To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if his arms control and disarmament research unit has examined the potential benefits to future Soviet tank division readiness and efficiency from the redeployment of Soviet tank technicians from obsolete tanks to be withdrawn under the commitment made by president Gorbachev in his speech to the United Nations in December; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
We are examining the effect which the cuts in Soviet forces announced by Mr. Gorbachev on 7 December, on which he and Mr. Shevardnadze elaborated on 18 and 19 January, might have on Soviet military capabilities. We welcome the statement that 5,300 of the 10,000 Soviet tanks to be withdrawn will be modern, although it is disappointing that only 5,000 of the 10,000 will be destroyed. A number of detailed questions remain to be answerd about how the cuts will be implemented, including the question of how residual forces might be redeployed.