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White House Fact Sheet on the Meeting With Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev in Malta

December 04, 1989

The President and Chairman Gorbachev exchanged views on a variety of issues during their meetings in Malta, including the remarkable events leading to peaceful and democratic change in Eastern and Central Europe.

The President noted his strong support for perestroika and suggested that the two leaders work to give major new impetus to the U.S.-Soviet relationship. The President conveyed his strong personal commitment to this goal.

In this spirit, the President put forward the following ideas:

Next Steps

1. Holding the summit in the United States during the last 2 weeks in June.

2. Having the next meeting of Foreign Ministers next month in the Soviet Union to prepare for the summit.

Economics and Commercial Relations

1. Targeting the 1990 summit for completion of a trade agreement granting most-favored-nation status to the Soviet Union so that the President can grant a Jackson-Vanik waiver at that time. To reach that goal, the President proposed beginning negotiations on a trade agreement now and urged the Supreme Soviet to complete action on its emigration legislation early next year.

2. Supporting observer status for the Soviet Union in GATT after the Uruguay round is completed next year. The President urged the Soviet Union to use the intervening time to move toward market prices at the wholesale level so its economy will become more compatible with the GATT system.

3. Expanding U.S.-Soviet technical economic cooperation. The President presented a paper proposing specific economic projects covering topics such as finance, agriculture, statistics, small business development, budgetary and tax policy, a stock exchange, and antimonopoly policy.

4. Exploring with Congress the lifting of statutory restrictions on export credits and guarantees after a Jackson-Vanik waiver.

5. Beginning discussions of a bilateral investment treaty that would provide protections for American business people who want to invest in the Soviet Union.

6. Improving ties between the Soviets and the OECD, and East-West economic cooperation through the economic basket of the CSCE process.

Human Rights

Resolving all divided family issues by the time of the 1990 summit. In this regard, the President handed over a list of people wishing to emigrate.

Regional Issues

Expressed disappointment with Soviet policy on Central America, noting it was out of step with the new Soviet direction domestically in Eastern Europe and in arms control. Nicaragua/Cuba remains the single most disruptive factor in the relationship.

Arms Control

1. Speeding achievement of a chemical weapons ban by offering to end U.S. production of binary weapons when the multilateral convention on chemical weapons enters into force in return for Soviet acceptance of the terms of our U.N. proposal to ban chemical weapons.

2. Proposing to sign an agreement at the 1990 summit to destroy U.S. and Soviet chemical weapons down to 20 percent of the current U.S. level.

3. Suggesting joint U.S.-Soviet support for a CFE summit to sign a CFE treaty in 1990.

4. Accelerating the START process in order to resolve all substantive issues and to conclude a treaty, if possible, by the 1990 summit. To this end, the President suggested that Secretary Baker and Foreign Minister Shevardnadze concentrate on resolving at their January meeting three of the outstanding START issues: ALCM's [air-launched cruise missiles], nondeployed missiles, and telemetry encryption.

5. Completing work on the Threshold Test Ban Treaty (TTBT) and the Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty (PNET) for signature at the 1990 summit.

6. Proposing that the Soviet Union join efforts to constrain missile proliferation more effectively by observing the limits developed by the U.S. and its allies in the Missile Technology Control Regime.

Military Openness

Making public more information on military programs. The President suggested that the Soviet Union make public the details of its military budget, force posture, and weapons production figures, just as the United States now does.


Suggesting joint U.S.-Soviet support for Berlin as the site of the 2004 Olympic Games.


1. Hosting a conference next fall to negotiate a framework treaty on global climate change, after the working groups of the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change submit their final report.

2. Convening an international meeting at the White House next spring for top-level scientific, environmental, and economic officials to discuss global climate change issues. The President expressed hope that the Soviets will join us by sending their top officials in the field.

Student Exchanges

Increasing significantly university exchanges so that an additional 1,000 American and 1,000 Soviet college students are studying in each other's country by the beginning of the 1991 school year.

George Bush, White House Fact Sheet on the Meeting With Soviet Chairman Mikhail Gorbachev in Malta Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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