205. Joint Declaration Between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics1


The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, expressing their recognition of the importance of promoting greater stability, mutual confidence, and friendly relations between the two countries,

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Emphasizing their desire for cooperation in the interests of maintaining international peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,

Reaffirming their commitment to the document entitled “Basic Principles of Mutual Relations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics,” signed by the US and USSR on May 29, 1972,

And recognizing the importance and value of consultations between themselves and among other governments to discuss ways in which bilateral or multilateral cooperation and restraint can prevent or terminate war and conflict in various regions of the world and promote peaceful solution of disputes,

Declare and agree as follows:

1. The holding of regular—in principle, annual—summit meetings arranged in accordance with the various mutually acceptable forms of such meetings, including the presence of correspondingly high officials of the governing and political bodies of the two countries. President Carter extended an invitation to President Brezhnev to visit the United States in 1980 at a mutually convenient time and President Brezhnev accepted the invitation in principle.

2. The holding of at least two meetings annually between the Foreign Minister of the USSR and the Secretary of State of the US, and additional meetings as mutually desired and as opportunities arise. The two sides further declare that peace, stability and mutual understanding can be additionally enhanced by instituting periodic consultations between other officials of the US Department of State and the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the level of under secretaries and assistant secretaries, and of deputy ministers and department chiefs, respectively. It was further agreed that meetings of high-level representatives and experts could be called by either side as necessary in response to particular situations, including emerging regional tensions and conflicts.

3. The two sides further declare their agreement to initiate and continue periodic informal discussions between the Secretary of Defense of the US and the Minister of Defense of the USSR, and between the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US and the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR, including the presence of other senior military and naval officers of the two countries, as deemed appropriate. A program of exchanges of lecturers from military academies was also agreed upon. The sides express their conviction that such contacts will enhance mutual understanding and strengthen the traditional respect of the two countries’ armed forces toward each other, taking special account of the fact that these forces have never been involved in a conflict between the two countries, and that the two [Page 615] countries bear the high responsibility of insuring the preservation and strengthening of peace and international security.

The consultative provisions agreed to under this declaration do not affect obligations previously assumed by the parties in respect of third states and are not directed against any of them.

The two sides declare that the agreed consultative provisions are designed not only to enhance mutual understanding and cooperative measures between the two countries themselves, but also to further stability, peace and progress among all countries.

  • Jimmy Carter2
    President of the United States of America
  • Leonid Brezhnev
    General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and
    Chairman of the USSR Supreme Soviet Presidium
  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Trip File, Box 22, President, US–USSR Summit in Vienna, 9/16–18/79: Cables and Memos, 5/21/79 [I]. Secret.
  2. Printed from a copy that indicates that Carter and Brezhnev signed the original.