It was the first agreement between the United States and the USSR that limited and restricted their nuclear weapons systems. This agreement paved the way for further discussions on international cooperation and the limitation of nuclear weapons, as seen by both the SALT II Treaty and the 1973 Washington Summit. Two initial dissents were obstacles. Soviet officials tried to define as «strategic» any American or Soviet weapons system capable of reaching the territory of the other party – that is, negotiable in SALT. It would be a system based on the United States, mainly short- and medium-range bombers stationed on aircraft carriers or in Europe, but it would have excluded, for example, Soviet medium-range missiles directed towards Western Europe. The United States decided that salt-negotiated weapons included intercontinental systems. Its forward-facing armed forces were used to fight Soviet medium-range missiles and aircraft aimed at American allies. Accepting the Soviet approach would have had an impact on the alliance`s commitments. Mobile ICBMs are not covered. The Soviet Union considered that, since neither party was renouncing these systems, it should not be subject to a freeze; it also refused to ban them in a future comprehensive agreement. The United States considered that it should be banned because of the control difficulties it presented. In an official statement, the U.S. delegation said that the United States would consider the deployment of land-based mobile ICBMs during the period of the agreement to be inconsistent with its objectives.
For external and internal reasons, the parties have long been unable to engage in substantive discussions on this issue for external and internal reasons. Finally, on 20 January 1969, the Soviet Union expressed its willingness to discuss strategic restrictions on armaments. On November 17, 1969, the United States and the Soviet Union began the Strategic Arms Conference (SALT I) on the limitation of defense systems from the M and strategic nuclear offensive systems. The first real exploration of potential packages began in the spring of 1970. At one point, the parties got into a deadlock because they were divided on the types of strategic weapons to be included in the treaty. The USSR insisted that basic forward us systems (FBS) were counted in the strategic equation, while the United States believed that FBS and Soviet short-haul, medium- and medium-haul Soviet strategic systems should be dealt with in another forum. The second impasse was caused by differences of opinion on the scope of the future treaty: the Soviet Union proposed to limit negotiations to only discussions on ABM systems, while the United States insisted on the need to make at least one start to limit offensive systems. On 20 May 1971, the impasse was broken when the United States and the USSR announced that they had reached an interim agreement on a partial limitation of certain strategic offensive systems and on a treaty limiting ABM systems.
The agreement allows the contracting parties to withdraw from the agreement with six months` notice if they decide that exceptional events related to the purpose of the agreement have jeopardized their highest interests. In its unilateral declaration A, the United States stated that if an agreement with more comprehensive restrictions on strategic offensive weapons was not reached within five years, the supreme interests of the United States could be threatened and would provide a basis for the exit of the ABM Treaty.