Updated: 25-Oct-2000 Ministerial Communiqus


October 1986

Final Communiqué

Chairman: Lord Carrington


Reagan-Gorbachev meeting in Reykjavik - Allied support for President Reagan's arms control programme - Soviet commitment to conclude a separate INF agreement - Allied call on Soviet leadership not to hold an INF agreement hostage to other agreements - Need for substantial reductions in offensive nuclear forces- Support for US positions at Geneva - Allied support for US exploration of space and defence systems - Review of status of nuclear forces and arms control negotiations - Effectiveness and credibility of US and UK nuclear deterrent capabilities - Policy and planning related to NATO's nuclear forces Concern over continuing Soviet efforts to upgrade and expand their military capabilities - Soviet violations of arms control agreements Need for effective verification - SACEUR's report on the status of implementation of the Montebello decision - LRINF deployment and INF negotiations.

    The NATO Nuclear Planning Group (NPG) met in Ministerial session at Gleneagles, United Kingdom, on 2lst and 22nd October, 1986.

  1. We reviewed the outcome of the recent meeting between President Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev in Reykjavik. We extended our warm appreciation to the President on his conduct of the talks and fully endorsed his bold attempt to seek far-reaching arms control agreements with the Soviet Union. We fully endorsed the President's programme presented in Iceland and stressed that this programme provides the opportunity for historic progress. We welcomed the United States intention to build upon the progress achieved which provides the opportunity for progress towards very significant arms control agreements.

  2. We urged the Soviet Union to redouble its own efforts in this direction. Noting that the Soviet side has agreed last year to conclude a separate INF agreement, Ministers called on the Soviet leadership to reaffirm its commitments not to hold an INF agreement hostage to any other agreement. A failure to do so would destroy the credibility of the highest Soviet assurances.

  3. We agreed that instead of simply codifying the existing levels of arsenals, agreements reached in Geneva should seek to achieve substantial reductions in offensive nuclear forces in ways that will enhance stability and minimize the risk of war. In this context, we fully endorsed the United States positions at Geneva on intermediate-range, strategic, and defence and space systems. We strongly support the United States exploration of space and defence systems, as is permitted by the ABM Treaty.

  4. We reviewed the status of nuclear forces and discussed related issues, including arms control. We expressed our continued support for the efforts of the United States and the United Kingdom to maintain the effectiveness and credibility of their nuclear deterrent capabilities. We also received comprehensive briefings by the United States Secretary of Defense on the Soviet nuclear threat, United States' strategic forces and the requirement for nuclear testing.

  5. We reviewed a number of issues and nuclear related programmes and reconfirmed our policy and planning related to NATO's nuclear forces. We agreed that both the force structure itself and the conceptual planning underpinning it are essential components for maintaining a credible deterrent posture.

  6. We remain deeply concerned about continuing Soviet efforts to upgrade and expand their military capabilities across the board. We noted with particular concern Soviet efforts involving the full range of strategic forces, shorter- and longer-range INF, and short range nuclear forces, including artillery. We also noted with concern the major Soviet effort into continuing improvements in strategic and tactical anti-missile systems.

  7. We noted evidence by the United States of continuing Soviet violations of existing arms control agreements. We renewed our call on the Soviet leadership to take the steps necessary to ensure full compliance with its arms control commitments. We noted in this connection that a double standard of compliance with arms control agreements would be unacceptable and would undermine the security of the Alliance. We strongly endorsed the need for effective verification as part of any arms control agreement. In particular, we call on the Soviet Union to agree to such concrete measures as mandatory on-site inspection.

  8. In contrast to the growth of Soviet nuclear forces at all levels, it is NATO's policy to maintain only the minimum number of nuclear weapons necessary for deterrence. At this meeting SACEUR reported on the status of the implementation of the Montebello Decision. We noted the reductions and improvement measures which are currently being undertaken by the nations concerned. We shall continue to review the progress of further implementation.

  9. We noted the progress made on longer-range INF (LRINF) deployments by the NATO nations concerned including the completion on schedule of Pershing II deployment at the end of last year and the continuing deployment of ground-launched cruise missiles as planned. In the absence of a concrete INF arms control agreement with the Soviet Union obviating the need for deployment, we emphasized NATO's determination to continue the deployment of LRINF missiles as scheduled. We reiterated our willingness to reverse, halt, or modify the LRINF deployment - including the removal or dismantling of missiles already deployed - upon achievement of a balanced, equitable and effectively verifiable agreement calling for such action. We emphasized that the United States' proposal in the INF negotiations, developed in close consultation with the Allies, calls for the global elimination of United States and Soviet longer-range INF (LRINF) missiles, accompanied by other appropriate provisions concerning rights and constraints on Shorter-Range INF (SRINF) missiles.

  10. We accepted with pleasure an invitation from Mr. J.-J. Holst, the Norwegian Minister of Defence, to hold our next meeting in Norway in Spring 1987.

  11. Greece expressed its views in a statement included in the minutes. Denmark reserved its position on INF and space and defence systems.

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