“Trust, but verify” – the code of nuclear treaties

English – “trust but verify”

Russian – “doveryai, no proveryai”

The phrase was used by U.S. President Ronald Reagan at a press conference with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev during the of the signing the INF Treaty at the White House in 1987.

After Reagan used the phrase, Mikhail Gorbachev responded: “You repeat that at every meeting,” to which Reagan answered “I like it.” (thx to Darin McClure)

Why the treaty was important:

The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was unique when negotiated and remains so. It was designed as a global ban on all U.S. and Soviet missiles having a range of 500-5500 kilometers and, for the first time in U.S. treaty history, contained verification measures that permitted the presence of U.S. inspectors on Soviet soil, and vice versa. The fact that inspectors could for the first time enter sensitive U.S. and Soviet missile facilities was a breakthrough and harbinger of the end of the Cold War.

The treaty not only eliminated an entire class of nuclear missiles but also “brought about a new standard of openness.”

by Rose Gottemoeller


Brought up as my local nuclear power plant faces a growing tide of questions about a nuclear leak. The authorities and corporations involved are providing limited information and asking us to trust them.

Sure, we can trust, but we want to verify.

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