Joint Soviet-United States Statement on the Summit Meeting in Geneva
By mutual agreement, President of the United States Ronald Reagan and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev met in Geneva November 19-21. Attending the meeting on the U.S. side were Secretary of State George Shultz; Chief of Staff Donald Regan; Assistant to the President Robert McFarlane; Ambassador to the USSR Arthur Hartman; Special Advisor to the President and the Secretary of State for Arms Control Paul H. Nitze; Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Rozanne Ridgway; Special Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Jack Matlock. Attending on the Soviet side were Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Minister of Foreign Affairs E. A. Shevardnadze; First Deputy Foreign Minister G. M. Korniyenko; Ambassador to the United States A. F. Dobrynin; Head of the Department of Propaganda of the Central Committee of the CPSU, A. N. Yakovlev; Head of the Department of International Information of the Central Committee of the CPSU L. M. Zamyatin; Assistant to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU, A. M. Aleksandrov.
These comprehensive discussions covered the basic questions of U.S.-Soviet relations and the current international situation. The meetings were frank and useful. Serious differences remain on a number of critical issues.
While acknowledging the differences in their systems and approaches to international issues, some greater understanding of each side's view was achieved by the two leaders. They agreed about the need to improve U.S.-Soviet relations and the international situation as a whole.
In this connection the two sides have confirmed the importance of an ongoing dialogue, reflecting their strong desire to seek common ground on existing problems.
They agreed to meet again in the nearest future. The General Secretary accepted an invitation by the President of the United States to visit the United States of America and the President of the United States accepted an invitation by the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU to visit the Soviet Union. Arrangements for and timing of the visits will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.
In their meetings, agreement was reached on a number of specific issues. Areas of agreement are registered on the following pages.
The sides, having discussed key security issues, and conscious of the special responsibility of the USSR and the U.S. for maintaining peace, have agreed that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. Recognizing that any conflict between the USSR and the U.S. could have catastrophic consequences, they emphasized the importance of preventing any war between them, whether nuclear or conventional. They will not seek to achieve military superiority.
Nuclear and Space Talks
The President and the General Secretary discussed the negotiations on nuclear and space arms.
They agreed to accelerate the work at these negotiations, with a view to accomplishing the tasks set down in the Joint U.S.–Soviet Agreement of January 8, 1985, namely to prevent an arms race in space and to terminate it on earth, to limit and reduce nuclear arms and enhance strategic stability.
Noting the proposals recently tabled by the U.S. and the Soviet Union, they called for early progress, in particular in areas where there is common ground, including the principle of 50% reductions in the nuclear arms of the U.S. and the USSR appropriately applied, as well as the idea of an interim INF agreement.
During the negotiation of these agreements, effective measures for verification of compliance with obligations assumed will be agreed upon.
Risk Reduction Centers
The sides agreed to study the question at the expert level of centers to reduce nuclear risk taking into account the issues and developments in the Geneva negotiations. They took satisfaction in such recent steps in this direction as the modernization of the Soviet-U.S. hotline.
General Secretary Gorbachev and President Reagan reaffirmed the commitment of the USSR and the U.S. to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and their interest in strengthening together with other countries the non-proliferation regime, and in further enhancing the effectiveness of the Treaty, inter alia by enlarging its membership.
They note with satisfaction the overall positive results of the recent Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
The USSR and the U.S. reaffirm their commitment, assumed by them under the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to pursue negotiations in good faith on matters of nuclear arms limitation and disarmament in accordance with Article VI of the Treaty.
The two sides plan to continue to promote the strengthening of the International Atomic Energy Agency and to support the activities of the Agency in implementing safeguards as well as in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
They view positively the practice of regular Soviet-U.S. consultations on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons which have been businesslike and constructive and express their intent to continue this practice in the future.
In the context of discussing security problems, the two sides reaffirmed that they are in favor of a general and complete prohibition of chemical weapons and the destruction of existing stockpiles of such weapons. They agreed to accelerate efforts to conclude an effective and verifiable international convention on this matter.
The two sides agreed to intensify bilateral discussions on the level of experts on all aspects of such a chemical weapons ban, including the question of verification. They agreed to initiate a dialogue on preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons.
The two sides emphasized the importance they attach to the Vienna (MBFR) negotiations and expressed their willingness to work for positive results.
Attaching great importance to the Stockholm Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe and noting the progress made there, the two sides stated their intention to facilitate, together with the other participating states, an early and successful completion of the work of the conference. To this end, they reaffirmed the need for a document which would include mutually acceptable confidence and security building measures and give concrete expression and effect to the principle of non-use of force.
Process of Dialogue
President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev agreed on the need to place on a regular basis and intensify dialogue at various levels. Along with meetings between the leaders of the two countries, this envisages regular meetings between the USSR Minister of Foreign Affairs and the U.S. Secretary of State, as well as between the heads of other Ministries and Agencies. They agree that the recent visits of the heads of Ministries and Departments in such fields as agriculture, housing and protection of the environment have been useful.
Recognizing that exchanges of views on regional issues on the expert level have proven useful, they agreed to continue such exchanges on a regular basis.
The sides intend to expand the programs of bilateral cultural, educational and scientific-technical exchanges, and also to develop trade and economic ties. The President of the United States and the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU attended the signing of the Agreement on Contacts and Exchanges in Scientific, Educational and Cultural Fields.
They agreed on the importance of resolving humanitarian cases in the spirit of cooperation.
They believe that there should be greater understanding among our peoples and that to this end they will encourage greater travel and people-to-people contact.
Northern Pacific Air Safety
The two leaders also noted with satisfaction that, in cooperation with the Government of Japan, the United States and the Soviet Union have agreed to a set of measures to promote safety on air routes in the North Pacific and have worked out steps to implement them.
Civil Aviation / Consulates
They acknowledged that delegations from the United States and the Soviet Union have begun negotiations aimed at resumption of air services. The two leaders expressed their desire to reach a mutually beneficial agreement at an early date. In this regard, an agreement was reached on the simultaneous opening of Consulates General in New York and Kiev.
Both sides agreed to contribute to the preservation of the environment—a global task—through joint research and practical measures. In accordance with the existing U.S.-Soviet agreement in this area, consultations will be held next year in Moscow and Washington on specific programs of cooperation.
The two leaders agreed on the utility of broadening exchanges and contacts including some of their new forms in a number of scientific, educational, medical and sports fields (inter alia, cooperation in the development of educational exchanges and software for elementary and secondary school instruction; measures to promote Russian language studies in the United States and English language studies in the USSR; the annual exchange of professors to conduct special courses in history, culture and economics at the relevant departments of Soviet and American institutions of higher education; mutual allocation of scholarships for the best students in the natural sciences, technology, social sciences and humanities for the period of an academic year; holding regular meets in various sports and increased television coverage of sports events). The two sides agreed to resume cooperation in combatting cancer diseases.
The relevant agencies in each of the countries are being instructed to develop specific programs for these exchanges. The resulting programs will be reviewed by the leaders at their next meeting.
The two leaders emphasized the potential importance of the work aimed at utilizing controlled thermonuclear fusion for peaceful purposes and, in this connection, advocated the widest practicable development of international cooperation in obtaining this source of energy, which is essentially inexhaustible, for the benefit for all mankind.
Ronald Reagan, Joint Soviet-United States Statement on the Summit Meeting in Geneva Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/258993