Detente Agreements

The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties refer to two rounds of bilateral negotiations and related international agreements between the Soviet Union and the United States – the Cold War superpowers – on the issue of arms control. There were two roundtables and agreements: SALT I and SALT II. SALT II was launched later. Negotiations began in 1969 in Helsinki ,Finland) and focused on limiting the nuclear weapons stockpiles of both countries. These contracts resulted in START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty). START I (a 1991 agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union) and START II (a 1993 agreement between the United States and Russia) set specific caps for the number of nuclear weapons on both sides. The term most often refers to a period of general easing of geopolitical tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States, which was a significant reduction in the Cold War. It began in 1969 as a central element of U.S. President Richard Nixon`s foreign policy to avoid a nuclear escalation. The Nixon administration encouraged enhanced dialogue with the Soviet government, including regular summits and arms control negotiations and other bilateral agreements.

[4] Relaxation was known in Russian as “razryadka,” which means “relaxation of tension” in bulk. Several bilateral and multilateral agreements have imposed the period of détente. Among them, the 1972 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) and the 35 Nations Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, which culminated in the so-called Helsinki Accords (1975), are generally considered to be the most important. It was above all the latter, with its mutual recognition of borders after the Second World War and implicitly spheres of domination, which represented a great victory against what the Kremlin called revanchism (by the French for “revenge”, usually motivated by the ambition to regain lost territory). But these agreements themselves must be explained – in the context of the political calculation of the respective leaders, their reactions to unforeseen events or those over which they have not exercised control, and third-party initiatives. From the Soviet perspective, détente has been the culmination of a policy pursued since the mid-1950s, namely formal recognition of peaceful coexistence and military parity with the United States and the West, which implied the acceptance of Soviet interests in different parts of the world. Previously, there was a reluctannt to recognize the end of the Pax Americana, the United States, in turn, was dissatisfied with the global disorder, financially and morally exhausted by the war in Vietnam and increasingly desperate for a comprehensive agreement with “the Russians”. At the same time, Nixon and his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger, completed their quest for détente by seeking regional powers (Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil) to fend off communist insurgent movements or other leftist movements, and then, from 1971, “play the China map.” Neither the war in the Middle East, nor the subsequent flight from Egypt to the West, nor the fall of Allende`s government in Chile, supported by the United States, disrupted the détente.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.