Moscow Summit (1988)

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Moscow Summit
President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev signing the INF treaty.jpg
Reagan and Gorbachev ratifying the INF Treaty in the Kremlin Palace
Host country Soviet Union
DateMay 29 – June 3, 1988
Venue(s)Kremlin Palace
ParticipantsSoviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev
United States Ronald Reagan
FollowsWashington Summit
PrecedesMalta Summit

The Moscow Summit was a summit meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev. It was held on May 29, 1988 – June 3, 1988. Reagan and Gorbachev finalized the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) after the U.S. Senate's ratification of the treaty in May 1988. Reagan and Gorbachev continued to discuss bilateral issues like Central America, Southern Africa, the Middle East and the pending withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Reagan and Gorbachev continued their discussions on human rights.[1] The parties signed seven agreements on lesser issues such as student exchanges and fishing rights. A significant result was the updating of Soviet history books, which necessitated cancelling some history classes in Soviet secondary schools.[2] In the end, Reagan expressed satisfaction with the summit.[3]

Reagan and Gorbachev eventually issued a joint statement, of which excerpts are shown here:

The President and the General Secretary view the Moscow summit as an important step in the process of putting U.S.-Soviet relations on a more productive and sustainable basis. Their comprehensive and detailed discussions covered the full agenda of issues to which the two leaders agreed during their initial meeting in Geneva in November 1985 -an agenda encompassing arms control, human rights and humanitarian matters, settlement of regional conflicts and bilateral relations. Serious differences remain on important issues; the frank dialogue which has developed between the two countries remains critical to surmounting these differences.

... The President and the General Secretary underscored the historic importance of their meetings in Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington and Moscow in laying the foundation for a realistic approach to the problems of strengthening stability and reducing the risk of conflict. They reaffirmed their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, their determination to prevent any war between the United States and Soviet Union, whether nuclear or conventional, and their disavowal of any intention to achieve military superiority.

The two leaders are convinced that the expanding political dialogue they have established represents an increasingly effective means of resolving issues of mutual interest and concern. They do not minimize the real differences of history, tradition and ideology which will continue to characterize the U.S.-Soviet relationship. But they believe that the dialogue will endure, because it is based on realism and focused on the achievement of concrete results. ... It is a process which the President and the General Secretary believe serves the best interests of the peoples of the United States and the Soviet Union, and can contribute to a more stable, more peaceful and safer world.

Arms Control

The President and the General Secretary, having expressed the commitment of their two countries to build on progress to date in arms control, determined objectives and next steps on a wide range of issues in this area. These will guide the efforts of the two Governments in the months ahead as they work with each other and with other states toward equitable, verifiable agreements that strengthen international stability and security.

Nuclear and Space Talks

The two leaders noted that a joint draft text of a treaty on reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms has been elaborated. ... While important additional work is required before this treaty is ready for signature, many key provisions are recorded in the joint draft text and are considered to be agreed, subject to the completion and ratification of the treaty.

Taking into account a treaty on strategic offensive arms, the sides have continued negotiations to achieve a separate agreement concerning the ABM treaty building on the language of the Washington summit joint statement dated Dec. 10, 1987. Progress was noted in preparing the joint draft text of an associated protocol.

The joint draft treaty on reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms reflects the earlier understanding on establishing ceilings of no more than 1,600 strategic offensive delivery systems and 6,000 warheads as well as agreement on subceilings of 4,900 on the aggregate of ICBM and SLBM warheads and 1,540 warheads on 154 heavy missiles.

The draft treaty also records the sides' agreement that as a result of the reductions the aggregate throw weight of the Soviet Union's ICBMs and SLBMs will be reduced to a level approximately 50 percent below the existing level and this level will not be exceeded.

During the negotiations the two sides have also achieved understanding that in future work on the treaty they will act on the understanding that on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs of existing types the counting rule will include the number of warheads referred to in the joint statement of Dec. 10, 1987, and the number of warheads which will be attributed to each new type of ballistic missile will be subject to negotiation.

In addition, the sides agreed on a counting rule for heavy bomber armaments according to which heavy bombers equipped only for nuclear gravity bombs and SRAMs will count as one delivery vehicle against the 1,600 limit and one warhead against the 6,000 limit.

The delegations have also prepared joint draft texts of an inspection protocol, a conversion or elimination protocol, and a memorandum of understanding on data, which are integral parts of the treaty. These documents build on the verification provisions of the INF treaty, extending and elaborating them as necessary to meet the more demanding requirements of Start. The Start verification measures will, at a minimum, include

A. Data exchanges, to include declarations and appropriate notifications on the number and location of weapons systems limited by Start, including locations and facilities for production, final assembly, storage, testing, repair, training, deployment, conversion and elimination of such systems. Such declarations will be exchanged between the sides before the treaty is signed and updated periodically.

B. Baseline inspections to verify the accuracy of these declarations.

C. On-site observation of elimination of strategic systems necessary to meet the agreed limits.

D. Continuous on-site monitoring of the perimeter and portals of critical production facilities to confirm the output of weapons to be limited.

E. Short-notice on-site inspection of:

I. Declared locations during the process of reducing to agreed limits; II. Locations where systems covered by this treaty remain after achieving the agreed limits; and III. Locations where such systems have been located (formerly declared facilities).

F. Short-notice inspection, in accordance with agreed-upon procedures, of locations where either side considers covert deployment, production, storage or repair of strategic offensive arms could be occurring.

G. Prohibition of the use of concealment or other activities which impede verification by national technical means. Such provisions would include a ban on telemetry encryption and would allow for full access to all telemetric information broadcast during missile flight.

H. Procedures that enable verification of the number of warheads on deployed ballistic missiles of each specific type, including on-site inspection.

I. Enhanced observation of activities related to reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms by national technical means. These would include open displays of treaty-limited items at missile bases, bomber bases and submarine ports at locations and times chosen by the inspecting party.

The two sides have also begun to exchange data on their strategic forces.

During the course of this meeting in Moscow, the exchanges on Start resulted in the achievement of substantial additional common ground, particularly in the areas of ALCMs and the attempts to develop and agree, if possible, on a solution to the problem of verification of mobile ICBMs.

The sides also discussed the question of limiting long-range, nuclear-armed SLCMs.

Ronald Reagan and M. S. Gorbachev expressed their joint confidence that the extensive work done provides the basis for concluding the treaty on reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms which will promote strategic stability and strengthen security not only of the peoples of the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A., but of all mankind.

Guided by this fundamental agreement ... the delegations of the two countries have been instructed to return to Geneva on July 12, 1988. It has been agreed as a matter of principle that, once the remaining problems are solved and the treaty and its associated documents are agreed, they will be signed without delay.

Nuclear Testing

The leaders reaffirmed the commitment of the two sides to conduct in a single forum full-scale, stage-by-stage negotiations on the issues relating to nuclear testing. In these negotiations the sides as the first step will agree upon effective verification measures which will make it possible to ratify the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Threshold Test Ban Treaty of 1974 and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty of 1976, and proceed to negotiating further intermediate limitations on nuclear testing leading to the ultimate objective of the complete cessation of nuclear testing as part of the effective disarmament process. This process, among other things, would pursue, as the first priority, the goal of the reduction of nuclear weapons and ultimately, their elimination. In implementing the first objective of these negotiations, agreement upon effective verification measures for the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Threshold Test Ban Treaty of 1974, the sides agreed to design and conduct a joint verification experiment at each other's test sites.

The leaders ... also noted the substantial progress on a new protocol to the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty and urged continuing constructive negotiations on effective verification measures for the Threshold Test Ban Treaty.

Expressing their conviction that the progress achieved so far forms a solid basis for continuing progress on issues relating to nuclear testing, the leaders instructed the negotiators to complete expeditiously the preparation of a protocol to the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty and to complete the preparation of a protocol to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible after the joint verification experiment has been conducted and analyzed. They confirmed their understanding that verification measures for the TTBT will, to the extent appropriate, be used in further nuclear test limitation agreements which may subsequently be reached. They also declared their mutual intention to seek ratification of both the 1974 and 1976 treaties when the corresponding protocols to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty are completed, and to continue negotiations as agreed in the Washington joint summit statement.[4]

One ironic instance of the summit was when Reagan gave Gorbachev a copy of the movie Friendly Persuasion, whose screenwriter Michael Wilson got blacklisted in the 1950s due to suspected communist sympathies.[5]

See also[edit]