President Reagan is pressing Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to come to the United States next June, rather than wait until September as the Soviets have suggested, in an effort to sustain the momentum of the Geneva summit and leave the autumn clear for domestic campaigning and budget battles, officials said yesterday.
Reagan has told aides that he believes an earlier summit would create pressure for progress at the arms control talks in Geneva, which resume next week for the first time since Reagan and Gorbachev met in November and promised to "accelerate" work at the negotiations.
Reagan has also said privately he would like to have something solid on arms control to come out of the next summit. The November meeting produced no major agreements on slowing the superpower arms race, and some administration officials and members of Congress have said that an agreement on controlling nuclear weapons, even a tentative or partial one, would be required if the second meeting is to be viewed as a success in the United States.
Major differences still remain between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Geneva talks on intermediate-range missiles in Europe, strategic weapons and weapons in space. The U.S. negotiators are to leave this weekend for the fourth round, which concludes at the end of March. A fifth round of talks is expected to run from May through July.
The Soviets recently expressed serious reservations about holding the next summit in June, as the White House had proposed. Officials said the Soviet objections, conveyed through Ambassador Anatoliy Dobrynin, were short of a definite rejection of a June summit, and the September suggestion was informal.
However, U.S. officials said they have responded with a strong appeal for the June summit. One official said it would help "galvanize the bureaucracy" toward more progress in the arms control talks. The June proposal "has not been turned down," the official said.
Reagan has domestic political reasons to avoid a September meeting. One is his plan to campaign in the autumn for Senate Republicans. Officials said it would be difficult for Reagan to travel and focus on the midterm elections at the same time he is preparing for the first visit of a Soviet leader to the United States since 1973.
Another reason the president wants the summit in June is that White House officials fear September may be dominated by a struggle with Congress over the automatic cuts in the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings balanced-budget law. The cuts would be triggered if there is a stalemate over spending priorities. Soviets Reportedly Increase Arrests of Jewish Activists United Press International
The Soviet leadership under Mikhail Gorbachev let slightly more Jews emigrate to the West in 1985 but increased arrests and trials of Jewish activists, the National Conference on Soviet Jewry said yesterday.
An average of 100 Soviet Jews were allowed to leave every month in 1985, and in all 1,139 departed, compared with 896 in 1984, but this still "demonstrates a continuing restrictive Soviet policy," the conference said in its 1985 annual survey.
The conference, a private nonprofit group based in New York, vowed to press its campaign on behalf of Soviet Jewry until "there are parallel substantial changes affecting the Jewish minority in the Soviet Union."