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U.S. AGREES CHEMICAL ARMS PACT LIKELY BY JUNE

SHARE U.S. AGREES CHEMICAL ARMS PACT LIKELY BY JUNE

The United States said Friday it agrees with the Soviets that prospects are good for completing a chemical arms reduction agreement for signing at the Washington summit in June.

The two major powers ended a 14th round of talks on Thursday when Soviet negotiator Sergei Batsanov reported "good progress" and his aides said it was "pretty well certain" that a final text would be ready in time.Batsanov presented a summary of the bilateral talks to the larger 40-nation Disarmament Conference, which has been discussing a global chemical arms ban for the past 20 years.

He said Washington and Moscow wanted to conclude a bilateral agreement to help promote an early international treaty - something negotiators believe possible before the end of 1991.

U.S. and Soviet experts, Batsanov said, will now make reciprocal visits to facilities for producing, storing and destroying chemical weapons, and another round of talks will be held in April.

Washington and Moscow are aiming at immediate chemical arms cuts of about 80 percent, down to equal levels, with Moscow making the biggest reductions because it has the bigger stockpile.

As soon as an international convention is completed on eliminating all existing chemical arms and banning all future production, the two big powers would gradually go down to just 2 percent of their original arsenals.

They would totally eliminate their remaining stocks when the global treaty is signed and ratified by all countries with the ability to make the so-called "poor man's nuclear bomb." U.S. officials named Libya as one such country.