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Joint Statement on the Soviet-United States Summit Meeting

December 10, 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 Washington on December 7-10, 1987.

Attending the meeting on the U.S. side were Vice President George Bush; Secretary of State George P. Shultz; Secretary of Defense Frank C. Carlucci; Chief of Staff Howard H. Baker, Jr.; Acting Assistant to the President Lieutenant General Colin L. Powell; Counselor of the Department of State Ambassador Max M. Kampelman; Ambassador-at-Large and Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control Matters Paul H. Nitze; Special Advisor to the President and Secretary of State on Arms Control Matters Ambassador Edward L. Rowny; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr.; 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 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; Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Anatoly F. Dobrynin; Deputy Chairman of the USSR Council of Ministers Vladimir M. Kamentsev; Chief of the General Staff of the USSR Armed Forces and First Deputy Minister of Defense of the USSR, Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergei F. Akhromeev; Assistant to the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Anatoly S. Chernyaev; Head of the General Department of the CPSU Central Committee Valeriy I. Boldin; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR Aleksandr A. Bessmertnykh; Ambassador of the USSR to the United States of America Yuri V. Dubinin; Member of the Collegium of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs Victor P. Karpov; and Ambassador-at-Large Aleksey A. Obukhov.

During the course of the official visit, which had been agreed during the two leaders' November 1985 meeting in Geneva, the President and the General Secretary held comprehensive and detailed discussions on the full range of issues between the two countries, including arms reductions, human rights and humanitarian issues, settlement of regional conflicts, and bilateral relations. The talks were candid and constructive, reflecting both the continuing differences between the two sides, and their understanding that these differences are not insurmountable obstacles to progress in areas of mutual interest.

They reaffirmed their strong commitment to a vigorous dialogue encompassing the whole of the relationship.

The leaders reviewed progress to date in fulfilling the broad agenda they agreed at Geneva and advanced at Reykjavik. They took particular satisfaction in the conclusion over the last two years of important agreements in some areas of this agenda.

The President and the General Secretary affirmed the fundamental importance of their meetings in Geneva and Reykjavik, which laid the basis for concrete steps in a process intended to improve strategic stability and reduce the risk of conflict. They will continue to be guided by their solemn conviction that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought. They are determined to prevent any war between the United States and the Soviet Union, whether nuclear or conventional. They will not seek to achieve military superiority.

The two leaders recognized the special responsibility of the United States and the Soviet Union to search for realistic ways to prevent confrontation and to promote a more sustainable and stable relationship between their countries. To this end, they agreed to intensify dialogue and to encourage emerging trends toward constructive cooperation in all areas of their relations. They are convinced that in so doing they will also contribute, with other nations, to the building of a safer world as humanity enters the third millennium.


The INF Treaty

The two leaders signed 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. This treaty is historic both for its objective—the complete elimination of an entire class of U.S. and Soviet nuclear arms—and for the innovative character and scope of its verification provisions. This mutual accomplishment makes a vital contribution to greater stability.

Nuclear and Space Talks

The President and the General Secretary discussed the negotiations on reductions in strategic offensive arms. They noted the considerable progress which has been made toward conclusion of a treaty implementing the principle of 50-percent reductions. They agreed to instruct their negotiators in Geneva to work toward the completion of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms and all integral documents at the earliest possible date, preferably in time for signature of the treaty during the next meeting of leaders of state in the first half of 1988. Recognizing that areas of agreement and disagreement are recorded in detail in the Joint Draft Treaty Text, they agreed to instruct their negotiators to accelerate resolution of issues within the Joint Draft Treaty Text including early agreement on provisions for effective verification.

In so doing, the negotiators should build upon the agreements on 50-percent reductions achieved at Reykjavik as subsequently developed and now reflected in the agreed portions of the Joint Draft START Treaty Text being developed in Geneva, including agreement on ceilings of no more than 1600 strategic offensive delivery systems, 6000 warheads, 1540 warheads on 154 heavy missiles; the agreed rule of account for heavy bombers and their nuclear armament; and an 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 by either side. Such an agreement will be recorded in a mutually satisfactory manner.

As priority tasks, they should focus on the following issues:

(a) The additional steps necessary to ensure that the reductions enhance strategic stability. This will include a ceiling of 4900 on the aggregate number of ICBM plus SLBM warheads within the 6000 total.

(b) The counting rules governing the number of long-range, nuclear-armed air-launched cruise missiles (ALCMs) to be attributed to each type of heavy bomber. The Delegations shall define concrete rules in this area.

(c) The counting rules with respect to existing ballistic missiles. The sides proceed from the assumption that existing types of ballistic missiles are deployed with the following numbers of warheads. In the United States: PEACEKEEPER (MX): 10, MINUTEMAN III: 3, MINUTEMAN II: 1, TRIDENT I: 8, TRIDENT II: 8, POSEIDON: 10. In the Soviet Union: SS-17: 4, SS-19: 6, SS-18: 10, SS-24: 10, SS-25: 1, SS-11: 1, SS-13: 1, SS-N-6: 1, SS-N-8: 1, SS-N-17: 1, SS-N-18: 7, SS-N-20:10 and SS-N-23: 4. Procedures will be developed that enable verification of the number of warheads on deployed ballistic missiles of each specific type. In the event either side changes the number of warheads declared for a type of deployed ballistic missile, the sides shall notify each other in advance. There shall also be agreement on how to account for warheads on future types of ballistic missiles covered by the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

(d) The sides shall find a mutually acceptable solution to the question of limiting the deployment of long-range, nuclear-armed SLCMs. Such limitations will not involve counting long-range, nuclear-armed SLCMs within the 6000 warhead and 1600 strategic offensive delivery systems limits. The sides committed themselves to establish ceilings on such missiles, and to seek mutually acceptable and effective methods of verification of such limitations, which could include the employment of National Technical Means, cooperative measures and on-site inspection.

(e) Building upon the provisions of the Treaty on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, the measures by which the provisions of the Treaty on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms can be verified will, at a minimum, include:

1. Data exchanges, to include declarations by each side of the number and location of weapon systems limited by the Treaty and of facilities at which such systems are located and appropriate notifications. These facilities will include locations and facilities for production and final assembly, storage, testing, and deployment of systems covered by this Treaty. Such declarations will be exchanged between the sides before the Treaty is signed and updated periodically after entry into force.

2. Baseline inspection to verify the accuracy of these declarations promptly after entry into force of the Treaty.

3. On-site observation of the elimination of strategic systems necessary to achieve the agreed limits.

4. Continuous on-site monitoring of the perimeter and portals of critical production and support facilities to confirm the output of these facilities.

5. 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).

6. The right to implement, in accordance with agreed-upon procedures, short-notice inspections at locations where either side considers covert deployment, production, storage or repair of strategic offensive arms could be occurring.

7. Provisions prohibiting 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.

8. Measures designed to enhance 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.

Taking into account the preparation of the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, the leaders of the two countries also instructed their delegations in Geneva to work out an agreement that would commit the sides to observe the ABM Treaty, as signed in 1979, while conducting their research, development, and testing as required, which are permitted by the ABM Treaty, and not to withdraw from the ABM Treaty, for a specified period of time. Intensive discussions of strategic stability shall begin not later than three years before the end of the specified period, after which, in the event the sides have not agreed otherwise, each side will be free to decide its course of action. Such an agreement must have the same legal status as the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms, the ABM Treaty, and other similar, legally binding agreements. This agreement will be recorded in a mutually satisfactory manner. Therefore, they direct their delegations to address these issues on a priority basis.

The sides shall discuss ways to ensure predictability in the development of the U.S.-Soviet strategic relationship trader conditions of strategic stability, to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

Other Arms Control Issues

The President and the General Secretary reviewed a broad range of other issues concerning arms limitation and reduction. The sides emphasized the importance of productive negotiations on security matters and advancing in the main areas of arms limitation and reduction through equitable, verifiable agreements that enhance security and stability.

Nuclear Testing

The two leaders welcomed the opening on November 9, 1987, of full-scale, step-by-step negotiations, in accordance with the joint statement adopted in Washington on September 17, 1987, by the Secretary of State of the United States and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR:

The U.S. and Soviet sides have agreed to begin before December 1, 1987, full-scale stage-by-stage negotiations which will be conducted in a single forum. 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. For the purpose of the elaboration of improved verification measures for the U.S.-USSR Treaties of 1974 and 1976 the sides intend to design and conduct joint verification experiments at each other's test sites. These verification measures will, to the extent appropriate, be used in further nuclear test limitation agreements which may subsequently be reached.

The leaders also welcomed the prompt agreement by the sides to exchange experts' visits to each other's nuclear testing sites in January 1988 and to design and subsequently to conduct a Joint Verification Experiment at each other's test site. The terms of reference for the Experiment are set forth in the statement issued on December 9, 1987, by the Foreign Ministers of the United States and the Soviet Union. The leaders noted the value of these agreements for developing more effective measures to verify compliance with the provisions of the 1974 Threshold Test Ban Treaty and the 1976 Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty.

Nuclear Non-Proliferation

The President and the General Secretary reaffirmed the continued commitment of the United States and the Soviet Union to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, and in particular to strengthening the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. The two leaders expressed satisfaction at the adherence since their last meeting of additional parties to the Treaty, and confirmed their intent to make, together with other states, additional efforts to achieve universal adherence to the Treaty.

The President and the General Secretary expressed support for international cooperation in nuclear safety and for efforts to promote the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, under further strengthened IAEA safeguards and appropriate export controls for nuclear materials, equipment and technology. The leaders agreed that bilateral consultations on non-proliferation were constructive and useful, and should continue.

Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers

The leaders welcomed the signing on September 15, 1987, in Washington of the agreement to establish Nuclear Risk Reduction Centers in their capitals. The agreement will be implemented promptly.

Chemical Weapons

The leaders expressed their commitment to negotiation of a verifiable, comprehensive and effective international convention on the prohibition and destruction of chemical weapons. They welcomed progress to date and reaffirmed the need for intensified negotiations toward conclusion of a truly global and verifiable convention encompassing all chemical weapons-capable states. The United States and Soviet Union are in favor of greater openness and intensified confidence-building with respect to chemical weapons both on a bilateral and a multilateral basis. They agreed to continue periodic discussions by experts on the growing problem of chemical weapons proliferation and use.

Conventional Forces

The President and the General Secretary discussed the importance of the task of reducing the level of military confrontation in Europe in the area of armed forces and conventional armaments. The two leaders spoke in favor of early completion of the work in Vienna on the mandate for negotiations on this issue, so that substantive negotiations may be started at the earliest time with a view to elaborating concrete measures. They also noted that the implementation of the provisions of the Stockholm Conference on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe is an important factor in strengthening mutual understanding and enhancing stability, and spoke in favor of continuing and consolidating this process. The President and the General Secretary agreed to instruct their appropriate representatives to intensify efforts to achieve solutions to outstanding issues.

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

Follow-Up Meeting of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe

They expressed their determination, together with the other 33 participants in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, to bring the Vienna CSCE Follow-Up Conference to a successful conclusion, based on balanced progress in all principal areas of the Helsinki Final Act and Madrid Concluding Document.


The leaders held a thorough and candid discussion of human rights and humanitarian questions and their place in the U.S.-Soviet dialogue.


The President and the General Secretary engaged in a wide-ranging, frank and businesslike discussion of regional questions, including Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq War, the Middle East, Cambodia, southern Africa, Central America and other issues. They acknowledged serious differences but agreed on the importance of their regular exchange of views. The two leaders noted the increasing importance of settling regional conflicts to reduce international tensions and to improve East-West relations. They agreed that the goal of the dialogue between the United States and the Soviet Union on these issues should be to help the parties to regional conflicts find peaceful solutions that advance their independence, freedom and security. Both leaders 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 in detail the state of U.S.-Soviet bilateral relations. They recognized the utility of further expanding and strengthening bilateral contacts, exchanges and cooperation.

Bilateral Negotiations

Having reviewed the state of ongoing U.S.-Soviet negotiations on a number of specific bilateral issues, the two leaders called for intensified efforts by their representatives, aimed at reaching mutually advantageous agreements on: commercial maritime issues; fishing; marine search and rescue; radio navigational systems; the U.S.-USSR maritime boundary; and cooperation in the field of transportation and other areas.

They noted with satisfaction agreement on the expansion, within the framework of the U.S.-Soviet Air Transport Agreement, of direct air passenger service, including joint operation of the New York-Moscow route by Pan American Airways and Aeroflot, and on the renewal of the U.S.-Soviet World Ocean Agreement.

People-to-People Contacts and Exchanges

The two leaders took note of progress in implementing the U.S.-Soviet General Exchanges Agreement in the areas of education, science, culture and sports, signed at their November 1985 Geneva meeting, and agreed to continue efforts to eliminate obstacles to further progress in these areas. They expressed satisfaction with plans to celebrate jointly the 30th anniversary of the first Exchanges Agreement in January 1988.

The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of contacts and exchanges in broadening understanding between their peoples. They noted with particular satisfaction the progress made in the development of people-to-people contacts under the initiative they launched at their 1985 meeting in Geneva—a process which has involved tens of thousands of U.S. and Soviet citizens over the past two years. The leaders reaffirmed their strong commitment further to expand such contacts, including among the young.

Global Climate and Environmental Change Initiative

With reference to their November 1985 agreement in Geneva to cooperate in the preservation of the environment, the two leaders approved a bilateral initiative to pursue joint studies in global climate and environmental change through cooperation in areas of mutual concern, such as protection and conservation of stratospheric ozone, and through increased data exchanges pursuant to the U.S.-Soviet Environmental Protection Agreement and the Agreement Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes. In this context, there will be a detailed study on the climate of the future. The two sides will continue to promote broad international and bilateral cooperation in the increasingly important area of global climate and environmental change.

Cooperative Activities

The President and the General Secretary supported further cooperation among scientists of the United States, the Soviet Union and other countries in utilizing controlled thermonuclear fusion for peaceful purposes. They affirmed the intention of the U.S. and the USSR to cooperate with the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM) and Japan, under the auspices of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in the quadripartite conceptual design of a fusion test reactor.

The two leaders noted with satisfaction progress under the bilateral Agreement on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy towards establishing a permanent working group in the field of nuclear reactor safety, and expressed their readiness to develop further cooperation in this area.

The President and the General Secretary agreed to develop bilateral cooperation in combatting international narcotics trafficking. They agreed that appropriate initial consultations would be held for these purposes in early 1988.

They also agreed to build on recent contacts to develop more effective cooperation in ensuring the security of air and maritime transportation.

The two leaders exchanged views on means of encouraging expanded contacts and cooperation on issues relating to the Arctic. They expressed support for the development of bilateral and regional cooperation among the Arctic countries on these matters, including coordination of scientific research and protection of the region's environment.

The two leaders welcomed the conclusion of negotiations to institutionalize the COSPAS/SARSAT space-based global search and rescue system, operated jointly by the United States, the Soviet Union, France and Canada.


The two sides stated their strong support for the expansion of mutually beneficial trade and economic relations. They instructed their trade ministers to convene the U.S.-USSR Joint Commercial Commission in order to develop concrete proposals to achieve that objective, including within the framework of the Long-Term Agreement between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to Facilitate Economic, Industrial, and Technical Cooperation. They agreed 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.

Diplomatic Missions

Both sides agreed on the importance of adequate, secure facilities for their respective diplomatic and consular establishments, and emphasized the need to approach problems relating to the functioning of Embassies and Consulates General constructively and on the basis of reciprocity.


The President and the General Secretary agreed that official contacts at all levels should be further expanded and intensified, with the goal of achieving practical and concrete results in all areas of the U.S.-Soviet relationship.

General Secretary Gorbachev renewed the invitation he extended during the Geneva summit for President Reagan to visit the Soviet Union. The President accepted with pleasure. The visit will take place in the first half of 1988.

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

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