INF Treaty Signed

Reagan and Gorbachev signing the INF Treaty

On December 8, 1986 Reagan and Gorbachev signed the INF Agreement at asummit in Washington. The treaty eliminated all Intermediate-Range Missiles from Europe.

The Soviets deployed SS-20 intermediate-range missiles in Eastern Europe in 1977. The range of the missile was below the range that was included in SALT II, which was a range of 3,400. The German pressured the US to come up with a response. The US developed a plan to deploy a Pershing II missiles and Ground Launched Cruise Missiles.

In October 1980 negotiations began between the United States and the Soviet Union to find a way to limit the Intermediate-Range Missiles. Initial talks made little progress. In November 1981 President Reagan presented a zero option, the plan that neither side should have any intermediate missiles in Europe. The Soviets responded by suggesting a slow decrease in the number of rockets and planes both sides could have in Europe. The talks did not make very much progress.

In March 1986 negotiations resumed in earnest. On October 11, 1986, President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík Iceland. At the summit, both sides agreed to remove INF missiles from Europe and limit the total number in the world to 100 on each side. The full text of an agreement was finalized in September 1987. On December 8 Reagan and Gorbachev signed the agreement at a summit in Washington. The US Senate ratified the treaty in May by 93-5. The INF treaty marked the beginning of the end of the Cold War.