A Rush to Sign New Accords

After years of dickering over details, the superpowers suddenly make progress on four arms-control fronts

The agreement between the Soviet Union and the U.S. that will allow 30,000 more American troops than Soviet ones to be stationed in Europe was announced last week in what has become standard fashion in the fast-moving Gorbachev era: a casual aside. During a discussion about German unification in Ottawa, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze interrupted himself, looked across the table at U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and said, "Oh, by the way." Shevardnadze then proceeded to report that Moscow had approved George Bush's plan that would permit the two superpowers to maintain 195,000 troops each in Europe's central zone...

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