US Rejected Yeltsin's 1992 Offer Of Alliance, Global Missile Defense - National Archives

WASHINGTON (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 31st January, 2023) The Bush administration in early 1992 rejected a proposal by the first president of modern Russia, Boris Yeltsin, to build a joint global missile defense system and proclaim the two former adversaries "allies," according to declassified US documents published by the National Security Archive on Monday.

In January 1992, the leader of modern Russia, which had just appeared on the ruins of the USSR, wrote a letter to his American counterpart, George H. W. Bush, in which he stated that the two countries had every chance to transit to relations of "deep mutual trust and alliance."

In his long letter, Yeltsin speaks of Moscow's readiness to make unprecedented, radical reductions in offensive nuclear capabilities if the US reciprocates. In particular, Yeltsin promises to discontinue the production of Tu-160 and Tu-95 strategic bombers, all existing types of long-range ballistic missiles, and to halve the number of nuclear submarines on combat patrol, among other things.

Yeltsin also proposed that Bush completely eliminate Multiple Independently Targetable Re-Entry Vehicles (MIRVs) on ballistic missiles, according to the letter.

"We are counting on reciprocity in this form from the US side. Moreover, by acting jointly, it would be possible to accelerate this process," the unclassified document quoted Yeltsin as saying in the letter.

During a bilateral meeting at Camp David in February 1992, Bush reacted positively to the idea of completely abandoning land-based MIRVs, but refused to eliminate submarine-launched ballistic missiles. Also, Bush did not agree to Yeltsin's proposal to build a joint global missile defense system and also refused to purchase Russian uranium.

When Yeltsin asked Bush ahead of the joint press conference: "Are we still adversaries or not?", the US president replied: "No, we are not. We have a statement to make on this which shifts the gears. This moves us away from the old era. This joint statement will help to do that. I can assure you that I will emphasize this point at the press conference. Why don't you look at the statement?"

Yeltsin responded: "You have nothing here which says that we are no longer adversaries and are moving to be allies."

Secretary James Baker noted: "It says friendship."

The Russian president insisted: "No, no. We should say that we are moving from a stage of adversaries to allies. This gives a new quality."

Bush was unmoved: "We are using this transitional language because we don't want to act like all our problems are solved."