Reagan and Gorbachev

Date taken: October 11, 1986
Location: Reykjavik, Iceland

Photographer: Yuryi Abramochkin
Source: RIA Novosti

Historical Context

One was the conservative icon of the American right, who once lambasted Russia as an "evil empire", the other the communist leader of the Soviet Union, and together they forged an unlikely relationship to deescalate the Cold War.

Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met at Reykjavik in Iceland for two days in October 1986. While Gorbachev sought to limit the talks strictly to arms control, while Reagan wanted to include talks about human rights in the Soviet Union.

The talks collapsed at the last minute, but the significant progress nonetheless led to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 1987, an important agreement in the reduction of Cold War tensions between the US and the USSR.

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