva and are stepping up pressure aimed not at moving forward, but backpedaling" from the joint statement made at Geneva.
Gorbachev told Chazov and Lown that "the impression is that there are people in the U.S. to whom the desire to improve mutual understanding between our two peoples expressed in Geneva is very much in the way," according to a Tass report.
In their two-hour meeting with Gorbachev today, Chazov and Lown, cochairmen of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, said they urged the Soviet leader to extend his moratorium on nuclear testing.