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Kissinger's Pre-Summit Trip to Moscow,
May 1973

101. Letter From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary

Brezhnev?

Washington, May 1, 1973.

Dear Mr. General Secretary:

I should like to take advantage of Ambassador Dobrynin's trip to Moscow to send you this personal message of greeting. Dr. Kissinger will shortly be meeting with you and some of your colleagues to review the state of preparations for our forthcoming talks in the United States. He will have detailed instructions from me to pursue the various subjects on which we have exchanged views in our confidential channel and on which I expect to talk with you personally during our meetings.

I believe that Ambassador Dobrynin and Dr. Kissinger have already made substantial progress on a number of topics in their frequent exchanges here in Washington. Moreover, both of us can take satisfaction in the fact that, in general, relations between our two countries are on a constructive course across a very broad front. Consequently, the prospects for our meetings appear very promising and I am confident that the tradition begun last year in Moscow will be continued here by a new series of significant agreements and understandings that will benefit not only the peoples of our two countries but the cause of worldwide peace and progress.

Reviewing the numerous specific issues on which we have been communicating, I believe we have a basis for concluding new agreements to expand concrete bilateral cooperation in such areas as agriculture, oceanography and others. You may be certain that all the pertinent agencies of our government will work constructively with your representatives to work out appropriate documents so that they can be promulgated at the time of our meeting. I will also look forward to a review of what has already been accomplished in trade and economic relations between our countries; after the many years of almost no economic relations, I believe the achievements to date are considerable. But we shall obviously want to use our meeting to give even greater impetus to these relations and to look beyond the next few years to

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 68, Country Files—Europe USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 17. No classification marking. A handwritten notation at the top of the page reads: “Handed by K to D 2:30 pm, Tues, May 1, 1973."

long-term cooperative projects, including those related to natural gas. Dr. Kissinger will be prepared to give you a status report on our efforts

a to obtain Congressional approval this year for the implementation of the US-Soviet trade agreement. My assessment is that the prospects in this regard are very promising.

Dr. Kissinger will also be authorized to discuss with you and your colleagues the situation in the negotiations on strategic arms limitation and, on the basis of views and documents already exchanged, to seek jointly with you to make significant progress in preparation for our meeting. I am prepared to reach mutually acceptable understandings both on the principles and the substance of a permanent agreement. It also seems possible now to envisage a significant step toward the removal of the danger of nuclear war, along the lines that we have discussed.

In addition to the above subjects, Dr. Kissinger will be prepared to review all other subjects of mutual interest, such as cooperation and security in Europe, the Middle East, and problems relating to the implementation of the agreements ending the conflict in Vietnam.

May I close this message by assuring you, Mr. General Secretary, that your visit to this country is being awaited with keen anticipation both because of the concrete results that can be expected from it and because of the symbolic significance, which cannot be overrated, of this event for the future friendship of our two countries and for world peace. In the coming weeks, we will be working with your representatives to make all the necessary arrangements and I will personally be eager to hear of any special wishes that you may have. I do not know if we will be able to meet the high standards of hospitality which you set during my visit to your country, but I can assure you that nothing will be left undone to make your stay with us a successful and happy occasion. Mrs. Nixon and I have the most pleasant memories of the days we spent in Moscow, Leningrad and Kiev and Mrs. Brezhnev and you, as well as the other members of your delegation, will be received in the United States with the warmest hospitality.

Sincerely,

Richard Nixon

102. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President

Nixon?

Moscow, May 3, 1973.

Dear Mr. President,

I received your letter of May 1,? which was delivered by Ambassador Dobrynin, and I decided to reply to it immediately.

I share your confidence that the tradition begun at the Moscow meeting last year will be continued at our meeting in the USA by a new series of significant agreements and understandings that will benefit not only the peoples of our two countries but the cause of worldwide peace and progress.

Up to now considerable work has been accomplished in preparing appropriate documents which are to be adopted as a result of the meeting. But there is yet quite much to be done.

We hope that during the forthcoming visit to Moscow by Dr. Kissinger, who, as you wrote, will have detailed instructions from you, we shall be able to make a substantial progress in completing the preparation of those documents.

It applies, first of all, to the agreement on preventing nuclear war.

We shall, undoubtedly, be prepared to discuss with him also the question of what could be an outcome of the discussion at the meeting of the strategic arms limitation problem.

We are now completing the work, taking into account Dr. Kissinger's formulations, on the draft of the document, proposed by us, regarding the basic principles of negotiations on further limitation of strategic arms. And we shall be, of course, prepared to consider the possibility of reaching a mutually acceptable understanding on the substance of the questions as well.

Another important matter, which, undoubtedly, will be a subject of our discussions with you, is the situation in the Middle East, that, unfortunately, remains extremely dangerous. In order to give, at last, necessary impetus to the Middle East settlement on the basis of the UN Security Council known resolution, it would be important in our view to reach mutual understanding between the USSR and the US regarding the principles on which the settlement should be built. We suggest that

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Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 68, Country Files-Europe—USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 17. No classification marking. A handwritten notation at the top of the page reads: “Handed to HAK by Vorontsov, 7:15 pm, May 3, 1973."

2 Document 101.

the work on such principles be done while Dr. Kissinger is here so that at our meeting they will be finally agreed upon, and corresponding steps will be taken on their basis for the speediest achievment of a settlement in the Middle East.

I was glad to know from your letter that you authorized Dr. Kissinger to review other subjects of mutual interest as well, such as security and cooperation in Europe and the implementation of the Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam. That fully corresponds to our own intentions. We share your opinion that as a result of our meeting even greater impetus be given to the development of mutually beneficial trade and economic relations between the USSR and the US, including those on a long-term basis.

As for preparing for the signing at the meeting of several agreements on cooperation between the USSR and the US in a number of fields of science, technology and agriculture, our drafts of possible agreements of that series have been recently transmitted by Ambassador Dobrynin through Dr. Kissinger, and appropriate Soviet agencies are ready to begin at any time the work on agreeing those drafts with their colleagues on the American side.

In conclusion, I would like to say, Mr. President, that I appreciate the attention, that you personally pay to the preparation of our visit to the United States. We would like to believe that visit will be fruitful as it is being expected by both sides.

Sincerely,

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L. Brezhney+

3 On April 30, Dobrynin delivered draft agreements to Kissinger on agriculture; contacts, exchanges, and information; ocean exploration; peaceful uses of atomic energy; and transportation. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 70, Exchange of Notes Between Kissinger and Dobrynin, Vol. 5)

* Printed from a copy with this typed signature.

103. National Security Decision Memorandum 2151

Washington, May 3, 1973.

TO

The Secretary of State
The Acting Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Commerce
The Secretary of Agriculture
The Secretary of Transportation
The Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
The Director, National Science Foundation

SUBJECT

US-Soviet Bilateral Issues

The President has reviewed the response to NSSM 1762 together with subsequent agency submissions relating to the desirability and possibility of new bilateral agreements between the United States and the Soviet Union.

The President has directed that the following guidance shall be followed in discussions and negotiations between U.S. and Soviet representatives on the subjects of agriculture, transportation, oceanography, urban and community development, exchanges and cultural relations and civil aviation. The President emphasizes that such negotiations should be conducted on their merits, and that the United States should avoid proposing concessions solely in order to expedite agreement.

-Agriculture. The President has directed that the United States explore with the Soviet Union the possibility of a U.S.-Soviet agreement on cooperation in the field of agriculture. Bearing in mind the work already accomplished in this area, the President directs the Secretary of Agriculture, in coordination with the Department of State, to arrange for bilateral talks with the appropriate Soviet Ministries as soon as mutually convenient. These negotiations should have as their objective the development of a draft bilateral agreement for further consideration by

1

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-208, NSDM 151-NSDM 200, Originals. Secret. Copies were sent to the Director of Central Intelligence and the Chairman of the JCS. Sonnenfeldt forwarded the draft NSDM to Kissinger on April 30 for his signature. (Ibid., Box H-239, Policy Papers, NSDM 215 [2 of 2])

2 Document 93.

On April 30, along with the draft NSDM, Sonnenfeldt forwarded additional responses to NSSM 176 to Kissinger from the Departments of State, Agriculture, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development; and the National Science Foundation. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, NSC Institutional Files (H-Files), Box H-239, Policy Papers, NSDM 215 [2 of 2])

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