Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Speakes on Soviet and United States Compliance With Arms Control Agreements

April 21, 1986

With regard to the question of interim restraint, the President has started consultations with the Congress and key allied leaders on his tentative thinking. The substance of these consultations are confidential. No final decision has yet been taken and will not be until the consultations are complete. We will not comment on the substance of the consultations at this time.

SALT II is an unratified treaty that would have expired on December 31, 1985. The United States is currently following the policy announced by the President on June 10, 1985. At that time, the President committed to go the extra mile. He did so, dismantling a Poseidon submarine, not to comply or abide by an unratified, expired treaty, but rather to give the Soviet Union adequate time to take the steps necessary to join us in establishing an interim framework of truly mutual restraint.

The issue is not one of complying or not complying with SALT II, rather of what actions to take now under the President's policy announced last June. What we do in the future depends on our national security needs and our commitments to our allies, in meeting the threat that we face, which in turn depends on what the Soviets do.