Global Double Zero: The INF Treaty from Its Origins to Implementation

By George L. Rueckert | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
From the Soviet Walkout Until the Reykjavik Summit

The INF negotiations did not resume until a year after the Soviet walkout. During this hiatus, both sides continued to build up their INF missiles forces in Western Europe. In addition, the Soviet Union instituted "countermeasures" to the U.S. deployments. When the INF talks resumed, they were subsumed in the broader Nuclear and Space Talks (NST). INF discussions in Geneva started at a desultory pace, but gradually gained momentum. A series of high-level discussions in fall 1985 culminated in a major negotiating breakthrough at the Reykjavik Summit in October 1986.


HIATUS IN THE NEGOTIATIONS

The Soviets refused to return to the INF negotiations through most of 1984, taking the position that the "obstacles" created by the new U.S. INF deployments would have to be removed before negotiations could resume. They doubtless hoped an intransigent position would continue to stimulate peace movement protests in Europe against U.S. deployments and eventually break the NATO solidarity. Instead, the Soviet walkout and inflexibility on further negotiations denied them the effective Geneva public relations forum, removed INF from the headlines, and cut the ground out from under the peace movement which no longer could claim to play a role influencing an INF outcome. As a result peace movement support rapidly faded. Within a year it had lost any impact it might have had on the INF negotiations either in Western Europe or the U.S.1

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