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suggest to them that the US is attempting to use Soviet vulnerabilities in one area to extract concessions in another, and this stirs old feelings of inferiority. Nonetheless, Brezhnev is surely realist enough to recognize that the US will expect a return for helping him with his economic difficulties and not taking advantage of his China problem. He will probably anticipate that the US will be asking him to show movement on such matters as force reductions in Europe (MBFR) and to exercise restraint in the Middle East and Vietnam. In addition, he will know that he will be asked to explain the Soviet position on Jewish emigration. Areas for Discussion
10. Economic and Trade Relations. As Brezhnev acknowledged during his recent visit to West Germany, the USSR is beginning to move away from its traditional policy of autarky. The Soviets are prepared to accept a certain degree of dependence on the West in order to overcome their technological lag and get help in developing their natural resources. They have evidently gone some way toward convincing themselves—perhaps over-optimistically—that there is substantial opportunity for developing US-Soviet economic relations to their advantage. They have good political as well as economic reasons for wanting to see this happen; among these is their desire to be acknowledged as a great power qualified to be treated as an equal in economic as well as other dealings. And their economic motivation in itself is very strong. They will have to have increased trade, and especially substantial new credits, to cover the cost of additional imported technology and know-how. Much of the assistance they seek could be obtained from Western Europe and Japan. But they feel that the US and Soviet economies are more nearly similar in scale, and they have a high regard for American technology. They probably reckon that the opening up of US-Soviet economic relations would, in any case, stimulate a competitive reaction on the part of other Western nations.
11. Brezhnev will probably be pressing harder to produce signs of progress in this area than in any other. He has considerable personal knowledge of and interest in the USSR's agricultural problems. Even if the need for foreign wheat becomes less acute than it was last year, there will be a continuing need for substantial imports of feed grains, important for the expansion of the Soviet livestock base. A long-term US-Soviet grain deal could have advantages for the USSR in terms of a guaranteed source of supply, assured prices, and fixed delivery schedules. Brezhnev will surely be interested in learning what the prospects are for a deal at the right price. He will expound on the potential of the Soviet market for American business, argue the USSR's reliability
as a trading partner, and stress that the USSR could help the US with its energy problem. In particular, he will want to stimulate official and private interest in joint US-Soviet ventures for the development of Soviet resources-natural gas being one obvious example-since the Soviets see this as the most feasible way for them to finance any very large increase in imports. At the same time, he will, as already noted, be lobbying, with an eye particularly on the US Congress, for long-term, low-interest credits and MFN treatment. Without doubt, he will try to have the final communiqué on his visit contain the strongest possible expression of the President's desire to see US-Soviet economic relations grow.
12. SALT. Brezhnev will arrive fully briefed on the issues underlying the present impasse at Geneva. Even if certain limited SALT agreements are ready for signature, he will understand that Summit II cannot be capped by major strategic arms agreements as Summit I was. He may be inclined simply to project a positive attitude toward the negotiations and otherwise confine himself to probing for give in the US position. On certain issues-US nuclear-armed systems stationed in Europe, for example-he will almost certainly reiterate the Soviet maximal position, without necessarily expecting this to have any specific result. Yet Brezhnev certainly does not want the Geneva negotiations to become completely stalled; he could consider the Summit the right moment for decisions to be made at the highest political level which would move the talks forward. What he might propose or accept in this regard can only be conjectured: he might be prepared to join in a declaration setting general priorities for the present phase of SALT, or even perhaps to agree to issue instructions to both delegations to focus next on the problem of qualitative controls, e.g., MIRVs/MRVs.
13. European Security Issues. The Soviets remain convinced that a European security conference (CSCE) could help them to increase their political influence and economic ties in Western Europe, as well as contribute to the consolidation of their position in Eastern Europe. Moscow is less interested in the negotiation on MBFR, or at least less certain as to what benefits might be derived from that negotiation. What Brezhnev would like to obtain from the US at this point are assurances on the content and timing of CSCE-commitment, in the one case, not to press hard on the issue of freedom of communication between Eastern and Western Europe, and, in the other, agreement to allow CSCE to be completed before MBFR is convened. He will be aware that this matter can stir trouble in US-allied relations. As for MBFR, Brezhnev will probably see the need, being in the US capital, to display a constructive attitude, and also the advantage of playing on West European concerns about US-Soviet bilateralism. He might think he could do both by proposing that the reductions process begin with the US and the USSR making to
ken cuts or at most by carrying out something like a 10 percent cut on either side.
14. Middle East. The USSR accepts as a minimum that it and the US have a common interest in avoiding direct confrontation in the Middle East. After its experience with Egypt, it is also generally uneasy about its relations with the radical Arab states and about its lack of leverage in the context of the Arab-Israeli conflict. At the same time, the USSR is undoubtedly under pressure from its frustrated Egyptian clients to get the US to exert pressures on Israel. Thus Brezhnev will hope, whether through an initiative of his own or through his response to a US initia
a tive, to have the Summit produce some evidence of the determination of the Great Powers to renew efforts for a political settlement. If he does have his own proposals to make, none are likely to be new; they will place heavy stress on the need for the US to get Israel to commit itself to vacating occupied Arab territories.
15. Moscow sees the Middle East not only as the arena of Arab-Israeli struggle but also as a prime theater of Soviet-American competition. This places strict limits on how far Brezhnev would be willing to go at the Summit in any explicit, joint undertakings with the US aimed at reducing the likelihood of conflict. If, in fact, conflict or the clear threat of it were to develop, Moscow would probably enter direct communications with the US in an attempt to exercise some form of “crisis management." The Soviets do not see the present situation as requiring measures of this kind—which could make them vulnerable to charges of "collusion." It is a near certainty that the Russians will continue to insist that they will not negotiate a Middle East arms control agreement except as part of a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli issue.
16. Vietnam. The Soviets would be concerned also in the case of Vietnam lest they expose themselves to allegations of "collusion" with the US. They would probably be disinclined on this account to engage overtly with the US in measures aimed at preserving the cease-fire, other than to reaffirm the validity of the Paris Agreements. They would be strongly averse to committing themselves expressly to limiting the delivery of arms to North Vietnam. Yet the Soviets almost certainly believe that their interests on the whole would not be well served by a reheating of the war, and Brezhnev may be prepared to go at least as far as to convey this attitude to the US. He might perhaps, in addition, indicate implicitly his readiness to exercise restraint in arms supplies, at least as long as the cease-fire is in effect.
17. China. The problem of China will be very much on Brezhnev's mind throughout the Summit, even if it is not directly discussed. While Brezhnev may believe that exposing Soviet anxieties about China would weaken his negotiating hand, his interest in the subject is bound
to emerge in some way. He will, at least, be seeking to find clues as to where the US is planning to go in its relations with Peking and to get across the idea that beyond a certain point the US would be purchasing improved relations with the Chinese at the expense of its relations with the USSR. Although it would suit him to do so, he will recognize that he would have little chance of succeeding in an attempt to insinuate anti-Chinese overtones into the US-Soviet Summit.
18. Even if Summit II does not produce important and concrete results on many specific issues, Brezhnev is likely to go away pleased. He will be persuaded that the occasion itself has added to his stature as a world statesman and increased his authority at home. Although, as noted above, the present course of Soviet policy is not irreversible, the forces working for a more restrained power competition will no doubt be further strengthened. Nothing will have changed Moscow's view that the Soviet-American relationship retains at bottom an adversary character. But Brezhnev is likely to be confirmed in his belief that the present course of Soviet policy, especially the aspect of dealing with the US at the Summit in an atmosphere of relative normalization, is the correct one.
120. Letter From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary
Washington, June 7, 1973.
Dear Mr. General Secretary:
I have read with great interest the account you so kindly sent me of your visit to the Federal Republic and the conversations you held with Chancellor Brandt. It is evident that the visit was a fruitful one and produced very favorable results. Both you and the Chancellor are to be congratulated.
We are now in the final stages of preparing for your historic visit to this country. All the signs point to an outcome that will further
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 68, Country Files-Europe—USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 17, May-June 7, 1973. A handwritten note at the top of the page reads: “Handed to D by Gen. S[cowcroft), 3:00 pm, 6/8/73."
The letter describing Brezhnev's May 28 visit with Brandt, is ibid.
strengthen the beneficial relations between our two countries and the prospects for lasting peace in the world.
I should like in this letter to review certain of the major items on our agenda
First of all, as you noted in your letter of May 15, we have now completed the work of drafting an agreement on the question of the prevention of nuclear war. The agreement that we will sign will be of truly historical importance. Building as it does on the basic principles we signed last year, this agreement will undoubtedly be a most important aspect of our meetings. I profoundly hope, as I know you do, Mr. General Secretary, that in signing it, we will be taking a significant step not only toward reducing the danger of a devastating nuclear war, but
a also toward creating the conditions in the world where wars of any kind and the use of force will no longer afflict mankind. That we have taken this step while fully recognizing and respecting the rights and interests of other countries, is a mark of statesmanship. I am convinced that as our relations improve and worldwide peace is strengthened, additional important steps toward the ultimate exclusion of wars will become possible.
The negotiations that have produced this agreement have lasted for more than a year during which we have had many frank exchanges on the complex and delicate issues involved. Both of us will of course be expected to assess and interpret the meaning and significance of our agreement.
To avoid any possible misunderstanding, let me therefore tell you briefly the view that I shall express. It would be my hope that we could both express ourselves in similar terms since any significant differences would detract from what we have been able to accomplish.
My view is that we have set forth an objective and certain modes of conduct applicable to the policies of each of our countries in the years ahead. In doing this, we have not agreed to ban the use of any particular weapons but have taken a major step toward the creation of conditions in which the danger of war, and especially of nuclear war, between our two countries or between one of our countries and others, will be removed. In short, the obligations we have accepted toward each other we have also accepted as applicable to the policies which each of us conducts toward other countries. In subscribing to the agreement and, in particular, in agreeing to consult with each other in certain circumstances, we have made commitments to each other but have in no sense agreed to impose any particular obligation or solution upon other countries. At the same time, we have left the rights of each of our
Document 117. The May 13 letter was given to Kissinger on May 15.