Reagan was his rival, friend, Gorbachev says - Baltimore Sun
The moods and images of the four summits of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail S. Gorbachev have differed in ways both subtle and striking. And the. MOSCOW - When President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the Soviet Union an " evil Yet former Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev said yesterday that the said he also had a personal warmth that bolstered their relations. Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March ) is a Russian and formerly Soviet . His relationship with his father, Sergey Andreyevich Gorbachev, was close; his mother, Maria .. U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev shaking hands at the Soviet-U.S. summit in Washington, D.C., in .
Ronald Reagan Memorial Talking "to" People, Not "About" Them When it came to communism, socialism and other systems that denied people their basic human rights, President Reagan was tough as nails. A devoted anti-communist, he was not afraid to say what needed to be said or do what needed to be done to bring freedom to people who were living under repressive regimes. In that regard, of all the foreign policy achievements of the Reagan Presidency, none is more important, or had more lasting impact on the world, than the fundamental change in U.
It was not due to luck or accident.
Changing relations between the superpowers
President Reagan was confident that if he could just get his Soviet counterpart in a room and tell him face-to-face that America had no hostile intent, the mistrust would begin to evaporate. Instinctively he knew that could not be accomplished through the traditional diplomacy of a bureaucratic State Department. So, to the horror of some long-time career government employees, he did what no President had ever done.
In his reply, President Reagan sought to find common ground and to establish a better tone to relations between the White House and the Kremlin. But as things turned out, the President would have to be patient. Brezhnev died in Novemberand was replaced by Yuri Andropov. Less than 2 years later, Andropov died, and was succeeded by Constantin Chernenko.
Incredibly, Chernenko died just 13 months later. To replace him, the Soviet high command chose a younger leader, Mikhail Gorbachev. It was Gorbachev with whom President Reagan would finally have that long-sought opportunity to begin to form a new relationship, one that would lead to a lessening of tensions between Washington and Moscow, and eventually to meaningful arms reduction.
Almost a year later, the two leaders got together again, this time in Reykjavik, Iceland. In a Summit meeting not long in the making, they met at Hofdi House, a picturesque waterfront structure that was once the French consulate. There they came tantalizingly close to an agreement to eliminate all medium-range missiles based in Europe.
American Kremlinologists believed he needed a breather in the arms race to salvage his economy.
The image of that first meeting was etched by a handshake and a walk. Gorbachev, wearing a coat and clutching his hat on a wind-chilled morning, rushed to the portico of a mansion by Lake Geneva to take the outstretched hand of President Reagan. The President smiled and seemed to joke. Gorbachev pointed at Reagan, a show of polite wonder at the hardiness of the President standing in the cold without a topcoat. Later in the afternoon of the wintry, clouded day, Reagan led Gorbachev in a tranquil walk in the woods by the lake.
Their sessions, it was learned later, sometimes bristled with sharpness and bite and produced little, but the cordial handshake and the peaceful walk seemed to tell the world that two very different men had made contact, a start, and that seemed to count for something.President Reagan Meeting with Mikhail Gorbachev in Oval Office on December 8, 1987
In Moscow on Wednesday, Gorbachev could not keep from reminding Reagan of one of those images. When photographers called on the two leaders to shake hands for the cameras, Gorbachev told the President: The photographers at that time captured the atmosphere.
Reagan and Gorbachev hold their first summit meeting - HISTORY
It was a very interesting photo. But Gorbachev came to Reykjavik prepared to do major business. The two men, extending their talks for several hours, came close to a dramatic agreement to eliminate half their long-range nuclear weapons in five years and all of them by the end of the century.
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But the deal foundered on Reagan's refusal to give up testing for his Strategic Defense Initiative, his cherished plan for a space-based "Star Wars" defense against nuclear weapons.
Two Glum Men Failure and anger lined their features as they stepped out of the Icelandic government mansion where they had negotiated for two days.
The smiles, the joking, the banter--all were gone in the cold dusk. The two men could manage no more than a perfunctory handshake, a cold stare with tight, rigid lips as they turned away from each other.
Reagan and Gorbachev’s Relationship Warmed Cold War Tensions
In the gloom of an Icelandic capital shivering under wind and rain, summitry seemed over for the two glum men. Gorbachev and Reagan would not meet again until their lieutenants finally negotiated a treaty eliminating all the ground-launched intermediate-range missiles of the two superpowers. Gorbachev came to Washington last December, 14 months after Reykjavik, to sign the treaty with Reagan.