START I negotiator spoke about the negotiations

Chief Researcher at IMEMO RAS Alexander Savelyev, who was one of the advisers to the USSR delegation at the START-1 talks, spoke about how they were held and what efforts were made by the Soviet side during interagency coordination and during further discussion of the document’s positions with American counterparts.

START I negotiator spoke about the negotiations

The Strategic Offensive Arms Reduction Treaty (START-1) was signed on July 31, 1991 during a meeting between the Presidents of the USSR and the United States, Mikhail Gorbachev and George W. Bush, Sr. in Moscow. Savelyev was an adviser to the Soviet delegation in the defense and space group in the negotiations preceding this signing. In his article dedicated to the 30th anniversary of START-1, the expert notes that their participants solved the most complex military-technical problems that arose during the discussion.

For more information about the treaty between the USSR and the United States on the reduction and limitation of START-1, read the RIA Novosti reference.

“Problems arose not only because of the different approaches of the parties to certain aspects of the agreement being developed. No less effort was made (at least by the USSR) for interdepartmental coordination of the interests of the organizations and structures of the USSR that participated in the development of a common position of the country in negotiations with the United States”, – Saveliev recalls.\

By these structures, he means the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defense, the military-industrial complex and the KGB of the USSR, the leadership of which constituted the so-called “Big Five”. Her duties included the coordination and submission of relevant documents for approval to the Politburo, including directives on negotiations for the USSR delegation, the expert mentioned.

“The very “technical” coordination of all the details of the position took place within the framework of the activities of the” fives “of a lower level, in which many military, technical and other experts worked. Such a mechanism for developing and making decisions proved its effectiveness, as a result of which the START-1 Treaty was ready to be signed by the end of July 1991, despite all the drama of political events preceding the collapse of the USSR at the end of this year”, Saveliev writes.

In terms of the breadth of coverage of the problem of strategic nuclear arms control and the depth of elaboration of the most complex technical details, this treaty is a unique agreement, he said. The expert notes that it can be called a “contract for all time” in terms of the developed control and verification measures. In his opinion, these developments are applicable in the further dialogue on nuclear arms control.


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