Document 25: National Security Decision Code Number 250, “Post-Reykjavik Follow-Up,” November 3, 1986 (signed by Ronald Reagan), 14 pp. In the third and final stage, all remaining nuclear weapons will be liquidated, so that “until the end of 1999, there would be no more nuclear weapons on Earth.” Gorbachev also called for “a universal agreement … that these weapons will never be resurrected. He renewed the USSR`s voluntary moratorium on nuclear tests and again urged the United States to join them. Gorbachev wrote that if the United States joined the moratorium, the USSR would accept mutual inspections on the spot, which had been controversial before. Chernyaev`s notes on the return flight to Moscow showed that the ease with which consensus was reached on the reduction of strategic weapons and medium-range missiles was successful and, as such, the need for stronger dialogue was even more evident. Only the inability to resolve the U.S. commitment to the IDS prevented the summit from being a total success. If this had been resolved, the path would have been cleared of the main obstacle to Gorbachev`s proposal for complete nuclear disarmament. In response to the US decision to expel Soviet diplomats, the Politburo discussed the perceived US withdrawal from the Reykjavik agreements and decided to push Reagan to implement the disarmament program on the basis of the summit. It is possible that Reykjavik, more than any other event, led the diplomacy between the United States and the USSR during the last years of the Cold War. Although universal disarmament has never been closer than in Reykjavik and the dialogue that followed the Summit has often not been at odds over the way forward and the extent to which disarmament should continue, constructive discussions remained.
Without reykjavik`s example, subsequent American-Soviet talks could have been described as less constructive and less wary, hampering Gorbachev and Reagan`s cooperative efforts to facilitate disarmament. Although the Soviet side was dissatisfied with the reaction of the United States, the interaction prompted both sides to work harder on negotiating positions and to think about deep disarmament for the next summit. (document 25) Indeed, Soviet active diplomacy and American efforts to exploit Gorbachev`s opportunities led to a comprehensive review of the entire US arms control policy and long-term nuclear strategy in preparation for the next summit, which continued in the spring and summer of 1986 (documents 26 and 27).