Page images

K: Definitely. No, we must get together before I go to Paris. D: Yes. So we could arrange something. But you will be here on Monday. I will give you a call and we'll arrange it

K: It probably will have to be Monday because I am leaving Tuesday.

D: Oh, you are leaving. Maybe we can arrange a lunch?

K: I think I have a lunch but let's definitely get together Monday. D: On Monday. Okay, so I will give you a call in the morning and then you will

K: We'll get together Monday afternoon, later afternoon.

D: Okay.

K: Good.

D: Well, once again, Henry, from deep in my heart I really like this development because I really have a very nice relationship—

K: I don't know whether one can have a feeling of personal friendship with a Communist diplomat but I have it.

D: (laughter) So my best personal regards towards you and to the President. Please regard my personal regards too.

K: Thank you.

D: And thank you very much, Henry.

K: Bye.

D: Bye, bye.

68. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the
President's Assistant for National Security Affairs
(Kissinger) and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin1

November 9, 1972, 3:05 p.m.

D: Hello, Henry.

K: Anatol!

D: How are you?

K: Okay.

1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversations (Telcons), Box 27, Chronological File. No classification marking. Kissinger was in Key Biscayne and Dobrynin was in Washington.

D: What the weather there is?

K: The weather is perfect.

D: You have already swimmed a little bit?

K: I what?

D: Did you swim a little bit?

K: Yes, and I took a long walk. I may even take off a half a pound.
D: I know it is a difficult struggle.

K: It is a hopeless struggle. (Laughter)

D: (Laughter) And it is difficult for me too. Henry, I just received from Mr. Brezhnev a telegram addressed to the President.2 I would like to read it to you.

K: All right.

D: "I and my colleagues have learned with deep satisfaction that the course you have taken towards lessening of international tension and towards improvement of relations between our countries received now such a convincing support by the American voters. We believe that this factor played a significant role in the decision of the population of your country which was passed on the election day.

"That is why Nikolai V. Podgorny, Alexey N. Kosygin, my other colleagues in the leadership and I personally express satisfaction on your reelection as President.

"I wish to express the conviction that the relationship and mutual understanding, already built between us as a result of the Moscow meeting, will not only continue but will also be deepened. We hope that in not distant future the deeds that have been started will come to successful completion and that a next important step will be made in the development of the Soviet-American relations. That would correspond both to the interests of our two countries and to the interests of world peace.

Sincerely, L. Brezhnev"
(November 9, 1972)

K: This is a very, very nice telegram. As it happened, I was going to call you and then Col. Kennedy said you were coming in anyway. Because the President asked me to acknowledge the telegram from Podgorny3 and to tell you first, of course, that he will write a personal reply to Brezhnev, but to tell you that the peace started in the first, and will

2 The letter is NSC Files, Box 495, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger,

Vol. 14.

3 See Document 67.

4 The letter has not been found.

be accelerated in the second; that this improvement in our relations is one of the cardinal principles of his policy.

D: I understand.

K: And we really look forward to working even more closely with you in the second term.

D: I understand. You say he will write Mr. Brezhnev and—

K: And you can tell that already to Mr. Brezhnev. I will bring a reply with me on Monday.5

D: On Monday?

K: How about you and I having lunch on Tuesday.

D: On Tuesday, fine.

K: I'll be back Monday but I'm busy. The meeting has been put off four days.

D: Oh, I see! When it will be now?

K: On the 20th.

D: On the 20th. Okay, what time?

K: When we have time.

D: Yes, on the 20th. Okay, so this will—

K: Definitely fixed for this Sunday.

D: Okay, you look to me or I will come to you?

K: Why don't you come to me.

D: Okay, at one o'clock. I leave this with Col. Kennedy, but you can relate it to the President.

K: We will relay it to the President today.

D: Yes.

K: Are you going to release it to the press?

D: I don't know about this one-this is what sent to the President. He asked to do this way, Mr. Brezhnev. He said if possible to forward to you and the President in Florida. Because he said be in touch with Mr. Kissinger but this you should stress more briefly by telephone directly to the President, but I don't know whether I could do it or not. K: Right. I will transmit it to the President within the next half hour.

D: Yes, okay. But if you think it best for me I could do it with pleasure, or is it more difficult?

K: Why don't I ask him?

D: Okay, I will leave it here, okay?

5 November 13.

"A reference to the Paris peace negotiations with Le Duc Tho.

K: Well, I think he's out on a boat.

D: Oh, I see.

K: But he can call you at the Embassy.

D: That is no problem, and I will receive it with pleasure. I have now read it to you but if possible I would like-Mr. Brezhnev asked me if possible to reach him by telephone.

K: Well, let me see whether I can get the President.

D: If it possible you would do, I would like to read it to him myself.
K: Right. Well-

D: You understand why?

K: I, of course, understand why. The only thing is, of course, if this becomes public your Chinese allies will declare war on us.


D: I don't know. It would be my guess you don't relay it to the public-this one-Podgorny's is already published.

K: I'm joking, we are proud of it.

D: Podgorny's has already been published I know, but—

K: There's nothing to hide in our relationship with you, it's one of the best things we've done.

D: I understand, but this here—if he personally wrote it and he usually on very rare occasions he wrote to me a telegram. He wrote this time and said please do it first if possible. Well of course you know I'm going through you, but at the same time

K: Why don't you stay there for five minutes and I'll see if I can reach the President.

[blocks in formation]

On December 12, 1972, Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff wrote a memorandum to President's Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger regarding Project North Star, a proposal to import liquefied natural gas from the Soviet Union to the

United States. Sonnenfeldt wrote: "The U.S. consortium of Texas Eastern, Tenneco, and Brown & Root is continuing discussions with the USSR on the proposed $5-6 billion deal that would have gas piped from the Urengoy fields in North Central Siberia to Murmansk, thence by tanker in liquefied form to the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The Soviets attach very high priority to this proposal-both Brezhnev and Kosygin push it whenever they can-however, several obstacles are blocking progress. As you know, the Soviets would have the project financed by the United States; the consortium is looking to some agency of the U.S. Government for the money, and at present, existing U.S. monetary institutions such as EXIM are not able to handle a project of this magnitude. Added to the financial problem, several agencies, including Defense, Interior, OEP and Peter Flanigan's CIEP are opposed to the Soviet gas proposal-as is Senator Jackson-arguing 1) it is a security risk to make the Eastern Seaboard dependent on USSR LNG, and 2) rather than laying out billions to buy very expensive USSR gas, it would make more sense to provide the price incentives necessary to encourage further gas exploration within the United States." Sonnenfeldt continued: "Thus, there is little progress in the consortium's negotiations with the USSR at present. At the same time, the gas task force has little more than scratched the surface of its work-one meeting and a few largely negative working papers from the agencies. With Peterson about to leave office, the work of the task force is languishing. And, as Flanigan is opposed to the USSR gas projects, it would appear that CIEP has little interest in spurring the work on to conclusion." Sonnenfeldt also summarized developments with regard to proposed U.S.-USSR-Japanese projects regarding natural gas in Yakutsk, Tyumen, and Sakhalin. He noted, "While the Yakutsk, Tyumen, and Sakhalin proposals are all important, and will require the attention of Secretary Shultz or whoever else is given Pete Peterson's responsibilities in this field, they do not have the same political urgency in terms of U.S.-Soviet relations as does the North Star project." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 721, Country Files-Europe—USSR, Vol. XXVII)

On December 15, Sonnenfeldt sent Kissinger a follow-up memorandum on the "impact of new U.S. energy policy on possible U.S.-USSR gas deals." He wrote: "On December 13, Peter Flanigan chaired a Cabinet-level meeting to review preparations for the President's energy policy message, now scheduled to go to the Hill sometime in February." Sonnenfeldt continued: "Natural gas was among the subjects discussed, and it is becoming increasingly clear that, based on present thinking, the energy policy message will give strong Administration support to providing incentives to industry-by deregulating prices for new gas-to increase development of untapped U.S. gas reserves. Not once during the two-hour meeting was the subject of USSR LNG raised-which is not surprising, considering the widespread dis

« PreviousContinue »