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the interests of others. At the same time, we still have room for considerable expansion of our bilateral relations. As is customary in our government, we have been making some changes of personnel for the second term, and when this is completed we will be making appropriate adjustments in our representation in the bilateral commissions we have established. I want to assure you, Mr. General Secretary, that questions of Soviet-American relations are not involved in our personnel changes. We fully intend to continue with an active program in each of the major areas of cooperation. It is particularly gratifying to note, for example, that in cooperation in outer space the technical experts seem to be making important progress. Progress has also been notable with regard to cooperation on environmental problems and on health matters. We look forward to further advances in the important area of science and technology

Next year, early in the Congressional term, we will submit legislation to facilitate Soviet-American trade. There will be difficulties in this area, but I will stand fully behind this legislation.

Meanwhile, we should continue our discussions on the question of long-term ventures for the supply of various kinds of natural resources, in particular natural gas. I hope we can make early progress in reaching understandings between our governments that take account of the very long-term character of the relationships involved and of the unprecedented magnitude of the investments required. I would hope, therefore, that contacts between responsible officials on both sides as well as between experts will be pursued in this spirit.

5 See Document 70. Kissinger wrote in a memorandum to Nixon, November 8, that five U.S.-Soviet working groups were busy planning for a joint manned Apollo-Soyuz test flight, scheduled for 1975. “Additional, bilateral work continues on cooperative projects in the fields of space meteorology; study of the natural environment; exploration of the near-earth space, the moon and planets; and space biology and medicine,” Kissinger added. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 721, Country Files-Europe--USSR, Vol. XXVI)

6 Kissinger wrote in his November 8 memorandum to Nixon: “The September 18–21 meeting of the Joint Committee on Cooperation in the field of Environmental Protection resulted in a memorandum of implementation providing for 30 initial U.S.-Soviet environmental projects in the 11 subject areas of the agreement.” He also outlined joint endeavors in mental health, environmental health, and cancer research.

7 In his November 8 memorandum to Nixon, Kissinger reported that a tentative agreement had been reached to hold the first meeting of the Joint Commission on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Washington. “The Commission is expected to approve the reports of its working groups for cooperative programs in agricultural research, chemical catalysis, water resources, energy, computer applications to management and applications of microbiology. It was also expected to approve a memorandum of cooperation in agricultural research between Agriculture and the USSR's Ministry of Agriculture."

See Document 69.

In sum, Mr. General Secretary, 1973 will be a year of great expectations in Soviet-American relations, highlighted by your visit to the United States. There are a number of questions which I believe can be brought to fruition during that visit. We want to make it comparable in every way to the summit meeting in Moscow. To do so will require both sides to undertake detailed preparations and agree on an agenda of issues on which we might complete agreements here in Washington.

In certain areas, it may be wise to focus on reaching agreements in principle which would then be refined in subsequent contacts. This could be the case in the field of arms control and on certain of the broader political issues that remain. In other areas, chiefly that of bilateral relations, I believe it would be desirable to prepare specific and concrete additional agreements which could be announced at the time of the visit. If this general approach meets with your approval, the most efficient way to proceed would be to have your Ambassador and Dr. Kissinger identify the various subjects involved early in the New Year so that we then have common objectives to aim for in the ensuing months before your visit.

I shall await your reaction to these considerations with interest and meanwhile Mrs. Nixon joins me in wishing you and your family a healthy and happy New Year.


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Richard Nixon 72.

Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National
Security Council Staff to the President's Assistant for
National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Washington, January 2, 1973.


Your Meeting With Dobrynin, January 3, 19732

I do not know to what extent you may have covered various bilateral or international issues with Dobrynin before his departure for Moscow. In any case, the excerpt from my memorandum for the last meeting is still valid if you wish to use it (Tab A). In addition, there are some other bilateral issues which I am discussing in detail in another memorandum being sent you separately for decision that you may also wish to look over before the meeting (Tab B).*


In the past two weeks the Soviets have employed some fairly strident rhetoric in denouncing the bombing; they have also "demanded" signing of the peace agreement (Kosygin), promised all-out aid until the "just cause triumphs" (Suslov) and linked the future of Soviet American relations to peace in Vietnam (Brezhnev). They have also leaked news stories suggesting that Brezhnev's visit is being postponed because of Vietnam (more on this below).

In general, the Soviets have offset their rhetoric with expositions on their foreign policy at the year's end that suggest no important shift in their general line. This may be the cause of certain signs of strain in their relations with Hanoi. Most odd, was the failure of Truong Chinh to be received by Brezhnev, Kosygin or Podgorny, particularly since

1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 67, Country Files—Europe-USSR, Map Room, Aug. 1972-May 31, 1973, (1 of 3). Secret; Eyes Only. Sent for action. At the top of the memorandum, Kissinger wrote and underscored: “(1) Hillenbrand-Bonn-Falin” and “(2) Helsinki–U.S. Force MBFR relationship." Above the first paragraph of the memorandum, he wrote, “Preliminary substance."

2 According to Kissinger's Record of Schedule, he met with Dobrynin for lunch at the Soviet Embassy from 1:20 to 3:50 p.m. on January 3. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1967–76) No record of Kissinger's conversation with Dobrynin has been found.

3 Attached but not printed is an excerpt of Document 70.

* Attached but not printed is Sonnenfeldt's January 2 memorandum regarding possible agenda items for a Brezhnev summit.

5 Truong Chinh, Politburo member and Chairman of the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Brezhnev received all of the leaders of the governing communist party delegations who visited Moscow for the 50th anniversary celebrations. Brezhnev Visit

The Soviets were rather quick to follow Brezhnev's speech with private and publicized hints that the visit was off until next fall, implying that there was a connection to Vietnam. The source of these "signals” was Victor Louis' remarks to Ambassador Beam and then in Louis' article for the London Daily News. Earlier in December, the Washington press was citing Dobrynin as the source of speculation about postponement.

While I do not know what you and Dobrynin may have discussed on this aspect, you may want to warn him about taking this issue into the press. If the visit is to be postponed because of the decreasing likelihood of substantial accomplishments, there should be a coordinated line (perhaps by setting an actual date and announcing it).

Even if there has been no parallel development in your channel, these hints may be intended to probe our willingness to consider postponement without Dobrynin having to make an overture. If this is the case, there are sound arguments for postponing until the fall, as long as it is clear that this represents no change in the state of relations. (Whatever happens, postponement or not, will be read in the Vietnam context.) Reply to the President

The President's letter ended with an invitation for Brezhnev's views, and Dobrynin may be bringing a reply. Judging from what Brezhnev has said in public, the reply will probably be moderate in tone, but without any major new ideas. Probably there will have to be in this more formal version of the special channel something on Vietnam, if only for Brezhnev's record. SALT

While the Soviet delegation took a rather propagandistic position in Geneva, Brezhnev's speech on December 22 [21] seemed to offer more on SALT than his delegation. He listed (1) turning the Interim Agreement into a permanent one; (2) passing from limitations to gradual reductions; (3) establishing some kind of limit to qualitative development.


Brezhnev's December 21 speech, which linked ending the war in Vietnam and U.S.-Soviet relations, was summarized in “Excerpts from the Kremlin Address of Soviet Leader,The New York Times, December 22, 1972, p. 10.

Document 71.


As you know, what the Soviets seem to have in mind is some add-ons to the Interim Agreement, but raising at this authoritative level both reductions and qualitative limitations may be an offer to work out some package arrangements (as May 20). His willingness to raise these issues publicly after we had skirted qualitative limits in Geneva but had proposed reductions, may foreshadow a more interesting line in the private channel. He may respond to our suggestion that we needed a framework for reconciling our different approaches. You have an earlier memo on the Soviet MIRV approach; copy at Tab C.9

If Dobrynin raises SALT, you might ask what Brezhnev had in mind in mentioning reductions and qualitative limits. You might note that their delegation seemed to want to discuss MIRV's, but we cannot be sure whether this represents Soviet interest or the prodding of our own people. You could urge him to spell out their ideas as soon as possible before the negotiations resume. (You may want to alert him to changes in our delegation and in ACDA.) CSCE

The Soviets in Helsinki seem disappointed that our delegation has not established closer working contacts. In particular they were concerned that we might retreat from the "understanding" to begin the formal Conference in June; see earlier memo at Tab D.10 Now that the real issues of setting an agenda will come before the Conference on January 15, the Soviets will be testing our repeated willingness to talk to them bilaterally.

We cannot go very far in this direction without raising alarm among the Allies. However, since we are tougher than our allies on some issues, such as promoting freer movement and resisting permanent machinery, in giving in to Allied consensus, we can appear to be more cooperative with the Soviet position.

You may wish to impress on Dobrynin that we need to go into the agenda in more detail than Moscow wants, if we are to open the Conference in June. If the Soviets have some major problems in Helsinki, they should probably raise them with you first of all because our delegation will be instructed to cooperate closely with our Allies and cannot play a role as mediator with the Soviet side.


The SALT negotiators reached agreement on the Interim Agreement on May 20.
Attached but not printed.

10 Attached but not printed is Sonnenfeldt's December 21, 1972, memorandum. For a summary, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXIX, European Security, Document 121.

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