There was a great deal of cooperation and good will between the Superpowers during the period of détente.
This was the first time a President of the USA had been in the Soviet Union since 1945. Nixon met Brezhnev, leader of the USSR.
This visit emphasised the commitment of both sides to work together.
An unproductive visit, but it showed continued commitment.
A joint space flight by Soviet cosmonauts and American astronauts.
In the 1970s, the Soviet economy was in trouble and had to look to foreign trade partners and investment. The USSR embarrassingly had to accept grain shipments from the USA.
The USSR invaded Afghanistan using the excuse that the new communist government wanted their help. This broke existing agreements on communist expansion.
Reagan did not trust Brezhnev and thought that the USSR was misusing the period of détente to increase Soviet power and influence. He wanted to increase the power and prestige of the USA to make it the strongest country in the world.
In 1983, Reagan made a speech where he called the USSR an “evil empire”. The USA boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
In 1979, NATO placed long-range missiles in Europe, threatening the USSR. In 1983, Reagan announced the Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI). The USSR assumed the USA was looking for ‘First Strike’ capability.