Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared tonight that he wanted to make it "absolutely clear" that he favored another summit meeting with President Reagan and made "no preconditions for it," but he struck a stern note as he laid out the prospects for improving U.S.-Soviet relations.
In a speech broadcast on national television from Togliatti, a car manufacturing city on the Volga River, Gorbachev said that another meeting with Reagan was possible if the atmosphere of Geneva were "revived."
"Just look at what is taking place," he said. "Soon after Geneva an anti-Soviet campaign was relaunched with a vengeance in the United States, full of every type of fabrication and insults to our state."
Starting with U.S. demands for a 40 percent cutback in the size of the Soviet staff at the United Nations, Gorbachev cited a list of grievances that ended with the U.S. rejection of his latest offer to meet with Reagan in Europe on the issue of nuclear testing.
He also cited a U.S. nuclear test in Nevada last month, calling it "an obviously provocative" gesture.
Gorbachev said he was willing to discuss U.S. concerns about verification, as well as the Soviet proposal for a test ban. He also criticized the unfavorable American response to his Jan. 15 proposals on arms control.
He said the Soviet Union, since the November summit in Geneva and the Communist Party congress here this winter, was committed to "an entirely new way of thinking" on the arms race.
By contrast, he said, the U.S. administration "yet cannot drop past habits and, to all appearances, does not want to reckon with the reality of the Soviet Union."
Gorbachev accused Washington of coming away from the November meeting in Geneva with the sole resolution to hold another meeting.
"To make the matter absolutely clear, I will repeat anew: I stand for holding such a meeting. We make no preconditions for it," Gorbachev said. "But we want it to pass in accordance with what the president and I agreed on, namely, it should be a step forward, that is, produce practical results toward ending the arms race."
Gorbachev also chided Western European states for not being more accepting of his Jan. 15 arms control initiative, which, among other proposals, calls for elimination of U.S. and Soviet medium-range missiles in Europe.