From "Presidental Reflections Upon U.S.-Soviet Summitry," interviews conducted by Ian Brzezinski of Williams College
Which of the three presidencies (that of Nixon, Ford and Carter) derived the most benefit from the summits?
Former President Gerald Ford:
I would say Mr. Nixon's. He had the ABM treaty and SALT I. He had more time for one thing; my time was somewhat limited. Even though I think we made progress on SALT II at Vladivostok, we didn't have enough time to really finalize it. And, of course, Mr. Carter, although he signed the agreement with Brezhnev, it went no place in the Senate. So when you look at the three, I would have to say that Mr. Nixon's was the most productive.
Former President Jimmy Carter:
That's hard to say. I would guess the Nixon administration did. He was able to ease a lot of tension that had built up. He and Brezhnev were quite compatible, as were Brezhnev and Ford and Brezhnev and me. Nixon had about the same general time period, just a few months apart, both to make his trip to China and also to meet with the Soviet leader, and I'm sure he reassured the Soviets again, after the China trip, that he was not aligning himself against them. I think all three of us made steps toward better understanding and the control of nuclear weaponry, although you don't ever have any final and definitive and conclusive agreement with the Soviets when we have two systems that are so different. But I would guess that obviously, of the three, maybe Nixon had the most gratifying relationship with Brezhnev.