Superpower Diplomacy - The high point of superpower diplomacy

On 29 May 1972, during President Richard M. Nixon's visit to Soviet party general secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev in Moscow, a U.S.–Soviet declaration of "basic principles" of mutual relations was adopted. Drafted by the Soviet Union and accepted by the United States without significant changes, the grandiloquent declaration papered over any of the conflicting interests that were at the heart of the superpower competition. Substituting appearance for substance, it was bound to bring disappointment. The following is a brief excerpt from the declaration.

The USA and the USSR attach major importance to preventing the development of situations capable of causing a dangerous exacerbation of their relations. Therefore, they will do their utmost to avoid military confrontations and to prevent the outbreak of nuclear war. They will always exercise restraint in their mutual relations, and will be prepared to negotiate and settle differences by peaceful means. Discussions and negotiations on outstanding issues will be conducted in a spirit of reciprocity, mutual accommodation and mutual benefit.

Both sides recognize that efforts to obtain unilateral advantage at the expense of the other, directly or indirectly, are inconsistent with these objectives. The prerequisites for maintaining and strengthening peaceful relations between the USA and the USSR are the recognition of the security interests of the Parties based on the principle of equality and the renunciation of the use or threat of force.

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