Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on Arms Control and Reduction Negotiations and the Soviet Statement on United States Foreign Policy

September 29, 1983

Mr. Andropov's statement is deeply disappointing, for it fails to address concrete steps which would reduce tensions and lead to a more peaceful world.

On Monday, the President put forward a series of concrete proposals, and we shall continue to press for resolution of problems at the negotiating table. But we are still awaiting signs that the Soviet Union is prepared to negotiate differences on a realistic and equitable basis. Deeds, not words, are urgently required.

We do not hide our view of the nature of the Soviet system and of the dangers to the world of many Soviet policies and actions. For their part, the Soviet leaders have never been reticent in expressing their view of us. But while we disagree profoundly on the way human society should be organized to protect human rights, ensure justice, and achieve prosperity, we know that we must live on the same planet and that peace is imperative to mankind if it is to survive.

The door remains open to work in concrete ways to ensure peace. We hope the Soviet Union will enter the room and get down to the task at hand.

Note: Yuriy V. Andropov is Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.