When he met with US President Ronald Reagan in Geneva, in November of that same year, the items in their agenda all revolved around the easing of tensions between the two blocs. The joint statement that was issued at the close of their meeting listed them all, from the strategic ("a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought") to the trivial ("increased television coverage of sports events").
US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met for the first time in 1985 in Geneva to hold talks on international diplomatic relations and the arms race. Jointly proposing a large international scientific collaboration to open the way to a new source of energy ''for the benefit of all mankind'' made a powerful symbol of the post-Cold War world the two leaders wanted to shape.
"Soon after Mikhail Gorbachev became the General Secretary [...] he went on his first visit to France to meet President Mitterrand," confided Velikhov. [...] "Two ideas were born then—the first dealt with joint work on an accelerator of the supercollider type, and I decided to propose cooperation in the area of nuclear fusion."
Evgeny Velikhov (left) and Mikhail Gorbachev were friends from their student days at Moscow State University. Academician Velikhov, who was to head the ITER Council in 1992 and again in 2010-2012, played a decisive role in getting cooperation in fusion on the agenda of the 1985 Geneva Summit.