275. Editorial Note

Following the meeting with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, Secretary of State George Shultz met with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in the Soviet Foreign Ministry’s Osobnyak Guest House from 3:30–4:10 p.m. on February 22, 1988. Shevardnadze opened the meeting by stating there was only forty-five minutes to hear from the working groups on arms control, bilateral issues, regional issues, and human rights. After the working groups delivered brisk accounts of their reports, Shevardnadze thanked them for their efforts, [Page 1237] noted “he had made some important proposals on many fundamental problems in the nuclear and space area,” and acknowledged there had been “a useful discussion of the ABM Treaty, of SLCM’s, ALCM’s, mobile missiles, and sublimits and verification.” Shultz expressed gratitude for Shevardnadze’s hospitality, and encouraged U.S. and Soviet delegations to make progress in advance of Shevardnadze’s visit to Washington in March and the planned Moscow Summit at the end of May. (Memcon, Shultz and Shevardnadze February 22, 1988, 3:30–4:10 [Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S-IRM Records, Memoranda of Conversations Pertaining to United States and USSR Relations, 1981–1990, Lot 93D188, Moscow—Feb 88—Shultz/Shev.]) The memorandum of conversation is printed in Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. VI, Soviet Union, October 1986–January 1989, Document 126.

At the close of their 3:30–4:10 meeting, Shultz and Shevardnadze joined Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Rozanne Ridgway and Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Bessmertnykh to finish the preparation of a joint statement released later that day. The statement read in part that Shultz and Shevardnadze “affirmed the commitment made in the Washington summit joint statement to make an intensive effort to complete a treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms and all integral documents ‘at the earliest possible date, preferably in time for signature of the treaty during the next meeting of leaders of state in the first half of 1988.’ The ministers reviewed the entire complex of issues associated with treaty, with a particular focus on finding mutually acceptable solutions to differences which still remain. Emphasizing the importance of verification, they directed their negotiators to develop, by the time of the March foreign minister’s meeting, a joint draft protocol on inspection; a joint draft protocol on conversion or elimination of strategic offensive arms; and a joint draft memorandum of understanding, which will be integral to the treaty on the reduction and limitation of strategic offensive arms.” (Department of State, Bulletin, May 1988, p. 42) On February 23, Shultz flew from Moscow to Brussels to brief NATO before returning to Washington that day.