Yuli Alexandrovitch Kvitsinsky, appointed chief Soviet negotiator at the nuclear arms talks with the United States beginning Nov. 30, is admired for his understanding of both sides of the East-West debate.
Kvitsinsky, in his mid-50s, currently serves as the No. 2 man at the Soviet Embassy in West Germany, the European country that more than any other has pressed both superpowers to sit down at the table and find a solution to the nuclear arms race.
His superior and mentor is Ambassador Vladimir S. Semenov, who led the Soviet team at the negotiations that led to the SALT II treaty signed by President Carter in 1979, but never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
Germans who have dealt with Kvitsinsky, who was named Thursday as the chief Soviet arms talks negotiator, describe him as extremely able and quick to grasp wide concepts.
'He's well respected in Bonn,' said one West German diplomat. 'And working with Semenov, he's had ample time to pick up the fine points of the Soviet position and understand what they want in an arms control treaty.'
Prior to moving to Bonn, Kvitsinsky was deputy chief of the Soviet Foreign Ministry's Third European department, which deals with West Germany and Austria.
'He knows what concerns those countries, and arms control talks very definitely concern them,' said one source.
Another admirer was asked what qualified Kvitsinsky -- who is relatively young for such an important job by Soviet standards -- to negotiate with Americans on nuclear arms control.
'Because he knows how to negotiate with the West,' was the response.
Kvitsinsky and his wife, Inga Mikhailovna, have one daughter who is a student in Moscow, but as with many Soviet officials suddenly thrust into the limelight, little else is known of his personal life.
In 1972, he participated in the Four-Power agreement that established regular visits between East and West Berlin for residents of that divided city.
Since 1978, Kvitsinsky has served as the deputy chief of mission at the Soviet Embassy in Bonn.