The United States and the Soviet Union today ended a special round of talks on President Reagan's decision to stop observing the limits of the unratified SALT II treaty, with each side accusing the other of intransigence.
The U.S. delegation issued a press release indicating the United States intended to halt further discussion of the strategic arms limitation treaties in future sessions of the Standing Consultative Commission, a Soviet-American forum established in 1972 to monitor compliance with arms control accords.
The U.S. statement, following nine days of talks here, dropped previous references to the SALT I and SALT II pacts in describing the purpose of the twice yearly consultative commission meetings. The change reflected President Reagan's announcement in May that the United States would no longer abide by the nuclear arms limits imposed by the SALT II agreement because of alleged Soviet violations.
The Soviet Union, in a dispatch by the Tass news agency after the meeting ended, warned the United States about "the extremely dangerous consequences" of the U.S. abandonment of SALT II limits.
The negative tone of the U.S. and Soviet statements underlined the continuing tensions between the two superpowers over nuclear arms issues even as Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev are seeking to achieve progress in this field in advance of a possible summit.
The Soviet Union last month requested the special session of the consultative commission following Reagan's decision to renounce SALT II. The United States agreed to the meeting in the end, but then employed it as a means of reinforcing its decision to give up observing the SALT II treaty, according to informed sources.
It did so by notifying the Soviets that Washington would consider the commission as a forum for discussing only the 1972 Antiballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and a 1971 agreement on nuclear accidents, according to the sources.
The Tass dispatch, described as an official commentary by a spokesman for the Soviet diplomatic mission here, said in its first paragraph that the commission was set up to monitor all three sets of accords.
The SALT II treaty, which replaced the SALT I agreement, was signed but never ratified by the Senate. Nevertheless the United States and the Soviet Union agreed in 1979 to respect its limits as long as both sides adhered to the terms.
The U.S. administration still has not broken the SALT II limits on nuclear arsenals, but it has said that it may do so in the autumn. The United States has called for "a new structure of arms control" to replace the SALT process.
It was understood that the U.S. delegation, led by retired Air Force Gen. Richard Ellis, used the meeting to outline to the Soviets the U.S. reasons for abandoning SALT II. This included the reiteration of U.S. complaints about alleged Soviet violations of the accords.
In Washington, sources said the administration was pleased that the Soviets had not used the session as a propaganda platform to attack Reagan for a decision that has been unpopular in Western Europe, Washington Post staff writer Walter Pincus reported.
The U.S. statement said that the Soviet Union in the meeting had "rejected" Reagan's call in May "to join the United States in establishing an interim framework of true mutual restraint."
Reagan's proposal, which was contained in his May 27 statement on the SALT II decision, was to assure Moscow that the United States would not build up its nuclear missile force to exceed the number of Soviet strategic warheads or missile launchers.
The Soviets have more warheads and launchers than the United States. The Reagan restraints, unlike the SALT II agreement, would not cover strategic bombers and air-launched cruise missiles, the two categories in which the United States has the lead.