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Brezhnev: And I-in fact, I can- I spent a lot of time with them. I can send you a full transcript of my discussion and my interview with them. And in that conversation 1-twice in different sorts of settings and different circumstances I mentioned and emphasized what I see as the role and the significance of President Nixon and his policies in the—in changing relationships and improving relationships between the Soviet Union and the United States. But you know, come to think of it, 12 or so years ago one former very-formerly very prominent Soviet diplomat and statesman told me that, “Now you”—and I was then"you are just a sort of a newly-initiated statesman. You're an up-and-coming statesman," he said to me
Brezhnev: -and he said, "Now, and I want to give you some advice." He told me, “Now, you're new in politics but believe me that personal, good relationships, even in grand politics, are at times the most important thing for progress at any time." And, you know, I remember those words and I, personally, I agree with them. And I do believe that personal confidence and loyalty to even a gentleman's agreement without setting down anything on paper are the best thing for any relationships at any time. And it's with that hope that I come here, and in that spirit I want to shake you hand. .
Brezhnev: Now, I believe that our personal relationships and the respect which I certainly harbor, very sincerest regard for you and I know it's reciprocal, can be confirmed by two events and that is: your arrival to Moscow last year, and mine in Washington this year.
This is not in any way to remember the bad past or to emphasize anything out of the present, but, simply, I'm giving an answer in substance and what is, I think, is realistic.
Yesterday, I had a very pleasant conversation with Dr. Kissinger and I guess he must have told you at least about it in general terms, but I want to say now—I said this to him yesterday, and I do want to say it now—that it is certainly my very earnest desire that you should pay another visit to the Soviet Union some time next year, in 1974. I think that would be very good
Nixon: For the election?
5 Brezhnev met with the American journalists on June 14 in Moscow. For a report on the meeting, see “Brezhnev Praises Nixon For ‘Realistic' Approach,” The New York Times, June 15, 1973, p. 1.
Sukhodrev: Yeah, pretty much.
Brezhnev: Let me say here that this is not something I just say in a personal-only in a personal capacity. At the last meeting of the Politburo, I suggested-made the suggestion that I should make an official visit to—I should extend an official invitation to you to come to the Soviet Union in 1974. That suggestion received unanimous support by the entire Politburo, so it's both a personal and a unanimously-supported decision, and a considered decision by our leadership. And then, you see, I think that new meeting between us would a give new impulse to what has already been done and it would be fully in accord with the rangement—the agreement, actually, that we entered into last year that these meetings should be a regular, annual event. So, today, I'm here with you in the United States, and I shall be hoping that you will accept our invitation to visit us in 1974, and then, if we get an invitation, we can come back to the United States in '75.
Nixon: Thank you. That's right.
Brezhnev: And then, in 1976, you come and pay us another visit. And that will, I'm sure, that this series of meetings of this sort will give continued—will give new and continuous impulses to the development of a real, lasting relationship between our two countries.
Now, of course, I don't have with me any brief or any official or formal proposals as to the problems we could take up for discussion next year or the agreements that we could sign next year, but this is something that we could some day at a point have a general discussion about, exchange views, consult one another, but I believe that our experience, the experience of preparing for last year's meeting, and of preparing for this one, shows that we can do some very fruitful work, preparatory work together, and then, if we do that prior to the visit, there is—there can be more, time can be spent on seeing, traveling more through the country. You could go down south, see something in the Caucasus, for instance, some other part of the country. And, in short, we can prepare all of the business part of the trip so well, in advance, as to leave the minimal time for formal discussions and the settlement of various problems. So—but we certainly seek to insure that the next visit is at least as important as—each next visit is at least as important as each preceding one. But we can talk about that a little later.
Nixon: Well, I want to say before the others come in that I have the same feeling of respect for and a very personal basis, for the General Secretary, and of friendship on a personal basis. He's a very—as I have told people in this office, I've indicated this: he is a strong man, and he represents a very strong country. And my greatest desire is to have this personal relationship, so that our two very strong countries can be a force that's working together, rather than like that. If they work together, then the whole world benefits. If they work like that, the whole world is greatly endangered. And Mr. Brezhnev and I have the key, and I think that our personal relationship will unlock the door for the continuing relationship between our two countries, which will contribute to peace in the world.
Brezhnev: Oh, thank you. And I should like in that connection to say that I, for one, take pride in the fact that my country is a very big and powerful one, that it's got, has many millions—250 million-strong
— population. It's got the vast mineral resources, and agricultural and industrial potential. And all this is something that heartens us. It cannot fail to do so. But, on the other hand, I have never said that I regret the fact that the United States is also a big, important, a very powerful and a very strong, economically strong, country. And as, in fact, I told the last plenary meeting of our Central Committee, the ruling body of the-for our party and of the country, that the United States is worthy of the greatest respect as a major, as a big world power. And I spoke of the role that our two countries can play in strengthening world peace and in working together on a basis of cooperation. Now, there are some people who keep throwing in this idea of there being two superpowers in the world who are out to dictate their, as they say, dictate their will, to foist their will upon others, and so forth. Now, but, are we to blame for being big? Are we to blame for being strong? What can we do about it? That is the way it is. I mean, what do these people want us to do, become countries—?
I am praising those who have made their nations strong. What are we to be? What are we to do? To turn ourselves into some kind of Guinea, or a country like that? And, surely, the main thing is the fact that we have—we are strong, but we don't intend to use that strength against either one another or against any other third parties. Nowand there are—and people—except there are some people who keep reproaching us that we—that that is exactly what we allegedly want to do. But those—I think that is a deliberate attempt to spoil relations thrown in by certain people on the side. Now—but, and doubtless, neither the United States nor the Soviet Union can turn themselves into a Luxembourg where the entire army is made up of 78 policemen.
Well, so far I'm taking a kind of tolerant, patient attitude towards those who propagate that theory, the superpower theory, but I think that some time later I will make a big, serious speech and deal with that theory, I mean the so-called superpower theory, and really strike out against it, so as to crush that theory. And in that speech I'd certainly emphasize the constructive role that our two countries can make.
And, finally, that we should take up for discussion and endeavor to solve not only various current problems, but, also, we should endeavor to look far ahead, because if we can look ahead we can really create a basis of stable relationships and peace. And, as they say, if you don't look ahead, you will inevitably lag behind and fall back, and I want us both to look forward together to a peaceful-a more peaceful, and a stronger future.
Nixon: Well, I think the key is personal friendship plus respect for each other's peoples. Those two added together mean a constructive and positive relationship. And we have that.
Brezhnev: Now, as regards the schedule and the general protocol of our meetings, I'm happy to go along with any suggestions that you might make, with all those that you have made already, and any that you might make-wish to make in the future with regard to any minor changes or adaptations, or alterations, or anything
Nixon: I realize that
Nixon: And he'll like San Clemente, too. That's very quiet. All you hear there is the ocean waves. You'll like that.
Brezhnev: The same goes for me. I like them—I like hearing the sound of the sea.
Nixon: Well, should we invite—would you like to invite Gromyko? (unclear)
Brezhnev: As—as you wish, Mr. President-
Nixon: Right. I think the I think that we should have Gromyko, Rogers and Kissinger, and (unclear] Soviet Union, sort of—we can have a sort of, as we did in Moscow, a plenary session.
Brezhnev: Well, yeah, for this sort of plenary meeting I'd like to have Gromyko in, certainly, and it's natural if our two other Ministers, Patolichev and Bugayev,“ just for the first one.
Nixon: Would you like them, too, today?
Boris Pavlovich Bugayev, Soviet Minister of Civil Aviation.
We were going to have—I thought that tomorrow we'd have an economic meeting.
Brezhnev: And then—I fully agree—and then, the-our-we have most of our other meeting times, I guess, could be held in (unclear).
Nixon: That's right. That's right.
Nixon: Yeah, that's right. I'd like to have that, too. We can talk on the plane, we can talk at Camp David.
That's all right.
Brezhnev: On the question of the prevention of nuclear war, this plenary session we say that, "well, so"—we call it the first question, so we have—we say something like, "Well, we have reached an understanding on this first question of ours," and then (unclear]. Things like that now.
Nixon: Going into it?
Brezhnev: So as to prevent any leaks to the press in advance. (unclear) Right from the start.
Nixon: We don't want anything said about that, no.
Brezhnev: And-well, Mr. President, what's your-do you have any ideas as to how we should conduct this first
Nixon: I think we-
Nixon: What I would suggest is that I will ask—that Mr. Brezhnev being the guest-I will ask him to talk first, and he can talk generally about our relations.
(unclear] And I will respond.
By that time it'll probably be about-we'll run a little over, but (unclear]—
Brezhnev: That'll be fine. I'll use the lunch break to have a little nap