various types of strategic weapons and, specifically, over ALCMs and SLCMs were discussed. The most important result of that meeting by far was consent by the Soviet Union to de-link the START and ABM Treaties. This tact was introduced allegedly as a completely new approach to the old problem of linkage. The Soviet Union announced that it would be prepared to sign and ratify START even in the situation wherein agreement on ABM defenses had not been reached by the end of START Treaty preparation. The principal condition attached to this step by the Soviet Union at the Wyoming Ministerial was compliance with the ABM Treaty. And START itself, from the Soviet viewpoint, should include a provision granting the parties the right to withdraw if the other side did not adhere to the treaty or withdrew unilaterally.1
Both the United States and the Soviet Union moved significantly toward agreement in the course of the five-year process of strategic arms reduction negotiations. The Soviet Union was not alone in making concessions; the American approach changed significantly as well. As a result of this mutual movement, the interests of the adversaries regarding this complex problem were counterbalanced. However, when we compare initial positions of the two sides, it would seem that the Soviet Union made more concessions. At the same time, one should always take into account the fact that the Soviet Union virtually always began arms control negotiations by having a huge "safety margin"; the START negotiations were no exception. Despite the fact that the USSR began negotiations with the potential of something to give, breaking into this "safety margin" was an extremely painful process for the Soviet leadership and decision-makers. A number of episodes from the following chapter testify to this conclusion.