The Big Five: Arms Control Decision-Making in the Soviet Union

By Aleksandr' G. Savel'Yev; Nikolay N. Detinov et al. | Go to book overview

6
The START Negotiations
and the Final Period of
Superpower Confrontation

In a message to General Secretary Brezhnev on May 8, 1982, U.S. President Ronald R. Reagan suggested the sides initiate negotiations aimed at the reduction of the strategic offensive forces of the two countries. This message was transmitted after a number of preliminary contacts in Washington with Soviet Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, who sought to investigate the intentions of the American administration about its perspectives on such negotiations.

In the beginning of 1980s, the Soviet leadership tried, in general, to use any opportunity to keep Soviet-American relations afloat and, in particular, to nourish their "disarmament" component. Both official and unofficial channels were used to pursue this goal. For example, in 1981, a delegation of the Academy of Sciences headed by Academician Nikolay Inozemtsev visited the United States. Representatives of some "concerned organizations," including the KGB, were among the members of that delegation. Academician Yevgeniy P. Velikhov was also in the group, and this mission marked the beginning of his "disarmament career." The instructions for this delegation were unusually detailed and lengthy, encompassing as they did 15 typed pages. These instructions were worked out and discussed by the Five using the very same process as in preparations for official arms control negotiations with the

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