The Politburo Commission for the Supervision of the Negotiations
Even as the date for the opening of the SALT I talks drew near, the Soviet Union still lacked a mechanism for the rapid implementation of decisions on arms control and disarmament issues. All the documents necessary to support the talks were still prepared exclusively by the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs. This was at the direction of the Politburo, which routinely demanded proposals on certain issues by set deadlines. Thus, all initiatives came from the top down, rather than from the bottom up.
Within the Foreign Ministry, negotiations activities were initially tackled by the International Organizations Department (OMO) headed by Kirill N. Novikov. (After the second round of SALT I had concluded, however, this task was transferred to Georgiy Korniyenko, who had just returned from Vienna. By the time this decision was taken, however, Korniyenko had been appointed head of the "United States desk." As a result, all negotiations-related papers were transferred from OMO proper to Korniyenko's desk; eventually, his department dealt with all Soviet-American talks.) At the Defense Ministry, the Main Operational Administration (GOU) of the General Staff of the Soviet Army was responsible for both the preparations for, and conduct of, negotiations. There, then, General Nikolay V. Ogarkov, First Deputy Chief of the General