President Nixon and Brezhnev Sign Treaty Limiting Nuclear Weapons

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NBC Nightly News
John Chancellor/Richard Valeriani
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign an agreement to negotiate a treaty limiting nuclear weapons. The White House signing ceremony between the leaders is surprisingly light hearted.



"President Nixon and Brezhnev Sign Treaty Limiting Nuclear Weapons." Richard Valeriani, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 21 June 1973. NBC Learn. Web. 20 January 2015.


Valeriani, R. (Reporter), & Chancellor, J. (Anchor). (1973, June 21). President Nixon and Brezhnev Sign Treaty Limiting Nuclear Weapons. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"President Nixon and Brezhnev Sign Treaty Limiting Nuclear Weapons" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 06/21/1973. Accessed Tue Jan 20 2015 from NBC Learn:


President Nixon and Brezhnev Sign Treaty Limiting Nuclear Weapons


President Nixon and Soviet Communist leader Leonid Brezhnev today signed the most significant agreement signed during Brezhnev’s visit to the United States. It’s an agreement committing the two most powerful countries in the world to negotiate, by the end of next year, a treaty calling for a reduction of nuclear weapons. The significance of the occasion was underlined by an elaborate signing ceremony in the White House, and Richard Valeriani was there.


President Nixon and Secretary Brezhnev flew back to the White House from Camp David where they had put the finishing touches on today’s agreement. The signing ceremony was in the East Room, with virtually every top ranking government official on hand. The two leaders were obviously in a jovial mood. They hammed it up during the ceremony, with Mr. Nixon making a show at trying to finish his signature at precisely the same time as Mr. Brezhnev, until finally the Soviet leader reacted, provoking laughter. The two leaders continued clowning through the ceremonial champagne. It will now be up to their negotiators in Geneva to hammer out the details of the new treaty, which will put a limit on the kinds of nuclear weapons each country can have, including multiple warheads, as well as their numbers. Before the signing, Presidential Advisor Henry Kissinger emphasized that the problem of defining nuclear equality is one of the most complex elements of the negotiations, but he said both countries have committed themselves in this agreement not to seek a one-sided advantage.

Mr. HENRY KISSINGER: With respect to a permanent ban, the limitations must be equitable. That is, they must take into account the numbers of weapons and the numbers of warheads, and we will certainly seek and we will obtain what we consider strategic parity.

VALERIANI: The commitment to reach agreement by next year on limiting nuclear weapons will probably be the centerpiece of the summit, but it’s not the final agreement. There is more to come in California, including a possible agreement between the two leaders to meet annually for the next three years. Richard Valeriani, NBC News, at the White House.