On 24 November 2017, thirty years after the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty was signed by the Soviet Union and the United States, the GCSP hosted a public discussion on the process that started with the 1985 Geneva summit between Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan.
The panelists were: Ambassador Yuri Nazarkine, who had been the Soviet representative to the Conference on Disarmament and the Nuclear & Space Talks, and Mr Michael Friend, a former advisor to the US Secretary of Defense. The panel was moderated by Ms Catherine Fiankan-Bokonga, Vice President of the Association of Correspondents Accredited to the United Nations.
Both speakers recalled the tensions existing between both countries in the early 1980s, and the breakthrough made possible at the Geneva Summit thanks to the leadership and vision of both statesmen. Even if no detailed agreement was reached in Geneva or one year later in Reykjavik, the personal relationship established between the two leaders paved the way for the INF Treaty, signed in 1987, and followed in 1991 by the START Treaty.
Now that both countries accuse each other of non-compliance with the INF Treaty, as both speakers underscored, it would be in their mutual interest to solve those differences through negotiations and possibly extend the validity of the New START Treaty before it expires in 2021.