Footage has emerged from a diplomatic visit made by Joe Biden to the USSR in 1979, in which he praised the then-Soviet leadership for their approach to nuclear arms reductions talks.
Speaking to news reporters at the airport in Moscow, a younger Biden, then only the junior senator from Delaware, thanked his hosts and set out a vision for the future of relations between the two countries around nuclear disarmament. His visit coincided with the drafting of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) II agreement, which halted the development of long-range nuclear missiles.
“We found the visit to be most helpful and most productive,” Biden said. “We came on a mission… of explaining the role of the US Senate in the SALT Treaty. Your leaders were most co-operative and most generous with their time, and all in all, all six of my colleagues and I found it a very useful visit and we are sorry we’re going home so soon.”
Joe Biden in Moscow, back in 1979. No doubt ‘Russiagaters’ will use to suggest he’s been a ‘KGB asset’ for 41 years. Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot, etc… pic.twitter.com/adTeojn0F4
— Bryan MacDonald (@27khv) November 10, 2020
He added that the “prospects of Soviet-American relations are good, but to be blunt it is important that we first pass the SALT-II agreement, which will improve them, and secondly get about the business of dealing with SALT-III and the question of European forces – yours and ours.”
Biden has come under fire over the course of the US presidential election campaign, with one prominent Russian lawmaker, Deputy Chair of the Russian parliament’s Committee on Foreign Relations Leonid Slutsky, warning that the Democratic candidate sees the country as America’s “main enemy.” Biden claimed victory in the poll last week, despite not all ballots being counted and verified.
President Donald Trump, who has refused to concede this month’s election to Biden, has been an opponent of previously signed nuclear disarmament treaties. In 2019, his White House announced it would tear up the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which had banned many types of missiles, accusing Russia of breaking its terms. The Kremlin has denied this.
A protracted legal battle over the results of the contest is ongoing, and Trump has taken to Twitter to claim that he “won this election, by a lot!”
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