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MTG-1987-04-14-MSG-GS-te


Doc Type: 
Meeting
Date: 
1987-04-14
Author: 
SU
Full Title: 
M. S. Gorbachev and U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz (excerpt)
Language Type: 
English
Pages: 
7

During this meeting with Gorbachev and Shevardnadze (joined by Marshal Akhromeev after the break), Shultz presses Gorbachev for inclusion of shorter-range nuclear missiles into the treaty, and specifically for inclusion of the new Soviet OKA/SS-23 missile, which according to the Soviet side had a range of only 400 km (as a result of the INF agreement, the USSR had to destroy 239 of these modern, newly deployed and highly mobile missiles, which allowed for the breakthrough in the negotiations but resulted in heavy criticism among the military).  Shultz also insists on the principle of “equality,” which would allow the United States to match the number of Soviet SRINF even though the U.S. did not have those at the time.  Gorbachev tries very hard to counteract this argument and persuade Shultz that since the Soviet Union was willing to eliminate all weapons of that class, the U.S. should reserve for itself the right to develop those. Gorbachev also expresses Soviet agreement with the U.S. idea of global double zero on INF and SRINF for the first time, but Shultz does not seem to grasp it most likely because his instructions did not give him a mandate to pursue that proposal. To Shultz’s expressed concern about issues of verification, Gorbachev offers the deepest and most comprehensive verification regime going beyond what the U.S. was prepared to.  In discussion of strategic offensive weapons, Shultz raises the issue of sub-ceiling for elements of the strategic triad, and Gorbachev emotionally accuses him of backtracking on the Reykjavik understandings—to cut the strategic triad by half.  Gorbachev raises the linkage between SDI and strategic offensive weapons but offers a new Soviet understanding of laboratory testing, which would be permitted in the treaty. This meeting signified a real breakthrough in INF negotiations due to three major new Soviet initiatives:  agreement to include SRINF, comprehensive verification regime, and willingness to accept the U.S. principle of “equality.”