Page images
PDF
EPUB

Brezhnev: But what can we do about it if we are big powers? We should take pride in it and not reproach each other. Lenin understood this even though it was then a very difficult time in our history.

Before the others came in we talked about the importance and need for confidence. Confidence is a most important factor. The last war and the subsequent events generated distrust. We know all about that but shouldn't go into it. It is a matter of confidence not only between our two leaders but between all others too. What we did last

year and will do this year will promote greater trust. If it is possible for these two powerful great nations to live in peace and cooperate, that will strengthen confidence all over the world and contribute to peace.

Recently I was in Bonn. You know I fought in World War II from the beginning to the end and West Germany is a country where many people who fought in the war are still alive. Yet I got a very good reception. This was how much confidence there is already. And that is the underlying spirit of all the documents we will sign. We can say that President Richard Nixon and Comrade Brezhnev and all the people and all the children will live a tranquil life. But that is not enough. We have to make sure that future generations also live a tranquil life.

We talked about the forthcoming visit of the President to the USSR. Perhaps we can prepare some new agreements, perhaps fewer in number, perhaps more, I can't say. But if we do the preparatory work we will save time at the meeting and that will permit a more extensive tour of the country. So we will have visits in '72/73 and '74/75. And then '76 will again be the turn of the President to visit the Soviet Union. That is the way to make progress.

[To the President: I am not tiring you too much? President: No. Rogers: We have only one watch.)

Brezhnev: May I thank you for all the work I know you have been doing on the agreements we reached in Moscow in principle and to get more favored nation treatment. Of course economic relations are very important. I am not raising new points because I am sure this will be

I settled as we agreed earlier. In fact, many economic arrangements are already in effect, such as the U.S. Trade Center in Moscow.

In connection with the recent Central Committee meeting I changed the rules. We did not used to publish reports on such meetings. But I had the report read out to regional and even district party organizations. And after that was done I got further support for our line toward the U.S. I say this to you so that you should not have any doubt that we are pursuing a steadfast policy, not just a temporary one. After this has been done; outside the whole of the party, the young and the working people are fully familiar with the main lines of our policy and I come with their support for what we are doing for peace, especially with the United States. I am very pleased that there are now more frequent and concrete contacts between the economic agencies of our two countries.

I agree we cannot and should not set the goal of transforming the entirety of international politics in just one year. I am reminded of the story of how Newton formed the law of gravity by looking at an apple on a tree and seeing it fall and concluded it must be gravity. We also are formulating a new law of gravity when we formulate a policy of peace and friendship. It will make others gravitate toward peace. That factor will be as important for the whole world as Newton's law was in its time.

Hardly anyone could come out against our joint line. Is there still anyone who would not want the two of us to be an example for peace? In my country I enjoy the trust of the people. I could not agree to make any concessions to those who oppose peace, détente, and cooperation because in the struggle against those kinds of people I will never make concessions because that would be weakness. Why should one be weak in the struggle for peace? Strength for peace-yes; strength for cooperation-yes; strength for economic relations-yes; strength for scienceyes. That is how one should act, without concessions.

[Brezhnev asks Gromyko whether the interpreter had translated these remarks too strongly. Gromyko said the translation had been fine.)

[Brezhnev interrupting interpretation: You, Mr. President, and I are going to do the most difficult job and leave to others easy jobs like the Middle East. We'll do the Communiqué and find you—Gromyko, Kissinger, Rogers, Dobrynin—something else to do when you have finished your first task.]

There are several matters that should be in the final communiqué including the Middle East and CSCE and maybe others. We hope we can find common language.

Ending this general review, I am very pleased with all our cooperation and with the finalizing of all the documents that are to be signed. With that done, this should be a good visit. I want to extend thanks to all of those who last year and this year prepared everything and all the documents—Dr. Kissinger, Secretary Rogers, Sonnenfeldt, and all my own colleagues here. Incidentally, I do agree that perhaps more can be done on the two points you mentioned, Mr. President. But this is what I wanted to say by way of introduction.

Now just a word about our country. The situation in our country is pretty good after a bad situation last year. We have planted a lot of grains and other crops. Industry is now making progress. The main problem as always is the correct allocation of capital investments. This year it will be 501 billion rubles. But it is always a problem.

5

Our Minister for Land Amelioration, Alekseyev, gave us a good report of his visit to your country. I read it and he had a very good impression. I want to thank all of you for making his visit possible. I mention this because agriculture in our country is a very complex problem because of the different climatic zones. I was sorry to hear about certain technical difficulties in the agricultural shipments we are receiving from you but I am glad that all has been taken care of. So the general picture is good. There are many negotiations going on on natural gas, , oil, and so on. If we give instructions and you give instructions and blessings all will go well. After all, I am a mechanical engineer so why should I care about oil? I just give the blessing. So this completes the introductory remarks I wanted to make. Incidentally, Alekseyev was not the only minister who visited you. Our food minister also came.

President: Yes, I saw him in San Clemente. He is a big man.

Brezhnev: Yes, an Estonian. He signed the deal with Pepsi Cola. There are quite a few examples of such deals. For example, the one with Hammer and Occidental and others. Trade has really grown, although it is a bit one-sided. But I will talk about this later. Also, we are using U.S. credits—I think about 300 billion rubles so far. These are graphic results of our meeting last year and of the policy we have been pursuing

In my report to the Central Committee Plenum I made direct and forthright statements about the need for long term trade so that we don't just trade watches and ties, just peanuts. What we need is large scale and long term trade. I spoke to your Senators. I told them about our reserves of over 3 trillion tons of natural gas and asked them why not have a long term deal.

I just want to pay tribute to all of those on your side and our side who made this visit possible. On our side in the first place it is Gromyko and also Dobrynin, both of whom I mentioned in my report to the Central Committee. They merit appreciation.

Do you have any questions, Mr. President?

President: All on our side appreciate your candid and warm statements on the new relationship that has developed. I approach the

5

6

Yevgeniy Yevgenyevich Alekseyevskiy.
Voldemar Petrovich Lein.

? Telegram 111312 to Moscow and Tokyo, June 8, requested information about the reported signature by Occidental Petroleum Chairman Armand Hammer and El Paso Natural Gas Company Chairman Howard Boyd with the Soviet Foreign Trade Ministry of a letter of intent to import into the United States more than $10 billion worth of natural gas from the USSR via Vladivostok over a 25-year period. Hammer indicated that Japanese firms, which had been negotiating with the Soviets, expressed interest in taking a portion of the gas. Telegram 6770 from Moscow, June 9, confirmed the report. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)

а

meeting with the same spirit Mr. Brezhnev described. You put this in historic perspective. I was thinking that it had been just 13 years ago when a President of the United States—Eisenhower—met with a Soviet leader in this room and as we consider present problems we should keep them in perspective by recognizing how far we have come from the mood that existed at that time, and the tensions. There is also an historic point to be made. Then the U.S. had a significant advantage in nuclear weapons over the Soviet Union; today we are equal. I do not believe that this is bad because relations between the most powerful nations in the world can best be built on the basis of mutual respect and equal strength. There are, of course, delicate problems which we have to bear in mind. There is concern, even in France, where the General Secretary will be visiting, by those who do not want to see some kind of U.S.-Soviet condominium dictating to them. While we as practical men know what our strength is, we also, as strong nations, can afford and should follow a policy of respect for the rights of other nations. That is how we can best serve the cause of peace. I think the General Secretary has made a very significant contribution to this concept with the agreement that we will be signing Friday which recognizes the rights of all countries and at the same time the responsibility of the two of us to develop methods that will avoid nuclear and other confrontations between us. I remember very well when Mr. Brezhnev first broached this by letter in April of 1972 and then we talked about it in Moscow. And now it will be consummated here in Washington. It will be a great tribute to your wise leadership.

Brezhnev: Thank you.

President: We will talk later about Europe, about CSCE and MBFR. And also about the Middle East, where frankly, none of us have any easy solutions but where we hope our meetings will help to move the negotiations off dead center.

Brezhnev: I fully agree that all these questions exist and that we cannot bypass them.

President: We must address all those problem areas in the world that might draw us into confrontation. When we think of problems, Mr. General Secretary, remember that just a year ago you and your colleagues had a very vigorous discussion with me about Vietnam. We have moved very far since then. Brezhnev: I hear "Vietnam." I didn't raise it. But if

you

want we can have a discussion later. I remember we talked about it at the Dacha. (Laughs]

8 See Document 121 and footnote 2 thereto.

9 See Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, volume XIV, Soviet Union, October 1971-May 1972, Document 271.

President: Yes, it was a late dinner.

Brezhnev: We had a very good time. Mr. President, indeed all the world reacted very positively to the Paris accords and the need now is to get them strictly implemented but we can talk about all this later.

President: We will use our influence to see that the most recent communiqué is adhered to. The most serious problem now is Cambodia. To the extent that North Vietnam shows restraint the chance for permanent peace is greatly increased. We can talk about it later.

Brezhnev: That is one of the questions.

President: I mention these three areas because it shows that our two nations have enormous influence not only on whether there is conflict between us, which I am confident we can avoid, but whether there is conflict between others.

I would say finally that tomorrow at the economic meeting I will express some views. But I will say now that the growing economic relationship is good for you and good for both of us. I fully support it, including MFN. It is necessary to get state and free enterprise economies to cooperate. My goal is just as Mr. Brezhnev indicated. I fully support it.

Brezhnev: Mr. President, I already thanked you for all your efforts. What you just said again evoked heartfelt thanks. It fully corresponds to our attitude. It would be strange for two such great powers to confine their trade to ties and buttons as I like to say. In this field it is also a matter of inertia and of adapting the systems to each other. I know we gave our approval for negotiations with Boeing on aircraft. We should think in a solid way on matters dealing with economic cooperation and both will gain. It is for experts to figure out the pluses and minuses.

(There was then more talk about the time difference between Moscow and Washington. Brezhnev said he still did not know whether his second watch was ahead or behind. Dobrynin and Gromyko explained that it was 7 hours ahead. Brezhnev then shows the President his cigarette case with its timer.]

Brezhnev: I hope there will also be further cooperation on commercial air relations. I am disappointed to hear that there are some difficulties. I merely mention it. I am not raising the issue.

Kissinger: It is being settled.

President: Let me close with two brief points. One is the very historic agreement that we will sign on Friday.10 It will be seen as more words than substance unless we can move along on SALT. I hope we can talk about moving SALT along. The other point is that the General

10

° June 22. A reference to the Agreement on the Prevention of Nuclear War. See Document 129.

« PreviousContinue »