Gorbachev`s anti-nuclear sentiments only grew stronger after the catastrophic accident at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in April 1986, which made the Soviet leader all the more eager to reach an agreement. The same is true of the deterioration of the economic situation of the Soviet Union. In the fall of 1985, Saudi Arabia announced plans to increase oil production. In the spring of 1986, the world price of oil fell from more than $30 a barrel to less than $10. In the absence of hard currency revenues, the Soviets did not have the opportunity to pay for imports of grain and other staple foods, while paying their external debt and keeping pace militarily. “The United States has an interest in running the negotiating machine as the arms race overloads our economy,” Gorbachev told a colleague.