The post-Stalin thaw and the bid for peaceful coexistence: Summits from Geneva to Vienna

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Summits from Geneva to Vienna

The Geneva Summit - 1955

  • The Geneva Summit of July 1955 was the first meeting of US and Soviet leaders since the Potsdam Conference of July 1945.
  • The meeting was an attempt to resolve the status of Germany and begin negotiations about arms control.
  • Khrushchev took the initiative, reasserting Stalin's plan to create a united and neutral Germany but the US refused to accept this.
    • West Germany had recently joined NATO and the US regarded it as central to the defence of Western Europe.
  • In return, Khrushchev proposed disbanding NATO and the Warsaw Pact but Eisenhower believed that NATO was essential to Western security.
  • Eisenhower countered by suggesting arms limitation treaties backed by an "open skies" policy.
    • His proposal involved agreed limits on superpower military power and they would also authorise surrveillance flghts over each other's territory to check the limits were being adhered to.
    • Khrushchev rejected the open skies policy.
  • No agreement was reached but there was an acceptance of the status quo and an understanding that neither side wanted war.
  • The two leaders agreed to…

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