Race at Lincoln, kisses and detente: what did Brezhnev's only visit to the USA remember - TASS
Exactly 45 years ago, the General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Brezhnev made his first and only trip across the ocean. The tour ended with the signing of important documents and there were some oddities
June 1973 Moscow Region Vnukovo-2 Airport. Leonid Ilyich, surrounded by high-ranking Soviet party leaders, comes up to & nbsp; board number one, kisses everyone who stands in & nbsp; the front row of escorts, and & nbsp; rises up the Il-62 ramp. So begins the official visit of the Soviet leader to the & nbsp; United States.
Brezhnev went to Washington exactly one year after the first in the history of the visit of the US President Richard Nixon to the USSR. Then the parties signed several agreements (from the Treaty on & nbsp; ABM to OSV-1), and & nbsp; the meeting itself took place in & nbsp; the atmosphere of the so-called "detente of international tension." Or just discharge.
Before & nbsp; the entry of Soviet troops into & nbsp; Afghanistan, six more years remained. The war in Vietnam was nearing its end, and the 5th special forces group of the US Special Operations Forces was already back at the base at Fort Bragg, which was in North Carolina, at the & nbsp; Historians consider the visit of Brezhnev to be the peak of detente.
In & nbsp; Washington, meanwhile, the leading newspapers and & nbsp; television channels covered the details of the Watergate scandal, and & nbsp; the president’s rating began to decline steadily. At & nbsp; the time of Brezhnev’s visit, the Americans even had to interrupt the hearing.
US President Richard Nixon and Secretary General of the CPSU Central Committee Leonid Brezhnev on the Pacific coast near Nixon’s house in San Clemente, California
The program of the visit of the Soviet leader was very rich: Brezhnev visited the White House, the presidential residence in Camp David, and a meeting with American senators. Not without communication with representatives of business circles of the United States, who knew about the secretary general's love for large and beautiful cars.
Leonid Brezhnev was presented the Lincoln Continental - a full-size fashionable & nbsp; American sedan in dark blue. An engraving on the dashboard of the car read: "Good memory. Best wishes."
The general secretary liked the car back in 1972: when he saw the presidential & nbsp; Lincoln of the US president in Moscow, Brezhnev asked: "Can I have the same?" American businessmen complied with the request of the Soviet leader, and a car worth $ 10 thousand (about 60 thousand in 2018 dollars) ended up in the USSR.
But before sending the car to Moscow, Brezhnev decided to ride on it. Together with the owner of the White House, Richard Nixon. Many knew about the secretary general’s love for high-speed driving, but the US president was seriously scared when the Soviet leader approached a dangerous turn at a speed of 80 km / h, sharply braked and turned.
During a visit to the United States, Brezhnev not only got a new car, but also got acquainted with the American tradition of serving an aperitif before dinner. As the personal translator of the Soviet leaders & nbsp; Viktor Sukhodrev recalled, when Brezhnev was brought whiskey and soda, the secretary general was perplexed. The Soviet leader could not understand why they did not serve a snack.
At the same time, Brezhnev perfectly understood how to please the Americans. “He enthusiastically waved to spectators who applauded and waved American and Soviet flags, and then approached them in the same way as an American politician working with a crowd at a county fair,” President Nixon recalled in his memoirs.
In & nbsp; 1973, Washington and & nbsp; Moscow did not & nbsp; begin to slow down the pace of signing bilateral documents & nbsp; - from agreements on cooperation in the field of agriculture to the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War.
Another document - “Basic principles of negotiations on further limiting strategic offensive arms” - obliged the USSR and the USA & nbsp; to continue active negotiations on the development of a permanent agreement on strategic offensive arms.
The very next, in 1974, Brezhnev and Nixon signed the Agreement on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Tests. And in 1979, the Strategic Offensive Arms Limitation Treaty (OSV-2) was concluded.