The signing of the I.N.F. (Intermediate Nuclear Forces) Treaty in 1987 marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War. The treaty was the first to eliminate a complete class of weapons. It was also the first treaty to include an in-depth verification program.
The treaty originated in the United States' decision to deploy Pershing intermediate missiles in Europe against strong Soviet opposition. On the other hand, the Soviet Union, under the leadership of Mikhail Gorbachev, had undertaken a new course of external openness and internal reform. Thus, after not succeeding to convince the US to abstain from deploying the Pershing, Gorbachev agreed to negotiate the elimination of the Pershing. In return, the Soviets agreed to destroy all of their intermediate missiles. They had nearly three times as many as the US had Pershings.
The I.N.F. treaty convinced many that it was possible to achieve a new set of agreements with the Soviets. The I.N.F. treaty resulted in the quickening pace of what was known as Glasnost, and would ultimately lead to the end of the Soviet Union..