Bush: Our talk with Jaruzelski was good, substantive. He is an interesting person and a strong leader who inherited a difficult situation.
Gorbachev: Jaruzelski called me and told about your visit and conversation with you. He spoke well about you personally.(Washington, 1987 December)-from Gorbachev and Bush, now in paperback.
Gorbachev: I would also like to say that issues in your homeland-Poland-are very close to me. In recent years I have done, and will continue to do, everything I can to ensure good relations between Poland, Russia and the Soviet Union.
John Paul II: I thank you on behalf of my homeland. (Vatican, 1989 December)
Bush: I'm not enthralled when I hear Poland might want the Soviets to stay because of the issue of the Polish-German border".(Camp David, 1990 February)
Gorbachev: A few days ago a delegation of ethnic Poles came to Moscow and declared that in the case of Lithuania's secession they would like to join with the Russian Federation". (Moscow, 1990 May)
This book presents and interprets archival records of the meetings between Mikhail Gorbachev and George W. Bush between 1989 and 1991, including transcripts of conversations between top leaders on the rapid and monumental events of the final days of the Cold War. Particularly effective interlocutors were the foreign ministers Eduard Shevardnadze and James Baker, especially interesting when they interacted directly with Bush or Gorbachev. The documents were obtained from the Gorbachev Foundation and the Russian State Archives and from the United States government through requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
Taking place at a time of revolutionary change in Eastern Europe, stimulated in part by Gorbachev and by Eastern Europeans (the Solidarity movement, dissidents, reform communists), the Malta Summit of 1989 and subsequent meetings helped defuse any potential for superpower conflict. Each of the five summits is covered in a separate chapter, introduced by an essay that places the transcripts in historical context. The anthology offers a fascinating glimpse into the relationship that defined the last, waning years of the Cold War—a unique record of these historic, highest-level conversations that effectively brought it to a close. The quality and scope of the dialogue between these world leaders was unprecedented and is likely never to be repeated.
This edition is the second half of the cloth bound volume The Last Superpower Summits, CEU Press, 2016.