Gromyko-Reagan Meeting Not a Major Victory

The three-hour meeting between Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko and President Reagan least week did not signify a major victory for American diplomacy, experts at the Kennedy School of Government and in the History Department said this week.

The luncheon meeting between officials of the two superpowers lasted three hours and came two days after a U.N. Security Council meeting at which the two leaders spoke.

Professor of History Richard Pipes, a former member of Reagan's National Security Council, said yesterday that talks between the superpowers had been going on all along at lower levels and have led to nothing.

"The idea of quick fix diplomacy at the top is an illusion," Pipes added.

The Soviet leadership is too weak to unite on any new response to arms control, he said. But the Soviets hope Reagan, because he seeks reelection this year, may offer a concession to impress the American electorate, he added.


Paul M. Doty, director of the center for science and international affairs at the Kennedy School, agreed that the talks weren't significant by themselves, but said that something more substantial may develop when Gromyko confers in two weeks with members of the Soviet Central Committee.

Ashton B. Carter, research fellow at the Kennedy School, took a more positive view of the talks. He said Gromyko was making a diplomatic concession by agreeing to speak with Reagan at all. Gromyko's decision shows that the Soviets are more interested in achieving arms reduction than participating in American politics.

Pipes, however, said he doubts much will happen with the "cameras playing" and that if something does develop it will be quietly, perhaps unexpectedly from continuous, unadvertised low level discussion.