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cally together. Indeed, to prevent the issues of MBFR from being introduced into CSCE, we want the procedural meeting on MBFR before the actual CSCE. We want a preparatory meeting on force reductions before CSCE, but three months may be a little long. It would be most expedient to have them at the end of January, 1973; for the preparatory talks on MBFR, the last week in January might be appropriate. The actual conference should be after the completion of CSCE if it starts at the end of June, the MBFR Conference could be about the end of September—somewhere in September October. If these principles are agreeable we will then agree to the November 22 starting date for CSCE preparations. We can tell you later how to manage this bureaucratically.

Brezhnev: Let us agree.

Dr. Kissinger: I will need a proposal from your side while we are here, and an unsigned proposal to take up with our allies. After consultations we could then announce our agreement at the beginning of October.

Brezhnev: I agree, that it is all on this. SALT

[Brezhnev asks Dr. Kissinger to begin; he is looking through his papers, obviously unable to find the right ones.)

Dr. Kissinger: There are two problems: one is substantive, one is procedural. The procedural one is when to start the next round of talks, and the substantive question is what to aim for. With respect to procedures we could begin around November 15 and the first round could be similar to SALT I; that is to discuss general principles and a work program. This could go until Christmas and then we could resume after the first of the year to get into the actual work.

Brezhnev: On this I feel you could tell President Nixon in principle I agree, and will give the details of our reply later. Because of my travels in the past weeks, I have had no exchanges (within the government] but I would be prepared to agree on mid-November.

As regards the substance, we will give our reaction through the channel. In principle we agree to taking up this line of work, but I have only glanced at your documents. We will delve into more details. For now, I guess we will repeat last year's performance but this will help speed it up. If you have any more proposals to make, this would help.

Dr. Kissinger: If, prior to November, your Ambassador and I could have concrete exchanges it would be helpful, because our delegation is composed of people who want to win the Nobel prize, or to defeat “us” (gesturing to the American side of the table). They have complicated ideas that they tell to your delegations and then report to us that they are your ideas. So if we can first have an exchange in the channel, you will know what we think and we may have something further in this channel. I do not exclude that we could achieve something by the time of your visit.

Brezhnev: I agree. I have never known contacts through the channel not to be conducive to progress. On other matters, however, I have to talk with my military people.

Dr. Kissinger: I have one general comment. One objective is how to make the Interim Agreement a permanent one. To do this we have to look at numerical ratios differently. We have studied this and have concluded there can be a permanent agreement by wider coverage than those weapons in the interim agreement. Beyond making a permanent agreement, we have the problem that so far we have only dealt with numbers. But as the General Secretary has said, numbers of weapons are no longer as important as quality. Qualitative changes can produce greater advances than numbers. Therefore, a beginning should be made on limiting qualitative forces that threaten the strategic force of the other side. We can decide whether this should be included in a permanent agreement or a provisional agreement. We can leave this open for discussion. But I wanted to open our thinking on this to the General Secretary.

[Meanwhile Brezhnev found the papers he was searching for, and showed them to Gromyko and said something to the effect: can we agree with this? Gromyko replied no, and added some remarks to Brezhnev.)

Brezhnev: To this should be added: since the general idea underlying the second round is to create the possibility that the appearance of new weapons should be narrowed not broadened, and to convert the interim agreement into a permanent one, we will have to deal with qualitative problems that affect the balance. And with air forces, we will have to deal with bases for nuclear aircraft. But this is just thinking out loud. Let the delegation decide and work through the channel.

Dr. Kissinger: We will leave it that we are aiming for opening on November 15th and before this we will be in touch in the channel on substance. We can announce in mid-October that we will begin in November

Brezhnev: I agree.

We have been working most fruitfully today. We agreed to complete our talks by 10:00. I need to spend an hour on internal matters. We have some questions for tomorrow: Vietnam, the Middle East, German admission to the UN and others, but you wanted to go to Leningrad.

Dr. Kissinger: I am here for discussion with the General Secretary. We can defer Leningrad. We could also talk about the Far East tomorrow.

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Brezhnev: Next time you might go to Pitsunda or Leningrad. You are going to Paris. Le Duc Tho was here, passing through but I did not see him. ... So we can meet at 11:00 tomorrow.

(All rise to leave, and Brezhnev begins talking again, and finally sits down to relate the following story: His father was a metallurgist, and so was Brezhnev and his son, the whole family. One day during the fall of France in 1940, his father was reading the newspaper, and he turned to Brezhnev and asked him what was the highest mountain. Brezhnev guessed and said Mount Everest. His father then asked how high was the Eiffel Tower. Brezhnev did not know, but said 300 meters. His father said he had an idea. To build a tower like the Eiffel tower on top of Mount Everest and then hang the war mongers-Hitler and his gang—from the tower, and then give telescopes to people so everyone could see their fate. Then there would be no wars.

Brezhnev recalled his father's words when the war criminals were hanged at Nuremberg. His father was a simple man, but that is how the people felt about war. The Russian people know war first hand. Perhaps if New York had been bombed or the United States touched by the war, the American people could understand better. In any case, as his father said, we must prevent wars. This is why he, Brezhnev, attached so much importance to his work with the United States. They must build for the future.

Dr. Kissinger replied that this was a very moving story, and that he could

for the President that if in the next four years we could secure the foundation of peace for 15 years, this would be an historic achievement. Brezhnev agreed that they should work for this even more than

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Moscow, September 13, 1972, 11:10 a.m.-3:50 p.m.


Leonid I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU
Andrei A. Gromyko, Soviet Foreign Minister
Anatoli Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador to the United States
A. M. Aleksandrov, Assistant to the General Secretary
Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Interpreter
Soviet Notetaker
Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Winston Lord, NSC Staff Member
Jonathan T. Howe, NSC Staff Member
John D. Negroponte, NSC Staff Member


Vietnam; Middle East; Germany; Far East

Dr. Kissinger: There's a new building in Camp David. Dobrynin was there, and we will show you the cabins. There's a new building and that's where the President wants you to stay.

Mr. Brezhnev: Thank you for your courtesy. Even long before my visit, I am contemplating a letter to the President, through Dobrynin and not through you, because I will write that the visit depends on how Kissinger behaves and what I mean by that I will only tell President Nixon. Now you are worried.

Dr. Kissinger: I am glad that the discussion proceeds without threat or pressure and strictly on the basis of reason.

Mr. Brezhnev: And profound respect.
Dr. Kissinger: True.

Mr. Brezhnev: Sometimes our conversations have been acute but never with offense. I never bear malice towards anyone, but I like justice and I think it should be a basic principle objectivity and straightforwardness. If anyone lets me down once, he loses my confidence. I feel that is the correct line to be taken.

Dr. Kissinger: There are inevitable disagreements. As long as we retain confidence and move in the spirit which the General Secretary has so movingly described yesterday, then we can work together and handle difficulties.


Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 74, Country Files—Europe-USSR, HAK Trip to Moscow, Sept. 1972, Memcons (Originals). Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting took place in the Kremlin. All brackets except those indicating corrections are in the original.

Mr. Brezhnev: Of course, there can be debate and discussion but so long as we stay to the principles of our first meeting, then we can move ahead. If we backslide, then we are in trouble. Now, indeed, the whole world knows the history of the relations between our two countries, particularly since World War II. Today the world witnesses a new stage and looks to us to see if we are serious or merely engaged in tactical maneuvers on the part of our two countries. If the whole world's people are let down over the hopes generated, then this will undermine the confidence in the President and ourselves. And that is precisely why I am so determined to go forward towards the solution of the important problems we have before us. If we take bold steps towards realizing those sound ideas on which we base our discussions, people will understand and take to heart. But if we do it gradually, then their ardor will cool off towards these new and momentous developments. Even though our two social systems are different, it does not preclude going ahead on the basis agreed at our first meeting.

This is the spirit of our meeting and I wish to reaffirm that on this basis we are prepared to go ahead. I hope you will convey this spirit to the President. (Brezhnev makes an aside in Russian to Gromyko and then says:) I have my contradictions with Gromyko.

Mr. Gromyko: Within this government.

Mr. Brezhnev: Because I said what he said yesterday. He said I took his bread. So I offer him a bun, and he says it is not enough. He wants some butter.

Dr. Kissinger: Our experience with Gromyko is also the same. You offer him one thing and he always asks for something additional and then says it is a Soviet concession that he accepts it.

Mr. Brezhnev: We keep criticizing him for his willingness to make concessions. He has good qualities; he gets things done. As a result of

a his long years in the Foreign Ministry he gets too soft in his dealings with the United States. Sometimes a willingness to make concessions gets to be a way of his doing things. I'm giving him one more year or so and then deal with him.

Dr. Kissinger: I want to say on behalf of the President-I had a long talk with him before I came here—that the sentiments expressed by the General Secretary yesterday and this morning reflect exactly our policy. The most important achievement of our Administration will be if we can reverse the pattern of hostility and move to a cooperative relationship with the Soviet Union and both make ourselves responsible to further the peace of the world. We agree that if big steps can be takenand there has already been much progress-after the General Secretary's visit to the United States the process will become irreversible, and it cannot be disturbed by anybody in our country or outside forces, and this will be our policy during the next four-and-a-half years.

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