President Gerald Ford of the United States met privately on Saturday (2 August) with Soviet Union Communist Party Chairman Leonid Brezhnev in Helsinki.
President Gerald Ford of the United States met privately on Saturday (2 August) with Soviet Union Communist Party Chairman Leonid Brezhnev in Helsinki. It was their second private meeting within three days.
The two leaders were in the Finnish capital for the European Security Conference Summit which ended on Friday (1 August).
The 30,000 word declaration endorsed by the 35 nations who attended the summit sets out principles of good behaviour, co-operation and detente.
The relations between the two world giants, the Soviet Union and the United States, are considered central to the success of detente as represented in the Helsinki agreement, and the two leaders met outside the formal conference setting to talk more closely on matters of keen interest to both of them including disarmament, a knotty problem which has occupied the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) in Geneva for many years.
Mr. Brezhnev and the Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko awaited the arrival of President Ford and the U.S. Secretary of State henry Kissinger at the Soviet Embassy in Helsinki.
After the meeting both leaders expressed pleasure in what they had accomplished and appeared in good spirits. Mr. Brezhnev joked to newsmen that it was easy to tell how happy he was with the talks by his jovial mood.
Some critics have said the Helsinki summit merely confirms the Soviet hold on Eastern Europe and will be watching closely to see whether the Soviet Union adheres to its promise to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of other nations.
Mr. Ford went from Helsinki to visit in Rumania and Yugoslavia.