President Ronald Reagan was using an old Russian proverb, in speaking to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev about an arms control treaty . Although it was a very old adage, Reagan quoted the phrase in Russian to Gorbachev, to underline his meaning. In spoken Russian, the phrase rhymes. Here are some details:
President Reagan’s favorite Russian saying regarding arms-control agreements — doveryai, no proveryai, “trust, but verify.”
in Geneva, Reykjavik, Washington and Moscow when Reagan and Gorbachev held their series of summit meetings between 1985 and 1988. Reagan had come to realize that the evil empire might be a negotiating partner. The path was rocky, but the two managed to reduce the nuclear arsenals that were both the threat and the stabilizing factor of the Cold War.
“Doveryai, no proveryai,” became Reagan’s watchwords for the relationship with the Soviet leader. Trust, but verify. Possibly the only Russian words Reagan had rehearsed.
“You always say that,” Gorbachev noted laughingly at the White House arms treaty signing in 1987.
“I like the sound of it,” Reagan replied.
various news stories and anecdotes.