The Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War was signed by United States president Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, during Brezhnev’s June 1973 visit to Washington. The agreement contains few specifics but asserts a common desire to avoid nuclear war or situations where it might arise:
“The United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, hereinafter referred to as the Parties…
Guided by the objectives of strengthening world peace and international security; conscious that nuclear war would have devastating consequences for mankind; proceeding from the desire to bring about conditions in which the danger of an outbreak of nuclear war anywhere in the world would be reduced and ultimately eliminated;
Proceeding from their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations regarding the maintenance of peace, refraining from the threat or use of force and the avoidance of war, and in conformity with the agreements to which either Party has subscribed…
Reaffirming that the development of relations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics is not directed against other countries and their interests… have agreed as follows:
Article I. The United States and the Soviet Union agree that an objective of their policies is to remove the danger of nuclear war and of the use of nuclear weapons. Accordingly, the Parties agree that they will act in such a manner as to prevent the development of situations capable of causing a dangerous exacerbation of their relations, as to avoid military confrontations, and as to exclude the outbreak of nuclear war between them and between either of the Parties and other countries.
Article II. The Parties agree, in accordance with Article I… to proceed from the premise that each Party will refrain from the threat or use of force against the other Party, against the allies of the other Party and against other countries, in circumstances which may endanger international peace and security. The Parties agree that they will be guided by these considerations in the formulation of their foreign policies and in their actions in the field of international relations.
Article III. The Parties undertake to develop their relations with each other and with other countries in a way consistent with the purposes of this Agreement.
Article IV. If at any time relations between the Parties or between either Party and other countries appear to involve the risk of a nuclear conflict, or if relations between countries not parties to this Agreement appear to involve the risk of nuclear war between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, or between either Party and other countries, the United States and the Soviet Union, acting in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, shall immediately enter into urgent consultations with each other and make every effort to avert this risk.
Article V. Each Party shall be free to inform the Security Council of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Governments of allied or other countries of the progress and outcome of consultations initiated in accordance with Article IV of this Agreement…”