U.S. and Soviet officials held a first day of talks here yesterday to prepare for next month's visit by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, with no indication that Gorbachev plans to extend his three-day stay or to travel outside Washington, according to U.S. sources.
The preparatory talks began at the White House and were led by White House communications director Thomas C. Griscom, Lt. Gen. Colin L. Powell, deputy national security adviser, and Soviet Chief of Protocol V.I. Chernyshev.
Following the talks, an informed U.S. official expressed puzzlement at reports from Moscow in yesterday's Washington Post and New York Times that Gorbachev may extend his U.S. visit by several days to see more of the United States. There was no such indication in yesterday's discussion, the official said.
Soviet Ambassador Yuri Dubinin notified the State Department about 10 days ago that Gorbachev expects to arrive here Dec. 7, the first day of the planned summit with President Reagan, according to department sources. The Soviet side indicated at the time that Gorbachev would be occupied with important business until the eve of the summit.
The ending date of the Gorbachev visit was not defined during the Oct. 30 talks here of Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze or in Dubinin's demarche following the Shevardnadze discussions, according to the sources. However, the indications have been that Gorbachev will leave for home promptly after his official talks here are completed, officials said.
The Post and The Times quoted Soviet sources as saying that Raisa Gorbachev, who plans to accompany her husband to Washington, is in favor of extending the visit.
While talks on details of the visit continue this week in Washington, three other sets of preliminary discussions on substantive questions are scheduled in Moscow and Geneva.
Of greatest immediate concern are talks in Geneva scheduled for Sunday and Monday between chief U.S. arms negotiator Max M. Kampelman and chief Soviet arms negotiator Yuli Vorontsov. These discussions are aimed at resolving the remaining issues on the intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) treaty, which Reagan and Gorbachev are expected to sign here.
A U.S. official close to the negotiations said yesterday that progress in Geneva toward settlement of the last remaining issues has seemed to lag in recent days, but it is still likely that the treaty will be ready for signing at the Dec. 7-9 summit.
Washington and Moscow are holding out the possibility that Secretary of State George P. Shultz and Shevardnadze might meet again before Dec. 7 if necessary to resolve the final issues. U.S. officials expressed the hope, however, that Kampelman and Vorontsov will make sufficient progress that another Shultz-Shevardnadze meeting will not be necessary.
Michael H. Armacost, undersecretary of state for political affairs, is to join Kampelman in Geneva Monday to discuss regional issues such as Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf with Vorontsov, who is also a deputy foreign minister and regional troubleshooter.
At about the same time, Deputy Secretary of State John C. Whitehead is expected to discuss human rights issues in Moscow with Deputy Foreign Minister Anatoly Adamishin. Like the other talks, this will be in preparation for the Reagan-Gorbachev summit.