In the summer of 1979, Senate Majority Leader Robert C. Byrd led a delegation to the USSR to speak with Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev in the wake of Senate debates over the second Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) Treaty. The meeting was accounted in a variety of documentary and photographic records now housed in the Robert C. Byrd Congressional Papers Collection at the Byrd Center.
SALT II was proposed to continue the efforts of the first SALT Treaty which had been signed by President Richard Nixon and President Brezhnev in 1972. SALT I mandated a freeze on the number of ballistic missile launchers operated by both the US and the Soviet Union and called for a dismantling of some outdated intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) launchers. In continuation of these efforts, SALT II proposed to halt the manufacturing of strategic nuclear weapons and infrastructure. The negotiations occurred over seven years during the Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations.