Cold War

Final Period
Reagan and Gorbachev during their first summit meeting in Geneva, 1985.
1985 Jan 2 - 1991

Final Period

Central Europe

The time period of around 1985–1991 marked the final period of the Cold War. This time period is characterized by a period of systemic reform within the Soviet Union, the easing of geopolitical tensions between the Soviet-led bloc and the United States-led bloc, and the collapse of the Soviet Union's influence abroad, and the territorial dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The beginning of this period is marked by the ascendancy of Mikhail Gorbachev to the position of General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Seeking to bring an end to the economic stagnation associated with the Brezhnev Era, Gorbachev initiated economic reforms (Perestroika), and political liberalization (Glasnost). While the exact end date of the Cold War is debated among historians, it is generally agreed upon that the implementation of nuclear and conventional arms control agreements, the withdrawal of Soviet military forces from Afghanistan and Eastern Europe, and the collapse of the Soviet Union marked the end of the Cold War.