Why the Reykjavik Summit was a success after all (1986)


 
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Written by: 360.org
 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017


1986 -

In 1986 history changed more than a bit. The Cold War between East and West started to end. U.S President Ronald Reagan and General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev had a summit meeting in Reykjavik on October 11 and 12. The talks collapsed. Nevertheless, the summit is considered the beginning of a new era.



Low expectations
The Reykjavik Summit was initiated by Gorbachev, only thirty days before. Expectations weren’t very high. The goal was banning all ballistic missiles, but Reagan also wanted to discuss other issues like human rights. However, Gorbachev only wanted to talk about ballistic missiles. All ballistic missiles should be banned.

A close call
Just before the talks ended, all collapsed. Break up point was Reagan wanting to continue his SDI program, a missile defense shield. Reagan was committed to it, Gorbachev was determined to prevent SDI from happening. Although the summit did not reach its goal, it’s commonly believed that it was the beginning of the end of the Cold War. After Reykjavik Reagan stated that they were very close to a commitment. Only a year later the two leaders got together again and signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF).



360 trivial fact
There is a story that the USA actually considered airdropping condoms into the USSR during the Cold War. They would be labelled ‘Medium’. The condoms were to demoralize the Russians, against an anatomically superior American Army.

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