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Joint Statement Following the Soviet-United States Summit Meeting in Moscow

June 01, 1988

In accordance with the understanding reached during the U.S.-Soviet summit meeting in Geneva in November 1985, and confirmed at the Washington summit in December 1987, Ronald W. Reagan, President of the United States of America, and Mikhail S. Gorbachev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, met in Moscow May 29-June 2, 1988.

Attending on the U.S. side were Secretary of State George P. Shultz; Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci; Presidential Chief of Staff Howard H. Baker, Jr.; Assistant to the President for National Security Colin L. Powell; Ambassador at Large and Special Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State on Arms Control Matters, Paul H. Nitze; Special Adviser to the President and the Secretary of State on Arms Control Matters, Ambassador Edward L. Rowny; Ambassador of the U.S. to the USSR Jack F. Matlock; and Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Rozanne L. Ridgway.

Attending on the Soviet side were Members of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Chairman of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet, Andrei A. Gromyko; Member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Eduard A. Shevardnadze; Member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Alexander N. Yakovlev; Alternate Member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee, Minister of Defense of the USSR, Dimitri T. Yazov; Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Anatoly F. Dobrynin; Assistant of the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Anatoly S. Chernyaev; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Alexander A. Bessmertnykh; and Ambassador of the USSR to the United States of America Yuri V. Dubinin.

The President and the General Secretary view the Moscow summit as an important step in the process of putting U.S.-Soviet relations on a more productive and sustainable basis. Their comprehensive and detailed discussions covered the full agenda of issues to which the two leaders agreed during their initial meeting in Geneva in November, 1985—an agenda encompassing arms control, human rights and humanitarian matters, settlement of regional conflicts, and bilateral relations. Serious differences remain on important issues; the frank dialogue which has developed between the two countries remains critical to surmounting these differences.

The talks took place in a constructive atmosphere which provided ample opportunity for candid exchange. As a result, the sides achieved a better understanding of each other's positions. The two leaders welcomed the progress achieved in various areas of U.S.-Soviet relations since their last meeting in Washington, notwithstanding the difficulty and complexity of the issues. They noted with satisfaction numerous concrete agreements which have been achieved, and expressed their determination to redouble efforts in the months ahead in areas where work remains to be done. They praised the creative and intensive efforts made by representatives of both sides in recent months to resolve outstanding differences.

Assessing the state of U.S.-Soviet relations, the President and the General Secretary underscored the historic importance of their meetings in Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington, and Moscow in laying the foundation for a realistic approach to the problems of strengthening stability and reducing the risk of conflict. They reaffirmed their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought, their determination to prevent any war between the United States and Soviet Union, whether nuclear or conventional, and their disavowal of any intention to achieve military superiority.

The two leaders are convinced that the expanding political dialogue they have established represents an increasingly effective means of resolving issues of mutual interest and concern. They do not minimize the real differences of history, tradition and ideology which will continue to characterize the US-Soviet relationship. But they believe that the dialogue will endure, because it is based on realism and focused on the achievement of concrete results. It can serve as a constructive basis for addressing not only the problems of the present, but of tomorrow and the next century. It is a process which the President and the General Secretary believe serves the best interests of the peoples of the United States and the Soviet Union, and can contribute to a more stable, more peaceful and safer world.


The President and the General Secretary, having expressed the commitment of their two countries to build on progress to date in arms control, determined objectives and next steps on a wide range of issues in this area. These will guide the efforts of the two governments in the months ahead as they work with each other and with other states toward equitable, verifiable agreements that strengthen international stability and security.


The President and the General Secretary signed the protocol on the exchange of instruments of ratification of the Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles. The two leaders welcomed the entry into force of this historic agreement, which for the first time will eliminate an entire class of U.S. and Soviet nuclear arms, and which sets new standards for arms control. The leaders are determined to achieve the full implementation of all the provisions and understandings of the Treaty, viewing joint and successful work in this respect as an important precedent for future arms control efforts.

Nuclear and Space Talks

The two leaders noted that a Joint Draft Text of a Treaty on Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms has been elaborated. Through this process, the sides have been able to record in the Joint Draft Text extensive and significant areas of agreement and also to detail positions on remaining areas of disagreement. While important additional work is required before this Treaty is ready for signature, many key provisions are recorded in the Joint Draft Text and are considered to be agreed, subject to the completion and ratification of the Treaty.

Taking into account a Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, the sides have continued negotiations to achieve a separate agreement concerning the ARM Treaty building on the language of the Washington Summit Joint Statement dated December 10, 1987. Progress was noted in preparing the Joint Draft Text of an associated Protocol. In connection with their obligations under the Protocol, the sides have agreed in particular to use the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers for transmission of relevant information. The leaders directed their negotiators to prepare the Joint Draft Text of a separate agreement and to continue work on its associated Protocol.

The Joint Draft Treaty on Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms reflects the earlier understanding on establishing ceilings of no more than 1600 strategic offensive delivery systems and 6000 warheads as well as agreement on subceilings of 4900 on the aggregate of ICBM and SLBM warheads and 1540 warheads on 154 heavy missiles.

The draft Treaty also records the sides' agreement that as a result of the reductions the aggregate throw-weight of the Soviet Union's ICBMs and SLBMs will be reduced to a level approximately 50 percent below the existing level and this level will not be exceeded.

During the negotiations the two sides have also achieved understanding that in future work on the Treaty they will act on the understanding that on deployed ICBMs and SLBMs of existing types the counting rule will include the number of warheads referred to in the Joint Statement of December 10, 1987, and the number of warheads which will be attributed to each new type of ballistic missile will be subject to negotiation.

In addition, the sides agreed on a counting rule for heavy bomber armaments according to which heavy bombers equipped only for nuclear gravity bombs and SRAMs will count as one delivery vehicle against the 1600 limit and one warhead against the 6000 limit.

The delegations have also prepared Joint Draft Texts of an Inspection Protocol, a Conversion or Elimination Protocol, and a Memorandum of Understanding on data, which are integral parts of the Treaty. These documents build on the verification provisions of the INF Treaty, extending and elaborating them as necessary to meet the more demanding requirements of START. The START verification measures will, at a minimum, include:

A. Data exchanges, to include declarations and appropriate notifications on the number and location of weapons systems limited by START, including locations and facilities for production, final assembly, storage, testing, repair, training, deployment, conversion, and elimination of such systems. Such declarations will be exchanged between the sides before the Treaty is signed and updated periodically.

B. Baseline inspections to verify the accuracy of these declarations.

C. On-site observation of elimination of strategic systems necessary to meet the agreed limits.

D. Continuous on-site monitoring of the perimeter and portals of critical production facilities to confirm the output of weapons to be limited.

E. Short-notice on-site inspection of:

(i) declared locations during the process of reducing to agreed limits;

(ii) locations where systems covered by this Treaty remain after achieving the agreed limits; and

(iii) locations where such systems have been located (formerly declared facilities).

F. Short-notice inspection, in accordance with agreed upon procedures, of locations where either side considers covert deployment, production, storage or repair of strategic offensive arms could be occurring.

G. Prohibition of the use of concealment or other activities which impede verification by National Technical Means. Such provisions would include a ban on telemetry encryption and would allow for full access to all telemetric information broadcast during missile flight.

H. Procedures that enable verification of the number of warheads on deployed ballistic missiles of each specific type, including on-site inspection.

I. Enhanced observation of activities related to reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms by National Technical Means. These would include open displays of treaty-limited items at missile bases, bomber bases, and submarine ports at locations and times chosen by the inspecting party.

The two sides have also begun to exchange data on their strategic forces.

During the course of this meeting in Moscow, the exchanges on START resulted in the achievement of substantial additional common ground, particularly in the areas of ALCMs and the attempts to develop and agree, if possible, on a solution to the problem of verification of mobile ICBMs. The details of this additional common ground have been recorded in documents exchanged between the sides. The Delegations in Geneva will record these gains in the Joint Draft Text of the START Treaty.

The sides also discussed the question of limiting long-range, nuclear-armed SLCMs.

Ronald Reagan and M.S. Gorbachev expressed their joint confidence that the extensive work done provides the basis for concluding the Treaty on Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms which will promote strategic stability and strengthen security not only of the peoples of the USSR and the USA, but of all mankind.

Guided by this fundamental agreement, the U.S. President and the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU agreed to continue their efforts in this area energetically and purposefully. The Delegations of the two countries have been instructed to return to Geneva on July 12, 1988. It has been agreed as a matter of principle that, once the remaining problems are solved and the Treaty and its associated documents are agreed, they will be signed without delay.

Ballistic Missile Launch Notifications

The agreement between the U.S. and the USSR on notifications of launches of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles, signed during the Moscow summit, is a practical new step, reflecting the desire of the sides to reduce the risk of outbreak of nuclear war, in particular as a result of misinterpretation, miscalculation or accident.

Nuclear Testing

The leaders reaffirmed the commitment of the two sides to conduct in a single forum full-scale, stage-by-stage negotiations on the issues relating to nuclear testing. In these negotiations the sides as the first step will agree upon effective verification measures which will make it possible to ratify the U.S.-USSR Threshold Test Ban Treaty of 1974 and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty of 1976, and proceed to negotiating further intermediate limitations on nuclear testing leading to the ultimate objective of the complete cessation of nuclear testing as part of an effective disarmament process. This process, among other things, would pursue, as the first priority, the goal of the reduction of nuclear weapons and, ultimately, their elimination. In implementing the first objective of these negotiations, agreement upon effective verification measures for the U.S.-USSR Threshold Test Ban Treaty of 1974, the sides agreed to design and conduct a Joint Verification Experiment at each other's test sites.

The leaders therefore noted with satisfaction the signing of the Joint Verification Experiment Agreement, the considerable preparation underway for the Experiment, and the positive cooperation being exhibited in particular by the substantial numbers of personnel now engaged in work at each other's test sites. They also noted the substantial progress on a new Protocol to the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty and urged continuing constructive negotiations on effective verification measures for the Threshold Test Ban Treaty.

Expressing their conviction that the progress achieved so far forms a solid basis for continuing progress on issues relating to nuclear testing, the leaders instructed their negotiators to complete expeditiously the preparation of a Protocol to the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty and to complete the preparation of a Protocol to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible after the Joint Verification Experiment has been conducted and analyzed. They confirmed their understanding that verification measures for the TTBT will, to the extent appropriate, be used in further nuclear test limitation agreements which may subsequently be reached. They also declared their mutual intention to seek ratification of both the 1974 and 1976 Treaties when the corresponding protocols to the Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty are completed, and to continue negotiations as agreed in the Washington joint summit statement.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The two leaders noted that this year marks the 20th Anniversary of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, one of the most important international arms control agreements with over 130 adherents. They reaffirmed their conviction that universal adherence to the NPT is important to international peace and security. They expressed the hope that each state not a party to the Treaty will join it, or make an equally binding commitment under international law to forego acquisition of nuclear weapons and prevent nuclear weapons proliferation. This will enhance the possibility of progress toward reducing nuclear armaments and reduce the threat of nuclear war.

The two leaders also confirmed their support of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and agreed that they would continue efforts to further strengthen it. They reaffirmed the value of their regular consultations on non-proliferation and agreed that they should continue.

Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers

The leaders expressed satisfaction over the activation of the new communications link between the Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers in Moscow and Washington, established in accordance with the U.S.-Soviet agreement of September 15, 1987. It was agreed that the Centers can play an important role in the context of a future Treaty on reducing U.S. and Soviet strategic nuclear arms.

Chemical Weapons

The leaders reviewed the status of ongoing multilateral negotiations and bilateral U.S.-Soviet consultations toward a comprehensive, effectively verifiable, and truly global ban on chemical weapons, encompassing all chemical weapons-capable states. They also expressed concern over the growing problem of chemical weapons proliferation and use.

The leaders reaffirmed the importance of efforts to address, as a matter of continuing urgency, the unique challenges of a chemical weapons ban and to achieve an effective convention. While noting the progress already achieved in the talks and the difficult problems with regard to effective monitoring of the global prohibition of chemical weapons and the non-use of dual-capable chemicals for chemical weapons purposes, the leaders underlined the need for concrete solutions to the problems of ensuring effective verification and undiminished security for all convention participants. They gave instructions to their respective delegations to this effect.

Both sides agreed on the vital importance of greater openness by all states as a way to build confidence and strengthen the foundation for an effective convention. The leaders also emphasized the necessity of close coordination on a multilateral basis in order to ensure the participation of all CW-possessing and CW-capable states in the convention.

Both sides strongly condemned the dangerous spread and illegal use of chemical weapons in violation of the 1925 Geneva Protocol. They stressed the importance of both technical and political solutions to this problem and confirmed their support for international investigations of suspected violations. Noting the initial efforts being made to control the export of chemicals used in manufacturing chemical weapons, the leaders called on all nations with the capability of producing such chemicals to institute stringent export controls to inhibit the proliferation of chemical weapons.

Conventional Arms Control

The leaders emphasized the importance of strengthening stability and security in the whole of Europe. They welcomed progress to date on development of a mandate for new negotiations on armed forces and conventional armaments. They expressed their hope for an early and balanced conclusion to the Vienna CSCE Follow-Up Meeting. The President and the General Secretary also noted that full implementation of the provisions of the document of the Stockholm Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe can significantly increase openness and mutual confidence.

They also discussed the situation in the Mutual and Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR) negotiations in Vienna.

Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe

They expressed their commitment to further development of the CSCE process. The U.S. and USSR will continue to work with the other 33 participants to bring the Vienna CSCE follow-up meeting to a successful conclusion, through significant results in all the principal areas of the Helsinki Final Act and Madrid Concluding Document.

Ballistic Missile Technology Proliferation

The leaders agreed to bilateral discussions at the level of experts on the problem of proliferation of ballistic missile technology.

Third Special Session of the UN General Assembly

The President and the General Secretary noted the importance of the ongoing Third Special Session on Disarmament.


The President and the General Secretary engaged in a detailed discussion of human rights and humanitarian concerns. The leaders reviewed the increasingly broad and detailed U.S.-Soviet dialogue in this area and agreed that it should be conducted at all levels in order to achieve sustained, concrete progress. They noted that this dialogue should seek to maximize assurance of the rights, freedoms and human dignity of individuals; promotion of people-to-people communications and contacts; active sharing of spiritual, cultural, historical and other values; and greater mutual understanding and respect between the two countries. Toward this end, they discussed the possible establishment of a forum which, meeting regularly, would bring together participants from across the range of their two societies. They noted steps already taken to establish the exchange of information and contacts between legislative bodies of both countries, as well as discussions between legal experts, physicians and representatives of other professions directly involved in matters pertaining to human rights, and between representatives of non-governmental organizations.


The President and the General Secretary thoroughly discussed a wide range of regional questions, including the Middle East, the Iran-Iraq war, southern Africa, the Horn of Africa, Central America, Cambodia, the Korean Peninsula, and other issues. They expressed satisfaction with the April, 1988, conclusion in Geneva of accords on an Afghanistan settlement. Although the discussions revealed serious differences both in the assessment of the causes of regional tensions and in the means to overcome them, the leaders agreed that these differences need not be an obstacle to constructive interaction between the U.S. and USSR.

They reaffirmed their intention to continue U.S.-Soviet discussions at all levels aimed at helping parties to regional conflicts find peaceful solutions which advance their independence, freedom and security. They emphasized the importance of enhancing the capacity of the United Nations and other international institutions to contribute to the resolution of regional conflicts.


The President and the General Secretary reviewed progress in further expanding bilateral contacts, exchanges and cooperation since their meeting in Washington, D.C. in December 1987. They noted the increasingly important role that mutually beneficial interchange between the two countries can play in improving mutual understanding and providing stability in the U.S.-Soviet relationship. They stated their intention to intensify such ties.

They noted with particular satisfaction that concrete agreements had been reached in most of the areas identified at their meetings in Geneva, Reykjavik and Washington.

Bilateral Agreements and Cooperative Activities

The President and the General Secretary welcomed the conclusion of a number of bilateral agreements which open new opportunities for fruitful cooperation in the following fields: cooperation in transportation science and technology; maritime search and rescue; operational coordination between U.S. and Soviet radio navigation systems in the Northern Pacific and Bering Sea; and mutual fisheries relations.

The two leaders welcomed the recent signing of a new Memorandum on Civilian Nuclear Reactor Safety under the bilateral agreement on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy. There was an exchange of notes to extend that Agreement.

They expressed satisfaction with the recent signing of a new protocol under the bilateral Housing Agreement for cooperation in construction research relating to extreme geological and unusual climatic conditions.

They reviewed the status of negotiations between the two countries concerning maritime shipping, the U.S.-USSR maritime boundary, basic scientific research, and emergency pollution clean-up in the Bering and Chukchi Seas. They instructed their negotiators to accelerate efforts to achieve mutually acceptable agreements in these areas at the earliest opportunity.

The two leaders welcomed the start of bilateral discussions on combatting narcotics trafficking. They noted with satisfaction ongoing consultations between the two sides concerning law of the sea, air and sea transportation safety, and areas of mutual interest in the field of law.

Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges

Noting the expansion of exchanges in the areas of education, science, culture and sports under the General Exchanges Agreement, the two leaders welcomed the signing of a new implementing program for 1989-91 under the Agreement and expressed their intention to continue expansion of such exchanges. During the time in which this program is in force, the two sides, taking into consideration their mutual interest as well as financial and technical conditions, will conduct negotiations on the opening of culture/information centers in the U.S. and the USSR with the aim of signing an appropriate agreement on behalf of the governments of both countries.

They expressed satisfaction that, over the course of their dialogue, people-to-people contacts and exchanges between non-governmental organizations have significantly increased and become one of the most dynamic elements in the bilateral relationship. They reaffirmed their commitment to further growth of such exchanges, which contribute to mutual understanding, and welcomed plans for increased exchanges of young people in the future. In this context, they expressed their readiness to consider in practical terms the idea of further developing exchanges of high school students. They cited recent joint U.S.-Soviet initiatives on culture, theater and the cinema as examples of new opportunities to engage those involved in the creative arts.

Noting the rapidly growing sports ties between the two countries, including their national Olympic committees, the two leaders expressed their support for the International Olympic movement, which promotes international cooperation and understanding through athletic competition.

Other Cooperative Activities

The President and the General Secretary noted the successful expansion of scientific cooperation within the framework of bilateral agreements in Environmental Protection, Medical Science and Public Health, Artificial Heart Research and Development, Agriculture, and Studies of the World Ocean, and expressed their intention to continue to expand activities under these Agreements in areas of mutual benefit to the two sides.

The President and the General Secretary noted with pleasure the commencement of work on a conceptual design of an International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency, between scientists and experts from the United States, Soviet Union, European Atomic Energy Community, and Japan. The two leaders noted the significance of this next step toward the development of fusion power as a cheap, environmentally sound, and essentially inexhaustible energy source for the benefit of all mankind.

The President and the General Secretary welcomed agreement by representatives of the United States, Soviet Union, Canada and France, to institutionalize in the near future the COSPAS/SARSAT space-based, life-saving global search and rescue system.

Both leaders reaffirmed their support for the WHO/UNICEF goal of reducing the scale of preventable childhood death through the most effective methods of saving children. They urged other countries and the international community to intensify efforts to achieve this goal.

Global Climate and Environmental Change Initiative

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction with activities since the Washington summit in expanding cooperation with respect to global climate and environmental change, including in areas of mutual concern relating to environmental protection, such as protection and conservation of stratospheric ozone and a possible global warming trend. They emphasized their desire to make more active use of the unique opportunities afforded by the space programs of the two countries to conduct global monitoring of the environment and the ecology of the Earth's land, oceans and atmosphere. They underscored the need to continue to promote both bilateral and multilateral cooperation in this important area in the future.

Initiative for Expanded Civil Space Cooperation

Recognizing the long-standing commitment of both countries to space science and exploration, and noting the progress made under the 1987 U.S.-USSR Cooperative Agreement in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, the two leaders agreed to a new initiative to expand civil space cooperation by exchanging flight opportunities for scientific instruments to fly on each other's spacecraft, and by exchanging results of independent national studies of future unmanned solar system exploration missions as a means of assessing prospects for further U.S.-Soviet cooperation on such missions. They also agreed to expand exchanges of space science data and of scientists, to enhance the scientific benefit that can be derived from the two countries' space research missions. They noted scientific missions to the Moon and Mars as areas of possible bilateral and international cooperation.

Arctic Contacts and Cooperation

Taking into account the unique environmental, demographic and other characteristics of the Arctic, the two leaders reaffirmed their support for expanded bilateral and regional contacts and cooperation in this area. They noted plans and opportunities for increased scientific and environmental cooperation under a number of bilateral agreements as well as within an International Arctic Science Committee of states with interests in the region. They expressed their support for increased people-to-people contacts between the native peoples of Alaska and the Soviet North.

The President and the General Secretary noted the positive role played by the multilateral Antarctic Treaty and emphasized the importance of U.S.-Soviet scientific and environmental cooperation in that region.

Trade and Economic Affairs

The two sides reconfirmed their strong support for the expansion of mutually beneficial trade and economic relations and noted recent activity in this area. They reiterated their belief that commercially viable joint ventures complying with the laws and regulations of both countries could play a role in the further development of commercial relations. They welcomed the results of the meeting of the Joint U.S.-USSR Commercial Commission in April and noted with satisfaction that working groups had been created under the Commission to further the establishment of better conditions under which mutually advantageous trade can develop. Taking note of the 1974 Joint Statement and Protocol amending the Long-Term Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Facilitate Economic, Industrial and Technical Cooperation issued at the conclusion of the Joint Commercial Commission, they agreed that the Commission should continue to meet to build upon the forward momentum which has been generated.

The two leaders cited expanding relations between Aeroflot and Pan American Airlines under the government-to-government Civil Air Transportation Agreement as a positive example of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Consulates Exchange/Diplomatic and Consular Missions

The President and the General Secretary reaffirmed their agreement to open Consulates General in Kiev and New York as soon as practicable.

The two leaders discussed questions relating to ensuring adequate and secure conditions for U.S. and Soviet diplomatic and consular establishments and their personnel in each other's territory. They agreed on the need to approach problems relating to such matters constructively and on the basis of reciprocity.


The President and the General Secretary, recognizing the importance of their personal involvement in the development of relations in the months ahead, instructed Secretary of State Shultz and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze to meet as necessary and to report to them on ways to ensure continued practical progress across the full range of issues. Expert-level contacts will also continue on an intensified basis.

Note: The joint statement was not issued as a White House press release.

Ronald Reagan, Joint Statement Following the Soviet-United States Summit Meeting in Moscow Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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