Strategic Arms Limitation Agreement

Negotiations began in November 1969 in Helsinki, Finland. [1] Salt I resulted in the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and an interim agreement between the two countries. Although salt II reached an agreement in 1979, the United States Senate decided not to ratify the treaty in response to the Soviet war in Afghanistan, which took place later that year. The Soviet legislature did not ratify it either. The agreement expired on 31 December 1985 and has not been renewed. In January 1984, the United States reiterated its accusation of violation by the USSR of certain provisions of the treaty. In June, President Reagan reaffirmed that it was in the interest of the United States to maintain a provisional framework of reciprocal restraint with the USSR and stated that the United States would continue to refrain from undermining existing strategic arms agreements as long as the USSR had made comparable recommendations and actively put in place arms reduction agreements at the Nuclear and Space Talks (NST) in Geneva. The USSR also reiterated its accusations of January 1984 concerning violations by the United States of certain provisions of the treaty. Subject to the provisions of the Treaty, the Treaty authorized the modernization and replacement of strategic offensive weapons and committed the parties to supply strategic offensive weapons exceeding the total number of contracts up to 31 1981 and strategic offensive weapons prohibited by the Treaty no later than six months after the entry into force of this Treaty (Articles X and XI). The two agreements differ in duration and inclusion. The ABM contract “is of unlimited duration”, but each party has the right to resign with a period of six months if it decides that its highest interests are threatened by “exceptional events related to the subject matter of this Treaty”. The interim agreement spanned a period of five years and covered only some important aspects of strategic weapons. The agreements are linked not only in their strategic implications, but also in their relationship with future negotiations on strategic offensive arms restrictions.

A formal statement by the United States underscored the crucial importance it attaches to achieving more comprehensive restrictions on strategic offensive weapons. . . .

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