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
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11
The START Treaty: Who Made Concessions to Whom?

When Soviet-American talks on nuclear and space weapons began in Geneva in 1985, the majority of the Soviet and American participants concentrated their attention on the future strategic arms limitation treaty. Ambassadors Viktor Karpov and John Tower headed the Soviet and American groups at that time. At the START negotiations, both the Soviet and American representatives adopted the same stands that they had defended before the earlier talks broke off in 1983, and both sides proceeded in this round to argue their earlier positions, views, which could not further the possibility of reaching an agreement.

By the end of 1985, major divergences between the sides' positions were revealed. First, they concerned the interrelationship between strategic offensive and space-strike weapons. The Soviet Side proceeded from the view that a comprehensive reduction of the nuclear offensive weapons was possible only if space-strike weapons were banned. The Americans, on the other hand, insisted that nuclear offensive weapons and "defense and space" issues should not be tied together. Second, the United States did not want to acknowledge an interrelationship between strategic nuclear weapons and medium-range nuclear weapons (MRNW) (or, as

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