MOSCOW -- The Soviet Union today ordered its negotiators in Geneva to suspend indefinitely medium-range missile talks with the United States in response to the arrival of U.S. missiles in Europe.
The official Soviet news agency Tass issued a two-sentence statement on the walkout less than an hour after Soviet negotiators in Geneva formally announced they were discontinuing the Intermediate Nu:lear Forces talks.
'A plenary meeting of the Soviet and U.S. delegations at the talks on the limitation of nu:lear arms in Europe was held here (Geneva) today.
'During the meeting the delegation of the USSR announced the discontinuation of the present round of talks without setting any date for their resumption.'
Yuli Kvitsinsky, the Soviet negotiator at the Geneva talks on medium-range nu:lear missiles, also said the Soviet Union was discontinuing the talks and would not set a date for resuming them.
The walkout came a day after the West German parliament approved NATO plans to deploy Pershing-2 and cruise missiles in West Germany and a week after the first cruise missiles began arriving in England.
The official Tass, Radio Moscow and the Novosti news agencies today denounced the Bundestag vote Tuesday approving the deployment, saying it ignored the will of the majority of the West German people and was '... obedient to Washington's will.'
Tass said three-quarters of the West German population rejected deployment of the missiles, but the Bundestag voted to turn the country 'into a testing ground for overseas nu:lear maniacs.'
The Bundestag gave 'the green light to the transformation of West German territory into a launch pad for American first-strike nu:lear weapons targeted on the USSR and other socialist countries,' the agency said.'
'The decision is sinister from the military-political viewpoint and at least dubious in its legal aspect,' Tass said.
The news agency said the vote helped launch an 'extremely dangerous step' in the nu:lear arms race and sharply destabilized the military situation in Europe.
'The people on the Potomac banks are rubbing their hands with pleasure,' Tass said, adding there is 'rejoicing in the West German chancellor's office.'
The Soviets threatened to walk out of the Geneva talks as soon as the new cruise and Pershing-2 missiles arrived in Europe. Last week, the first cruise warheads were flown to the Greenham Common base in England.
NATO plans to deploy 464 cruise and 108 Pershing-2 missiles over the next five years unless Moscow agrees to dismantle or reduce its already-deployed arsenal of 630 medium-range missiles aimed at western Europe.
The Soviet missiles include 243 SS-20s, which with their triple warheads and range could destroy every west European capital as well as most other cities on the continent.