Nixon Salt Agreement

Audio data from the President`s statement is available on millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/may-20-1971-remarks-announcing-agreement-strategic-arms. Dobrynin responded to this proposal on 23 January and said it was not yet in a position to be final, but there is a good chance that Moscow will accept an offensive defence agreement. On 4 and 10 February, Dobrynin confirmed the Politburo agreement in principle to combine an ABM agreement with a freeze on the deployment of certain offensive weapons, while the Soviets still preferred a pure ABM agreement. Even with the Soviets, it was never easy. Following the President`s announcement on May 20, Kissinger Nixon indicated that the Russian translation was different from the American text; he used the word „contract” and not „agreement.” Kissinger said he immediately defied Dobrynin, who agreed to issue a press release certifying the English text. Kissinger was also dissatisfied with the history of the Associated Press in Moscow, which reported that there would be a two-step procedure: first, an ABM agreement and second, offensive restrictions. Kissinger feared that the Soviets would try to influence public expectations, contrary to their previous agreement to link offensive and defensive agreements. He and Nixon expressed confidence that the Soviets would not be outdone at that time, as long as the United States maintained its position (Maintenance 502-014). The SALT II Treaty banned new missile programs (a new missile defined as a 5% larger missile than the one currently used), so both sides were forced to limit their development and the construction of new types of strategic missiles, such as the development of additional fixed iCB launchers. Similarly, the agreement would limit the number of mirved ballistic missiles and long-range missiles to 1,320.

[10] However, the United States retained its most important programs, such as the Trident rocket, with cruise missiles that President Jimmy Carter wanted to use as his main defensive weapon, because they were too slow to have a first strike capability. In return, the USSR could retain only 308 of its so-called „heavy ICBM” SS-18 launchers. Salt I, as the two agreements were collectively known as part of the political lexicon and arms control, emerged in the last years of President Lyndon B. Johnson`s government. The two nations addressed the issue at the Glassboro Summit in 1967, and Johnson announced in July 1968 that they had agreed to begin talks on limiting strategic weapons. However, the proposed discussions never took place because of the political consequences of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968. Johnson`s successor, Richard Nixon, also believed in SALT, and on November 17, 1969, formal SALT talks began in Helsinki, Finland. Over the next two and a half years, the two sides negotiated whether or not each nation should finalize its ABMs plans; Reviewing a contract and the United States

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