Thirty years ago, on November 19, 1985, U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev convened in Geneva for talks that helped usher in the end of the Cold War. While the summit did not end with a formal arms reduction agreement, the two sides made a pivotal joint statement on the 'impossibility of war' between the two countries, signaling the end of the nuclear arms race. Duke alumnus Jack Matlock, the final United States ambassador to the Soviet Union, worked closely with President Reagan in the months leading up to the Geneva summit during his tenure on the National Security Council. A career diplomat and academic and the author of three books on the final years of the Soviet Union, Matlock was present at several of President Reagan's key meetings with Gorbachev and other Soviet leaders, including the Reykjavik summit in 1986.
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Natylie Baldwin is author of The View from Moscow: Understanding Russia and U.S.-Russia Relations available in e-book and print. She has traveled throughout western Russia since 2015 and has written several articles based on her conversations and interviews with a cross-section of Russians. She blogs at (more...)