U.S.-Soviet Summit (Great Events from History: North American Series)
Article abstract: The first summit meeting in six years between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union prompts a series of summits that will end in arms reductions.
Summary of Event
U.S.-Soviet relations were deteriorating in the early 1980’s, with President Ronald Reagan overseeing a buildup of the U.S. military and a series of aging Soviet leaders overseeing an expansionist foreign policy. U.S. and Soviet troops, advisers, and weapons faced each other in such places as Angola, Afghanistan, and Nicaragua. Negotiations to limit the two countries’ nuclear weapons—a mainstay of U.S.-Soviet diplomacy since the late 1960’s—had been broken off in 1983.
Mikhail Gorbachev’s ascension to the post of general secretary of the Communist Party in March, 1985, spawned some hopes in the West that the hard-line Soviet stance might be open to revision. Gorbachev began ambitious domestic reform programs in the Soviet Union and stated his intention to establish a rapprochement with the West. Arms control negotiations, called the Nuclear and Space Talks, were resumed in Geneva. As a sign of a new dialogue between the two countries, Gorbachev and Reagan agreed to meet face to face in the Swiss capital in the fall of 1985. It would be the first meeting between a U.S. president and his Soviet counterpart since the 1970’s.
The Geneva summit began on November 19, 1985. The subject of arms...
(The entire section is 1352 words.)
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