Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on Proposed Warsaw Pact Troop Reductions in Europe

June 12, 1986

The Warsaw Pact statement regarding troop reduction was made at a Warsaw Pact meeting in Budapest yesterday. This has apparently been agreed to by Warsaw Pact leaders but has not been presented for a detailed Western review in any of the conventional arms control fora. That would be not yet in Vienna, where MBFR is being considered, or CDE in Geneva, or the Conference on Disarmament in Stockholm.

We find the ideas, as reported, of interest and would welcome the opportunity to analyze concrete proposals embodying them. We would note, however, that the Warsaw Pact has not responded fully to a more modest, but more concrete, NATO proposal last November at Vienna for a first step toward conventional reductions.

That proposal, last November, involved initial reductions of U.S. troops by 5,000 and Soviet troops by 11,500 with a 3-year, no-increase commitment on forces in the zone. Also, it called for a development of a verification regime over 3 years and the development of an agreed data base on which future reductions would be calculated.

Note: Larry M. Speakes read the statement to reporters at 9:30 a.m. in the Briefing Room at the White House.