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Détente

Détente (French pronunciation: ​[detɑ̃t], meaning "relaxation") is the easing of strained relations, especially in a political situation. The term is often used in reference to the general easing of the tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States which began in 1969, as a foreign policy of U.S. presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford called détente; a "thawing out" or "un-freezing" at a period roughly in the middle of the Cold War. Détente was known in Russian as разрядка ("razryadka", loosely meaning "relaxation of tension").
After the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the two superpowers agreed to install a direct hotline between Washington D.C. and Moscow (the so-called red telephone), enabling leaders of both countries to quickly interact with each other in a time of urgency, and reduce the chances that future crises could escalate into an all-out war. The U.S./U.S.S.R. détente was presented as an applied extension of that thinking. The SALT II pact of the late 1970s continued the work of the SALT I talks, ensuring further reduction in arms by the Soviets and by the US. The Helsinki Accords, in which the Soviets promised to grant free elections in Europe, has been called a major concession to ensure peace by the Soviets. The period was characterized by the signing of treaties such as SALT I and the Helsinki Accords. Another treaty, START II, was discussed but never ratified by the United States. There is still ongoing debate amongst historians as to how successful the détente period was in achieving peace.
Détente ended after the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan and US boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. Ronald Reagan's election as president in 1980, based in large part on an anti-détente campaign, marked the close of détente and a return to Cold War tensions. In his first press conference, president Reagan said "Détente's been a one-way street that the Soviet Union has used to pursue its aims.
Photograph of President Gerald Ford with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev upon Ford's Arrival at Vozdvizhenka Air Base, near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.
80 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

President Nixon Confers with His Foreign Policy Team onboard Air Force One en route to China

Caption: President Nixon confers with foreign policy team, on board Air Force One, enroute to China. L-R: Henry Kissinger, President Nixon, Secretary of State William P. Rogers, Marshall Green Nixon White House... more

President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon Visiting the Great Wall of China

President Richard Nixon, Pat Nixon, William Rogers, Chinese officials, Pat Buchanan, White House Press Office photographer Oliver Atkins, Ron Walker, and entourage at the Ba Da Ling portion of the Great Wall. N... more

Photograph of the First Meeting between President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and the Delegations in the Conference Hall at Okeansky Sanatorium, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, and Others Attending a Late Night Meeting that Extended into the Early Hours of November 24 at the Vladivostok Summit

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev upon Ford's Arrival at Vozdvizhenka Air Base, near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Conferring on the Train Ride to Vladivostok

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, General Secretary Lenoid Brezhnev, and Others Attending a Meeting on the Second Day of the Vladivostok Summit Meetings on Arms Control

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

APOLLO SOYUZ

The original finding aid described this as: Capture Date: 3/29/1974 Keywords: Larsen Scan Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel

APOLLO SOYUZ

The original finding aid described this as: Capture Date: 3/29/1974 Keywords: Larsen Scan Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel

APOLLO SOYUZ PROGRAM

The original finding aid described this as: Capture Date: 10/23/1974 Photographer: COPY NEGATIVE Keywords: c1974_03300s 1974_03370.jpg Larsen Scan Geographic Location: Cleveland, Ohio Photographs Relating t... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, and the Apollo-Soyuz Crews Looking at a Model of the Apollo-Soyuz Spacecrafts in the Cabinet Room

This photograph depicts President Gerald R. Ford, Soviet Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Dobrynin, Soviet cosmonauts Aleksey Leonov and Valery Kubasov, and American astronauts Thomas Stafford, Donald Sl... more

Photograph of President Gerald R. Ford and Soviet General Secretary Leonid I. Brezhnev Departing from the Train Upon their Arrival at the Okeansky Sanitarium, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald R. Ford with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev upon Ford's Arrival at Vozdvizhenka Airport, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of the American and Soviet Delegations Taking a Break for Refreshments during a Long Nighttime Meeting at the Vladivostok Summit Meetings on Arms Control

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of the American Official Party and the Soviet Welcoming Committee Traveling by Train from Vozdvizhenka Airport to the Site of the Summit Meetings on Arms Control at Okeansky Sanatorium, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford, Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Other U.S. Representatives Meeting with Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev, Foreign Secretary Andrei Gromyko, Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, and Others aboard a Soviet Train Headed for Vladivostok

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford Examining a Wood Portrait of Himself Given by Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev during the Vladivostok Summit Meetings on Arms Control

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and his Staff Dining on a Soviet Train en route to Vozdvizhenka Airport, near Vladivostok, U.S.S.R. following the Vladivostok Summit Meetings on Arms Control

This photograph depicts the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium in Vladivostok, U.S... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev Signing a Joint Communique on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms following their Bilateral Talks in the Conference Hall of the Okeansky Sanatorium, Vladivostok, U.S.S.R.

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev as the Two World Leaders Depart Okeansky Sanatorium after Signing the Joint Communique on the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Photograph of President Gerald Ford and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev Touring Vladivostok, U.S.S.R. by Motorcade

This photograph depicts events surrounding the November 23-24, 1974 summit meetings on arms control between the United States and the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.). The meetings were held at the Okeansky Sanatorium ... more

Historic Handshake

(July 17, 1975) Apollo Commander, Astronaut Thomas P. Stafford (in foreground) and Soyuz Commander, Cosmonaut Alexei A. Leonov make their historic handshake in space during the joint Russian / American docking ... more

Apollo Soyuz

Apollo Launch: July 15, 1975 Landing: July 24, 1975 Soyuz Launch: July 15, 1975 Landing July 21, 1975 Docking Time: July 17, 1975, at 12:12 p.m. EDT Undocking Time: July 19, 1975, at 11:26 a.m. EDT Total Tim... more

Apollo Soyuz Test Project Crew

(March 1975) These five men composed the two prime crews of the joint United States-USSR Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) docking mission in Earth orbit . They are astronaut Thomas P. Stafford (standing on left... more

ASTP Patch

(February 27, 1975) This is the American crew insignia of the joint United States-USSR Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP). The white stars on the blue background represent American astronauts Thomas P. Stafford, ... more

Astronauts in the Soyuz Orbital Module

(July 17, 1975) Astronauts Thomas P. Stafford (left) and Donald K. "Deke" Slayton hold containers of Soviet space food in the Soyuz Orbital Module during the joint U.S.-USSR Apollo-Soyuz Test Project ... more

Saturn IB

(July 15, 1975) On July 15, 1975, a Saturn IB made the last launch of an Saturn vehicle when it carried astronauts in an Apollo vehicle as part of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project. The capsule docked two days late... more

President Gerald Ford and Daughter Susan Watch as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Shakes Hands with Mao Tse-Tung

This photograph depicts President Gerald Ford and daughter Susan watching as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger shakes hands with Mao Tse-Tung, Chairman of Chinese Communist Party, during a visit to the Chairma... more

APOLLO SOYUZ TEST PROJECT

The original finding aid described this as: Capture Date: 1/10/1975 Keywords: Larsen Scan Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel

Photograph of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger Making a Point during a Meeting to Discuss the Situation in Lebanon

This photograph depicts Secretary of State Henry Kissinger making a point during a meeting following the assassinations of Ambassador Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Economic Counselor Robert O. Waring in Beirut, Leb... more

VISIT BY THE RUSSIAN PROFESSIONAL DELEGATION IN THE ERDA ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ADMINISTRATION PROPOSED UNITED STATES US - UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS USSR THERMIONIC CONVERSION TECHNOLOGY EXCHANGE

The original finding aid described this as: Capture Date: 9/22/1976 Photographer: MARTIN BROWN Keywords: Larsen Scan Photographs Relating to Agency Activities, Facilities and Personnel

An air-to-air left side view of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear A/B aircraft as an F-14 Tomcat aircraft intercepts it

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

Personnel inside the data processing center for COBRA DANE, an intelligence-gathering phased-array radar system specially constructed to monitor Soviet ballistic missile testing on Siberia's Kamchatka Peninsula

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Shemya Air Force Base State: Alaska (AK) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: SGT Robert S. Thompson Release Status: R... more

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko (right) is welcomed by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance as he arrives for a visit

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Andrews Air Force Base State: Maryland (MD) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to P... more

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko arrives in the US for a state visit

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Andrews Air Force Base State: Maryland (MD) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Diggs Release Status: Released to Pub... more

Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko (left of center) arrives in the US for a state visit

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Andrews Air Force Base State: Maryland (MD) Country: United States Of America (USA) Scene Camera Operator: Diggs Release Status: Released to Pub... more

An air-to-air left rear view of a Soviet I1-38 May reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft passing low over the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY (CV 41)

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

An air-to-air right side view of an F-4J Phantom II aircraft from Fighter Squadron 161 (VF-161) escorting a Soviet I1-38 May reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft. The Phantom is assigned aboard the aircraft carrier USS MIDWAY (CV-41)

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

An air-to-air right side view of a Soviet I1-38 May reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft over the fast combat support ship USS CAMDEN (AOE 2)

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

An air-to-air left rear view of a Soviet I1-38 May reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare aircraft over the guided missile cruiser USS ENGLAND (CG 22)

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

An air-to-air right side view of a Soviet F-14 Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron 51 (VF-51) as it intercepts a Soviet Tu-95 Bear-A/B aircraft

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Unknown Scene Camera Operator: Unknown Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

A port bow view of a Soviet Kashin class destroyer underway

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Arabian Sea Scene Camera Operator: PH3 Joseph Gallegos Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

An F-14 Tomcat aircraft front escorts a Soviet Il-38 May aircraft near the aircraft carrier USS CORAL SEA (CV 43) (not visible)

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: Arabian Sea Scene Camera Operator: PH3 Joseph Gallegos Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

COL Benedict E. Glyphis, base commander, greets Thomas J. Watson, U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union, upon the ambassador's arrival at the base

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Base: Bitburg Air Base Country: Deutschland / Germany (DEU) Scene Camera Operator: TSGT Tibor S. Warganich Release Status: Released to Public Combined ... more

AN air-to-air right side view of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft, front, being escorted by two F-4 Phantom II aircraft over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

AN air-to-air partial right side view of a U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft next to the tail of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

AN air-to-air underside view of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft, left, being observed by a U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

AN air-to-air right side view of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft, top, being observed by two U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

AN air-to-air left side view of the tail section of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft. This picture was taken from a U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft observing the Bear over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

AN air-to-air right side view of a U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft, front, observing a Soviet TU-95 Bear aircraft over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MASTER SGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photog... more

A view of the pilot of an F-4 Phantom II aircraft, taken from inside the cockpit, observing a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft flying over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

AN air-to-air right side view of two F-4 Phantom II aircraft observing a Soviet TU-95 Bear aircraft, rear, over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MASTER SGT. Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photo... more

AN air-to-air right side view of a Soviet Tu-95 Bear aircraft. The Soviet crewmen wave and give a peace sign to crewmen of the F-4 Phantom II aircraft beside them over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files

A close-up view of the right side of the tail section of a Soviet Tupolev Tu-95 Bear aircraft showing two crewmen inside. This photo was taken from a U.S. Air Force F-4 Phantom II aircraft observing the Bear over international waters

The original finding aid described this photograph as: Country: North Atlantic Ocean Scene Camera Operator: MSGT Richard Diaz Release Status: Released to Public Combined Military Service Digital Photographic Files