MOSCOW, JAN. 19 -- The Soviet Union said today that next month's summit here between President Mikhail Gorbachev and President Bush would go ahead as planned.
"On this question, there are no changes," Soviet Foreign Ministry spokesman Vitaly Churkin told a news conference. He said the summit, slated to be held in Moscow, would go ahead as planned from Feb. 11 to 13.
Churkin had been asked about a meeting Friday between Foreign Minister Alexander Bessmertnykh and U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock.
The White House had hinted previously that the fifth formal meeting between Gorbachev and Bush might be called off because of last weekend's crackdown by Soviet troops in Lithuania that left 13 civilians dead.
Asked for comment on the Soviet statement, a White House spokesman said: "There are no changes in our position. We said all along we were planning for the summit. It's not 100 percent certain, but we still hope to have a summit."
The spokesman said that both the situation in the Soviet Baltic republics and arms-control issues would be taken into consideration. The official added that the summit could conceivably be called off because of developments in the Persian Gulf conflict. He did not elaborate.
In Moscow, Churkin said Soviet and U.S. representatives would meet in Washington Monday to put finishing touches to a treaty that will cut long-range nuclear arsenals.