Outlines the logic of Soviet policies regarding nuclear nonproliferation and points out where these diverge from the United States. The author describes past practices and new trends in Soviet nuclear export control policies and suggests that the United States could use to its own advantage a lesson from the history of Soviet policies. The central dilemma in nuclear export and nonproliferation policy is basically the same for the United States and the Soviet Union--neither country wishes nonnuclear weapons states to develop reprocessing and enrichment capacities. Three principles for future U.S. dealings with the Soviets about nonproliferation: (1) Understand Soviet sensibilities and comprehend their needs from their own perspective. (2) Realizing that conflicts exist between U.S. and Soviet nuclear export philosophies, it might be worthwhile to tap Soviet thinking where it intersects rather than change it where it diverges. (3) The United States should take measures to reinforce its own credibility since Soviet cynicism about sincerity of U.S. nonproliferation policies is not entirely without cause.