MOSCOW, FEB. 15 -- The United States' resumption of chemical weapons production sabotaged talks on banning the arms, Foreign Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze charged today.

But British Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey Howe told Shevardnadze the West will not settle for a Soviet advantage in mobile nuclear missiles or conventional or chemical arms.

The West wants to see more evidence of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's "new thinking" in foreign policy, said Howe, who arrived yesterday for a brief visit. He is to meet with Gorbachev on Tuesday. "We in the West will be happier with {the USSR} when we can point to concrete evidence that new thinking does in practice make the Soviet Union an easier neighbor," Howe said at a luncheon Shevardnadze held in his honor.

The Soviet foreign minister urged a ban on chemical weapons, saying they are "the only weapon of mass destruction which is most probably intended for use in the area from the Atlantic to the Urals."

Last December the United States began producing binary chemical weapons, which produce a toxin by combining two relatively harmless agents, following an 18-year moratorium on production of chemical weapons.

Talks on a worldwide ban on chemical weapons were close to concluding with an agreement before the U.S. decision to begin producing binary weapons, Shevardnadze said.

"The binary sabotage, and it cannot be described in any other way, may push us . . . to a new spiral of the chemical arms race," said Shevardnadze, according to the Tass news agency.

"Binary weapons, in our judgment, precisely mark the boundary line between the interests of the United States and its European allies. Not an imaginary boundary, but the one inherent in the capabilities of these weapons and their delivery vehicles," Shevardnadze said.

In his speech, Howe said Western Europeans are deeply concerned about their security now that the United States and Soviet Union have agreed to eliminate intermediate-range nuclear weapons.

"They see Soviet pressure for a nuclear-free Europe, which in reality means a nuclear-free Western Europe, with our Eastern neighbors still in possession of a large mobile nuclear arsenal, in addition to your preponderance in conventional and chemical weapons," the British foreign secretary said.

Howe dismissed what he called "any artificial linkage" between a U.S.-Soviet agreement to cut strategic weapons and the U.S. Strategic Defense Initiative, popularly known as "Star Wars."