Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Foreign Relations of the United States, 1981-1988, Volume III, Soviet Union, January 1981-January 1983

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
March 16, 2016

The Department of State released today Foreign Relations of the United States, 1981–1988, Volume III, Soviet Union, January 1981–January 1983. It is the first of four Soviet bilateral volumes in the subseries. This volume commences with Ronald Reagan’s election on November 4, 1980, and concludes with his approval of National Security Decision Directive 75, “U.S. Relations With the USSR,” on January 17, 1983, which stated: “U.S. policy toward the Soviet Union will consist of three elements: external resistance to Soviet imperialism; internal pressure on the USSR to weaken the sources of Soviet imperialism; and negotiations to eliminate, on the basis of strict reciprocity, outstanding disagreements.”

Cold War flashpoints and disputes during this period included: the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan; the potential Soviet invasion of Poland; the possibility that the Reagan administration would act to delay Soviet construction of a Siberian gas pipeline to Western Europe; the execution of NATO’s 1979 “Dual Track Decision”; the implementation of a strategic modernization program on the part of the United States; and Soviet meddling in Central America and the Middle East. Additionally, three cases of Soviet human rights abuses drew and sustained President Reagan’s personal attention: Anatoly Shcharanskiy, Andrei Sakharov, and a group of Siberian Pentecostals living in the basement of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

This compilation was compiled and edited by James Graham Wilson. The volume and this press release are available on the Office of the Historian website at Copies of the volume will be available for purchase from the U.S. Government Publishing Office online at (GPO S/N 044-000-02677-5; ISBN 978-0-16-093227-4), or by calling toll-free 1-866-512-1800 (D.C. area 202-512-1800).  For further information, contact