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US-USSR Relations / Carter-Gromyko Meeting / Recent Tensions #50508

ABC Evening News for Wednesday, Sep 28, 1977
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(Studio) President Carter and USSR foreign minister Gromyko met Tuesday night in surprise meeting; afterwards there are few details given, but Gromyko says some progress made with regard to differences on Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT). Negotiators for both sides go back to work in Geneva today. Resumption of negotiations follows deterioration in United States-USSR relations
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner

(DC) Gerald Ford started slide in American-Soviet relations with announcement in March, 1976, that he was dropping detente from election year vocabulary. President Carter said, on inauguration, he wanted better relations with Moscow, but then launched human rights campaign, seemingly aimed at Soviets. Things got worse after it was revealed Carter had sent personal letter to USSR dissident Andrei Sakarov; he then invited dissident Vladimir Bukovsky to meet with him. This led to Brezhnev's rejection of new disarmament proposals brought by Secretary of State Vance to Moscow in March. (Films shown.) [VANCE - has notified Carter of rejection.] Vance and Gromyko make no progress in May talks either. In summer, Brezhnev lectured American ambassador to USSR and said he wasn't interested in meeting with Carter, who later defended views and said he wouldn't change position. However, in next wks., Carter softened comments and appeared to welcome meeting with Gromyko last week Diplomatic deadlock continued until Tuesday night, when Gromyko brought word from Brezhnev. There's belief at White House that Carter's personal diplomacy has helped improve relations, particularly in area of disarmament. USSR now seems interested in American proposals to limit cruise missile if USSR agrees to limit its SS-18 missiles.
REPORTER: John Scali

(Studio) Carter news conference on Thursday noted.
REPORTER: Barbara Walters

Reasoner, Harry;
Scali, John;
Walters, Barbara

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