Radio Address to the Nation on Soviet-United States Relations
My fellow Americans:
In a moment I'd like to talk with you about the coming summit meeting between myself and General Secretary Gorbachev. But first I wonder whether you'd join me in doing again now what so many of us did with our families just 2 days ago: pausing to consider all that we have to be grateful for.
you know in 10 days' time, I will be meeting in
administration has insisted from the first upon dealing with the Soviets in
each of four crucial areas. Human rights is one. Human
rights, after all, is what our nation is all about. In
this area, we've seen a certain amount of progress: Some political prisoners in
bilateral relations, especially people-to-people exchanges, is the second area
we've stressed. Here, too, we've seen a certain amount of progress, notably in
cultural exchanges following my first summit meeting with Mr. Gorbachev in
conflicts represent the third major point in U.S.-Soviet relations, and the
American position can be stated very simply: Wherever in the world the Soviets
or their clients are seeking to advance their interests by force -- in
This brings me to the fourth major topic on our agenda, namely, my search for a better way to deter aggression and ensure security than through the threat of offensive nuclear retaliation. One answer has been our Strategic Defense Initiative, or SDI -- our work on a defensive system that will shield us and our allies while threatening no one. A second answer has been arms reduction negotiations with the Soviets, negotiations that have produced the INF agreement that Mr. Gorbachev and I expect to sign. This agreement, as I said, will eliminate an entire class of Soviet and American intermediate-range missiles. For every deployed warhead of our own that we remove, they will give up almost four.
Since the Soviets have a record of violating arms agreements, we're insisting on the most stringent verification regime in arms control history. And we will go on to press the Soviets for progress in the START talks, where we've proposed 50-percent reductions in both sides' strategic arsenals. But the Soviets are going to have to drop their tactic of holding strategic arms reduction hostage to their efforts to cripple our SDI program.
Let me assure you, SDI is not a bargaining chip. It is the path to a safer future. Make no mistake, the Soviets are and will continue to be our adversaries, the adversaries, indeed, of all who believe in human liberty. Yet as we work to advance the cause of liberty, we must deal with the Soviets soberly and from strength and in the name of peace.
Until next week, thanks for listening, and God bless you.
Note: The President spoke
at from his ranch in