HC Deb 22 March 1988 vol 130 cc113-4W
118. Mr. Anthony Coombs

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the progress of the mutual and balanced force reduction talks in Vienna; and what is the current imbalance between the Warsaw pact countries and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces in tanks and armoured vehicles in the European theatre.

Mr. Ian Stewart

Progress in the mutual and balanced force reduction talks in Vienna has been disappointing, due to the East's refusal to provide the necessary information concerning force levels and the lack of a positive response to Western proposals tabled in December 1985.

Figures indicating the broad numerical balance between NATO and Warsaw pact forces from the Atlantic to the Urals (including the number of tanks) are contained in the annual "Statement on the Defence Estimates." Last year's figures reflected an overwhelming Warsaw pact superiority in armoured forces, including a 3:1 tank superiority.