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Among other bilateral issues, touched upon in the talks with Dr. Kissinger, of important significance are, of course, the questions of trade and economic ties. The general approach of yours and ours to the development of those ties seems to be identically positive. Yet the creation of necessary favorable prerequisites in the sense of equal conditions for trade and credits is naturally required for the realization of our common interest in widening and deepening trade and economic ties, in finding new forms for those ties. We took note of the explanations and appropriate assurances on the matter given by Dr. Kissinger on
As for the international problems, we always believed that one of the most critical issues is that of the Middle East. And now great dangers are in wait of us in the Middle East. The developments there can take such a turn which neither we, nor—I believe-you would like to happen. We frankly expressed to Dr. Kissinger our appraisal of the present situation. Our statements might have sounded quite blunt to Dr. Kissinger, yet the bluntness is dictated by the explosiveness of the situation itself. 2
In the conversation with Dr. Kissinger it was said-and I would like to repeat it to you personally—that if the main question of withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Arab territories, occupied in 1967, is settled, then all the other questions, including those of the security of Israel and of other countries of the region, can be solved; frankly speaking, they will not then be an obstacle for the settlement. And it is the leaders of Israel themselves who constantly maintain, that those are the very questions, i.e. the questions of security, which concern them.
Dr. Kissinger also offered a number of considerations on how, in the US opinion, it would be possible to act further on the questions of the Middle East settlement. Certain ideas, expressed by him, went, in our view, in the direction of facilitating the search of a solution of the main question—that of the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied Arab territories. But, frankly speaking, there is a lack of completeness here. We hope that necessary clarity will be added to the US position on this question when we receive the communication from you on that matter, as was promised by Dr. Kissinger, within 7 or 10 days after his return to Washington.
We, on our part, are prepared to work on the Middle East problem, sparing neither time nor efforts, before my visit to the US. There may not be any doubt that the fixation at our meeting of exact and clear understanding between ourselves regarding the ways of the Middle East
2 See Document 112. 3 See Document 120.
settlement on a just and solid basis would be another major milestone both in the relations between our countries and in the normalization of the world situation as a whole. I believe that this is a feasible task and the achievement of such mutual understanding would undoubtedly give a due impetus to the peaceful settlement in the Middle East and to the working out by the parties concerned of concrete measures of its implementation.
No special difficulties appeared in the exchange of opinion with Dr. Kissinger on European questions, including those related to the preparation and the holding of the all-European conference. Apparently, our representatives have to continue to maintain regular contacts on those matters. There will be, of course, enough here for you and me to talk about-in a wider and more long-term perspective.
In conclusion, I would like once more to note the constructiveness of the talks with Dr. Kissinger and the atmosphere of frankness, in which they were held and which increasingly characterize our relations. The talks were a useful prelude to the important negotiations which we shall have with you in the month of June.
Printed from a copy with this typed signature.
Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the 40
Washington, May 24, 1973.
Covert Activities against the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Attached is a status report and renewal of CIA's eight-project covert action program of publishing, distribution and contacts directed at intellectuals in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (Tab A). CIA has sponsored some of these activities for more than 22 years. The program includes the publishing and distribution efforts formerly sponsored by Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. An expenditure of $3,759,000 is planned for Fiscal Year 1974.
1 Source: National Security Council, Nixon Administration Intelligence Files, Subject Files, USSR. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only; Outside System. Sent for action. Sonnenfeldt and Kennedy concurred.
Included in the program are:
State, Defense, JCS and CIA 40 Committee principals approve continuation of this program. Recommendation:
That you approve continuation of this covert action program.
Memorandum for the 40 Committee
Washington, March 1, 1973.
Covert Action Activities Directed at the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
CIA conducts a coordinated covert action program designed to sustain pressures for liberalization and socio-political change from within the Soviet Union and the Soviet Bloc. This program, which supports media publication and distribution to Soviet and East European citizens, consists of the following individual projects:
[Omitted here is a list of the organizations receiving support.] 2. Status Report
This covert action program is a coordinated publishing and distribution effort directed against the Soviet/East European target. Books and periodicals produced under this program have the objective of stimulating and sustaining pressures for political liberalization within the Soviet Union and other Eastern European nations. The program aims at and, in a measure, has succeeded in generating pressures on
2 For the report on an earlier operation, see Document 149 in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XII, Soviet Union, January 1969-October 1970.
Kissinger initialed his approval on June 18. 4 Sensitive; Secret; Eyes Only.
these regimes from indigenous dissidents who have been seeking increased intellectual freedom, social and economic reforms, and, for non-Russians, a recognition of their national identity, culture and heritage. This program also uses CIA propaganda assets in non-Bloc areas to place items reporting Soviet repressive acts and encouraging free world support for the dissident movement.
The USSR is experiencing a marked increase in political and religious dissent and nationalist anti-Russian sentiment in its various republics. Arrests and convictions of dissenters are increasing, and under the guise of a comparatively generous emigration policy Jewish dissenters have been permitted to leave the country, ridding the Soviets of a troublesome group. There is no abatement in the well-established Soviet practice of committing dissident intellectuals to mental institutions in an effort to reorient their thinking.
The Russian dissident democratic movement is still producing the bi-monthly Chronicle of Current Events, a samizdat (self-published) record of repressive measures and arrests taking place in the Soviet Union. The Chronicle is exfiltrated to the West in spite of the vigilance of the KGB and the increase of repressive measures. Entire manuscripts of books which cannot be published in the USSR are being made available for publication abroad. CIA's covert media program supports their initial publication in many instances and their subsequent infiltration into Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. Responses from individuals in the target area substantiate the receipt of this material. The effectiveness of the program is also clearly demonstrated by vituperative attacks in Bloc printed media and on the radio. These attacks are made not only against the books and periodicals, but also against individual authors and the editors of our publications. These editors have been brought to national attention within their former homelands by their constantly being portrayed in regime propaganda as bourgeois anti-Communist traitors.
Impressive testimony to the validity and impact of our efforts to communicate developments and provide moral support to Soviet citizens has been volunteered by a group of recent émigrés with whom we have held wide-ranging discussions in Europe and the United States. These well-educated, perceptive observers represent the post-Stalin era professional intelligentsia and afford a unique insight into that critical community.
The group unanimously described Russian-language communication of news, information and ideas as the most important service the West can render their self-styled democratic movement, and specified broadcasting, newspapers, periodicals and books as the prime Western vehicles for informing and stimulating the expansion of the movement.
. Materials thus disseminated enable the Soviet intelligentsia to criticize their society more articulately and provide heartening evidence of the free world's moral support. One of the regime's principal curbs on the movement's expansion is constant economic pressure. Dissidents are dismissed from their jobs, are unable to obtain new ones, and find economic survival increasingly difficult. Thus, the émigrés emphasized the importance and sustaining influence of prompt, detailed and continuous international reporting of every known act of regime repression, as well as objective and sophisticated comment on other negative aspects of Soviet society.
Soviet reader interest in CIA-reprinted Russian literature may be gauged by Moscow black market prices: (8 lines not declassified] The latter, first published over twenty years ago, will be reissued shortly with our assistance.
All of the persons of varying national backgrounds who are associated with this program have several years of experience in combating communism and Soviet-inspired repression in their own countries. Many were involved in underground operations as young men during World War II, and almost all have prices on their heads. [214 lines not declassified] The rich background provided by the cumulative experience of these men is invaluable to CIA in assuring an effective propaganda program designed to encourage a more genuinely liberal internal policy and a freer flow of ideas from the West, leading to genuine détente.
During the past year more than 500,000 books, periodicals and pamphlets have been distributed to individuals in the target areas or to travelers from the Bloc. The content and quality of these publications have been improved through closer coordination of these activities within CIA, and new distribution techniques have been introduced to evade Bloc censorship and border controls. Nearly every significant samizdat document which has been received in the West has been published and redistributed in the target area. Dissident events within the Soviet Union and the East European countries continue to receive wide publicity, not only in the Bloc, but throughout the remainder of the world. During the coming year it is planned to continue this program, expanding wherever possible. 3. Alternatives
The United States Government could disassociate itself partially or completely from Soviet Bloc émigré activities and discontinue or scale down the support given to this type of publication and distribution program. This would inevitably result in a loss of capability to maintain pressure on the Soviet and East European governments for liberalizing measures. Cessation of U.S. Government support to all or part of this program would serve to dishearten and thereby lessen the effectiveness of those Soviet and East European residents who are presently