Anatoly Adamishin has had a distinguished career in the foreign ministry of both the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, serving as a deputy foreign minister and as ambassador to Italy and the United Kingdom.
A diplomatic memoir unlike any other, this volume takes the reader behind the scenes on both sides of the Cold War as two men form an unlikely partnership to help transform Soviet-American relations.
When U.S. assistant secretary of state Richard Schifter first met Soviet deputy foreign minister Anatoly Adamishin to discuss human rights, the Reagan administration was still skeptical of Gorbachev’s reformist credentials. But skepticism soon gave way not just to belief but to active support. Like their immediate superiors George Shultz and Eduard Shevardnadze, Schifter and Adamishin became partners in the process of rapprochement. Together, they helped free political prisoners, spur Jewish emigration, support perestroika against its domestic enemies, and contribute to the mutual trust that allowed the Cold War to end swiftly and peacefully.
Each chapter consists of two parts, one by each author, that offer complementary perspectives on the same events. The result is a volume that reveals much about the policymaking process during a historic era and exemplifies the power of diplomatic negotiation. It also argues provocatively that once the Cold War had ended, U.S. assistance to the Soviet Union could have helped prevent Gorbachev’s fall from power, which ultimately damaged the democratic cause in Russia.