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Transcending the Cold WarSummits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970–1990$
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Kristina Spohr and David Reynolds

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727507

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727507.001.0001

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Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington, and Moscow, 1985–8

Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington, and Moscow, 1985–8

(p.151) 6 Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington, and Moscow, 1985–8
Transcending the Cold War

Jonathan Hunt

David Reynolds

Oxford University Press

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev ushered in a new era for Soviet-American relations at four summits in 1985–8. Reagan’s efforts to re-engage the USSR led to the Geneva summit, where the two leaders ignited a spark of mutual trust. At Reykjavik their shared abhorrence of nuclear weapons brought them close to a radical arms reduction agreement. Although they pulled back from the brink in 1986, at the Washington summit the following year they signed the INF treaty, which not only addressed the issue of Soviet SS-20s but also abolished a whole category of nuclear weapons for the first time in the Cold War. Conservatives in the Reagan administration blocked conclusion of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) at the 1988 Moscow summit, but the president’s repudiation there of his ‘evil empire’ rhetoric was a turning point in transcending the ideological divide.

Keywords:   START, INF treaty, Ronald Reagan, Mikhail Gorbachev, SS-20s, SDI, George Shultz, Eduard Shevardnadze, Geneva, Reykjavik

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