Archive (Reagan Library)

Cold War: Gorbachev to Reagan (maintain usual diplomatic channels) [declassified 2000]

Document type: Declassified documents
Venue: Kremlin
Source: Reagan Library (Head of State File)
Editorial comments:
Importance ranking: Major
Word count: 239 words
Themes: Defence (arms control), Foreign policy (USA), Foreign policy (USSR & successor states)

Unofficial translation

October 12, 1985

Dear Mr President,

Our Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze has informed me in detail about his conversation with you in Washington on September 27.

While there exist substantial differences in the positions of the two sides regarding concrete issues, which surfaced also in the course of that conversation and which I shall not touch upon in this letter, we deem it important that you, like us, proceed from the objective fact that we all live on the same planet and must learn to live together. It really is a fundamental judgement.

Here I would like to give you my answer only to one specific question you raised during the conversation with Eduard A. Shevardnadze, namely with regard to a confidential exchange of opinions between us bypassing, should it become necessary, the usual diplomatic channel. I am in favor of this. Indeed, there may arise the need to contact each other on matters on whose solution depend both the state of Soviet-American relations and the world situation as a whole.

On our side to maintain the confidential liaison with a person who will be designated by you for this purpose is entrusted to Ambassador Anatoly F. Dobrynin.

Sincerely yours,


His Excellency Ronald W. REAGAN
The President of the United States of America,
The White House