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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976, Volume XVI, Soviet Union, August 1974–December 1976

Editor:
David C. Geyer
General Editor:
Edward C. Keefer

United States Government Printing Office
Washington
2012

Department of State
Office of the Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs



Overview

This volume, the final of five covering relations between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Nixon-Ford administrations, presents documentation on how matters as diverse as strategic arms limitation, European security, the Middle East, Jewish emigration, and Angola intersected to influence the course of Soviet-American relations during the presidency of Gerald R. Ford. Documents published here reveal that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger retained the central role in the formulation and implementation of foreign policy on the Soviet Union that he occupied during the Nixon administration and that his influence remained undiminished in meetings between Ford and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev at Vladivostok in 1974 and at Helsinki in 1975. The volume devotes considerable space to the struggle in Washington between politicians and policymakers over détente, and in particular the October 1974 negotiations leading to the so-called Jackson-Vanik amendment to the Trade Act of 1974, which linked the extension of most favored nation status to an increase in Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union. These negotiations highlighted the domestic political implications of détente. Although the Secretary of State was the driving force in Soviet affairs, the documents reveal that President Ford also played an important role in policy making. While Ford supported Kissinger’s objectives, he also advocated close consultation with Congress, demonstrating that Ford—at least in style, if not in substance—pursued anything but a continuation of his predecessor’s approach to foreign policy.