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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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United States-Soviet Relations

 Documents on the often adversarial relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The majority of the documents are reports, telegrams, and memorandums that come from Russian archives. Many topics are covered, including the "German Question," the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Ethiopian Civil War, Jimmy Carter's presidency, and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. (Image, Reagan Gorbachev on Governor's Island, 1988, Reagan Presidential Library, C50846-27)

  • 1988

    Memo, Concerning Draft Agreement About the Observance of the ABM Treaty and Non-Withdrawal Period

    Memo describing Geneva negotiations between the United States and Soviet Union on the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The two sides disagreed on the restrictions of the non-withdrawal period and the testing of ABM components or sensors in space.

  • May 29, 1988

    Memorandum of Conversation, the President's First One-on-One Meeting with General Secretary Gorbachev

    Reagan and Gorbachev's first conversation during Reagan's 1988 visit to Moscow.

  • December 27, 1988

    Minutes of the Meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU CC), (Excerpts)

    Minutes of the Meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU CC), (Excerpts) regarding the change of presidency from Reagan to Bush, defense issues and international opinion of the imminent collapse of the Soviet Union

  • May 11, 1989

    Soviet Record of Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and US Secretary of State J. Baker

    Gorbachev and Baker discuss cuts in tactical nuclear weapons.

  • July 12, 1989

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party

    Memorandum from Foreign Minister Petar Mladenov to the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party regarding a meeting of leaders of the Warsaw Pact countries to determine how to proceed with enhancing contacts with the West and pursuing disarmament

  • December 02, 1989

    Notes by A. S. Chernyaev, Record of Conversation between Mikhail Gorbachev and George H. W. Bush at Malta Summit

    George H.W. Bush and Gorbachev meet off the coast of Malta in a meeting that came to symbolize the end of the Cold War. While no agreements were concluded, the leaders decided to press ahead in the Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START), as well as in efforts to reduce arsenals of chemical weapons and conventional forces in Europe. Bush also made a number of proposals to advance bilateral relations, including steps to normalize trade relations through the granting of most-favored nation status, efforts to bar Congressional restrictions on credits, and US support for Soviet observer status at the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

  • February 09, 1990

    Soviet Record of Conversation between M.S. Gorbachev and US Secretary of State J. Baker

    Gorbachev and Baker discuss cuts in strategic arms and conventional forces, focusing on air-based and sea-based cruise missiles.

  • April 20, 1990

    Record of Conversation between Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs V. P. Karpov and US Secretary of State J. Baker

    Karpov and Baker discuss negotiations for reductions to strategic arms, focusing on issues with the range for air-based cruise missiles and sea-based cruise missiles.

  • May 16, 1990

    CPSU CC Memo with extract of Politburo Protocol #187 of 16 May 1990 and other attachments

    Memo concerns a directive for the discussions with US Secretary of State James Baker between May 16 and 19, 1990 in Moscow. There are also attachments concerning the quantity of warheads , cooperation, and the armed forces of the US and USSR.

  • November 08, 1990

    Record of a Conversation between M. S. Gorbachev and the US Secretary of State, J. Baker in Moscow

    Baker and Gorbachev discuss public opinion of the recent improvement in relations between the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as Saddam Hussein's recent invasion of Kuwait.

  • November 25, 1991

    Memo, US Proposals Concerning Limited Non-Nuclear Space Defense and Missile Attack Warning System

    Memo on Soviet-American consultations in Washington between November 25 and 27, 1991. The American side proposed discussion of limited non-nuclear missile defense and early warning systems, but the Soviet side refused to be drawn into lengthy discussions. The US also rejected the Soviet proposal to create joint missile attack warning systems.