Transcript of remarks by Reagan and Gorbachev after they signed the treaty:

Reagan: General Secretary Gorbachev and distinguished guests, my fellow Americans and citizens of the Soviet Union.

The American philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote that there "is properly no history, only biography." He meant by this that it is not enough to talk about history as simply forces and factors.

History is ultimately a record of human will, human spirit, human aspirations of Earth's men and women, each with the precious soul and free will that the Lord bestows.

Today, I, for the United States, and the general secretary, for the Soviet Union, have signed the first agreement ever to eliminate an entire class of U.S. and Soviet nuclear weapons. We have made history.

And, yet, many so-called wise men once predicted that this agreement would be impossible to achieve; too many forces and factors stood against it. Well, still, we persevered. We kept at it.

And I hope the general secretary will forgive me if I reveal that, in some of the bleakest times, when it did truly seem that an agreement would prove impossible, I bucked myself up with the words of a great Russian, Leo Tolstoy, who wrote, "The strongest of all warriors are those two, time and patience."

In the next few days, we will discuss further arms reductions and other issues. And again it will take time and patience to reach agreements.

But, as we begin these talks, let us remember that genuine international confidence and security are inconceivable without open societies with freedom of information, freedom of conscience, the right to publish and the right to travel.

So, yes, we will address human rights and regional conflicts, for surely the salvation of all mankind lies only in making everything the concern of all. With time, patience and will power, I believe we will resolve these issues. We must, if we're to achieve a true, secure and enduring peace.

As different as our systems are, there is a great bond that draws the American and Soviet peoples together. It is the common dream of peace.

More than 40 years ago, we fought in a great war as allies. On the day that news of the enemy's surrender reached Moscow, crowds gathered in front of the American Embassy. There they cheered the friendship of the nation that had opened a second front and sent food, munitions and trucks to the Soviet people as they displayed awesome courage and will in turning the invader back. A young American diplomat later told of a Soviet soldier in the crowds who shouted over and over, "Now it is time to live." Too often in the decades since then, the soldier's dream -- a "time to live" -- has been put off, at least as far as it concerned genuine peace between our two countries.

Yet we Americans have never stopped praying for peace. In every part of the world, we want this to be a time to live.

Only those who don't know us believe that America is a materialistic land. But the true America is not supermarkets filled with meats, milk and goods of all description; it is not highways filled with cars.

No, true America is a land of faith and family. You can find it in our churches, synagogues and mosques, in our homes and schools. As one of our great writers put it, America is a willingness of the heart, the universal human heart, for Americans come from every part of Earth, including the Soviet Union.

We want a peace that fulfills the dream of all peoples to raise their families in freedom and safety. And I believe that, if both of our countries have courage and the patience, we will build such a peace.

In the next two months, people throughout the world will take part in two great festivals of faith, Hanukah and Christmas. One is a celebration of freedom; the other of peace on Earth, good will toward men. My great hope is that the biographies of our time will record that we had the will to make this the right season for this summit. Thank you, and God bless you.Gorbachev {as interpreted by Viktor Sukhodrev}: I am addressing my fellow countrymen, those citizens of the Soviet Union. I am addressing the American people.

President Reagan and I have just signed a treaty which for the first time in history requires the most stringently verified destruction of two whole classes of nuclear arms. The treaty on the total elimination of Soviet and U.S. intermediate- and shorter-range missiles will, I am sure, become a historic milestone in the chronicle of man's eternal quest for a world without wars.

On this occasion, may I be allowed to refer for a moment to history. Not all Americans may know that at the height of a world war, the very first step taken by the Soviet Republic born in Russia in 1917 was to promulgate a decree of peace. Its author, Vladimir Lenin, the founder of our state, said, "We are willing to consider any proposal leading to peace on a just and solid basis." This has been the cornerstone of Soviet foreign policy ever since.

We also remember another concept of his -- disarmament, a world without arms or violence. That is our ideal. Today, regrettably, the risk of a nuclear catastrophe persists. It is still formidable.

But we believe in man's ability to get rid of the threat of self-annihilation. We are encouraged by the willing awareness in the world of the nature of the existing peril which has confronted humankind with the question of its very survival. The sacred human right to live has now taken on a new global dimension and is what must always be in the minds of, above all, political and government leaders invested with power by the will of their peoples. The people is not an abstract notion. It is made up of individuals and each one of them has the rights to life and the pursuit of happiness.

The treaty just signed in Washington is a major watershed in international development. Its significance and implications go far beyond what has actually been agreed upon. Our passage to this watershed was difficult. It took us lengthy and intense arguments and debate, overcoming long-held emotions and ingrained stereotypes. What has been accomplished is only a beginning. That is only the start of nuclear disarmament, although, as we know, even the longest journey begins with a first step. Moving ahead from this start will require further intensive intellectual endeavor and honest effort, the abandonment of some concepts of security which seem indisputable today and of all that fuels the arms race.

In November of 1985, President Reagan and I said in Geneva that nuclear war could never be won and should never be fought. We also said that neither the Soviet Union nor the United States sought nuclear superiority. This enabled us to take the first step up toward a platform of common endeavor.

Geneva was followed by Reykjavik, where a fundamental breakthrough was made in our perception of the process of nuclear disarmament. That is what made possible both this treaty and a substantive consideration of other issues related to the nuclear confrontation. We give credit to our American partners. Together we gain the experience that will help seek solutions to even more challenging problems of equal and universal security. Most important of all is to translate into reality as early as possible agreements on radical cuts in strategic offensive arms subject to preserving the ABM treaty on the elimination of chemical weapons and on reductions in conventional armament.

On each of these problems, the Soviet Union has put forward specific proposals. We believe that agreements on them are within reach. We are hopeful that during next year's return visit of the United States president to the Soviet Union, we will achieve a treaty eliminating practically one-half of all existing strategic nuclear arms.

There is also a possibility of agreeing on substantial cuts in conventional forces and arms in Europe, whose buildup and upgrading cause justified concern. Once all this is accomplished, we shall be able to say, with confidence, progress towards a secure world has become irreversible.

The abolition of weapons of mass destruction, disarmament for development -- that is the principal, and in fact the sole effective way to resolve other problems that mankind is having to face, as the 20th century draws to a close: environmental problems, the implications of the new technological revolution, monarchy, mass poverty, hunger and disease, huge foreign debts, failure to balance the diverse interests and needs of scores of peoples and countries. To cope with them, there will have to be, above all, fresh approaches to problems of national and universal security.

I know that with the signing of the treaty on intermediate- and shorter-range missiles, some politicians and journalists are already speculating as to "who has won." I reject this approach. It is a throwback to old thinking. Common sense has won. Reason has won.

True enough, it is not yet the greatest victory, but politically and psychologically, it is very important. It meets the aspirations and the interests of hundreds of millions of people throughout the world. People want to live in a world in which they would not be haunted by the fear of nuclear catastrophe. People want to live in a world in which American and Soviet spacecraft would come together for docking and joint voyages, not for "Star Wars." People want to live in a world in which they would not have to spend millions of dollars a day on weapons which they could only use against themselves. People want to live in a world in which everyone would enjoy the right to life, freedom and happiness -- and of course, other human rights which must be guaranteed in practice for any developed society to exist normally -- a world in which the prosperity of a few would not be achieved at the cost of the poverty and suffering of others. People want to have not only military, but also economic security. People want to live in a world which is democratic and free, with equality for all, and with every nation enjoying the right to its own social choice without outside interference. People want to know the truth about each other, and to feel at long last the great universal kinship of nations, ethnic groups, languages, and cultures.

Can such a world be built? We in the Soviet Union are convinced that it can. Yes, it can, but this requires a most radical restructuring of international relations. To move towards such a world, there has to be creative courage, new thinking, and a correct assessment of and regard for the interests of other nations, as well as one's own economic capabilities and interests. There has to be political will and a high sense of responsibility.

We in the Soviet Union have initiated a process of reassessing what has been achieved, and of developing a new program of action, and we are implementing it. This is what we call perestroika. We have undertaken it without hesitation, for we realize that this is what our time demands. We have undertaken it because we want to elevate our society, speed up its development, make it even more democratic and open, and release all of its potential, so as to improve materially and spiritually the life of our peoples.

Our confidence in the future of our country and our conviction that a secure and civilized world can be built, are organically interrelated. On behalf of the Soviet leadership and of our entire people, I declare in international affairs we are acting and will continue to act responsibly and seriously. We know what our interests are, but we seek to accommodate them to the interests of others, and we are ready to meet each other halfway as equals.

The president and I have three days of intensive and important work ahead of us. Our talks are already under way. For our part, we will try to do all we can to achieve results, substantial results.

Thank you.