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Specifically, he thought that if it were acceptable to you, the next visit and summit meeting could occur somewhere near the end of May or the first half of June of 1974.

(The President commented to Dr. Kissinger that we could aim for that. Dr. Kissinger noted the relationship to a SALT agreement.]

Let me explain why these times are most convenient for us. The fact is that later on domestic affairs, economic affairs, agriculture and the like, will require the undivided attention of the leadership as a whole, and of L. I. Brezhnev. That is why we thought the dates I mentioned most appropriate.

Now let me return once again to the outcome of the meetings that have already been held.

The most discernible and palpable turn has been in the field of political relations, and this is quite understandable. Here the very special role of the relevant agreements has to be emphasized. If we take the agreements signed this year, special emphasis should be placed on the agreement on the prevention of nuclear war. The forecast you made and the General Secretary made, regarding the consequences and influence on our relations and on international relations generally of this agreement--this forecast has been completely justified.

While pointing out the enormous changes for the better in the political field, we also have to note that insofar as economic and commercial relations are concerned, there have been no steps forward. To use a term from our own language, this is the area of Virgin Land. In this connection, I would like to emphasize first of all that the agreement to place relations on a stable basis has not yet been implemented. You will realize, Mr. President, that this is something for which we are by no means to blame. It is not due to us. We are surprised by the slowness in your country in considering the relevant matters and by the problems that have arisen in the development of trade and in bringing the relevant legislation to completion for this purpose. This is bound to make us wary and put us on our guard. As I said to Dr. Kissinger in New York, we feel that the US side has not so far fulfilled the relevant promises and obligations it undertook.? You will agree that it is one thing to see relations develop in the political field but quite another when those relations are buttressed by commercial relations.

We condemn most vigorously actions by people like Jackson to obstruct things so farsightedly agreed to by you, L. I. Brezhnev and our leadership

2 The record of the dinner conversation in New York between Kissinger and Gromyko, September 24, is ibid., Box 71, Country Files--Europe—-USSR, Gromyko 1973.

Now I should like to adduce several arguments to show the unfoundedness and the absurdity of the allegations by those who want to obstruct our relations. I am doing this so you might have additional arguments that you can use both in and out of the Congress.

First, there is the argument that the Soviet Union stands in such need of aid, of assistance and technology, etc., that it will give any concession to get this aid. But this is utterly ridiculous, and our entire history speaks against this argument and those who make it.

Now and again the so-called Jewish emigration problem is activated. The General Secretary gave exhaustive replies while he was in the United States and before his visit we transmitted certain information for you. The fact is that we do not require any tax; we ended it. But the people who make themselves shouters say true enough, but the law has not been repealed. Now of course if we took a mercantile approach, we could rescind the law and then restore it again when circumstances changed. But what we did was much stronger. We gave you an assurance, almost a solemn assurance, as information regarding our intentions, that our law permits us not to charge the tax and we had no intention to charge it. So it would seem that this should satisfy honest people. But still there are the shouters who want to activate this so-called problem.

You will have noted that these shouters frequently refer to two or three individuals and say that they want the Soviet Union to change its attitude toward them and to change its laws. But if they are actually so concerned, they should be applauding what we do, because these people freely air their views, and receive and make telephone calls from and to abroad. The shouters should be saying that these individuals are just as free as here. But what they really want is for us to do certain things and this all relates to domestic affairs. We will never make changes and all of this shows that these people have no elementary decency.

In all of these matters we are not begging with hands outstretched for assistance. We believe all these things, like MFN, accord with our mutual interests and secure the further development of our relations. In short, it is a reciprocal matter and should be so regarded.

In connection with the consideration of these matters in the Congress, we cannot take part in various combinations and drafts and projects. All these reservations that are being talked about, if I correctly understand them, we cannot accept. We can only accept a pure and clear decision. But if a decision is taken that has political overtones and says that it is provisional and will be looked at again in two years or so, this approach would be wholly unworthy of the noble goals for which you and the General Secretary have been working.


If you wish, Mr. President, you are at liberty to refer to our discussion here in your dealings with Congress. We, and this includes the General Secretary, highly appreciate your efforts in securing fulfillment of obligations in the solution of all problems relating to economic ties. Whether everything has been done by the US Administration is hard for us to judge. You would know better.

I dwelt in some detail on these matters to adduce the arguments that might help you to better understand our position.

Now, with your permission, may I briefly turn to other matters, having in view the forthcoming summit. We would like very much to have the arrangements and understandings reached on European affairs to be carried into effect as they were talked about at the summit. We appreciate your efforts toward securing positive results for the CSCE. We believe there exists every opportunity for the Conference to achieve good and positive results. It all boils down to the policy of the countries concerned. They could, of course, just sit endlessly and talk. It follows from your discussions with the General Secretary that we have no intentions to prejudice your position in Europe and we feel it will be in both countries' interests to have a positive outcome in the Conference. We should not pay too much attention to talk about US-Soviet deals. We must be above that and we should not be distracted from our policies, because the outcome will be in the interests of all countries regardless of what the shouters may say. After you took office, you yourself pointed to the importance of relations between our two countries.

Another European question is the agreement to reduce armed forces and armaments. We would like to see a positive outcome. There was a general discussion during the General Secretary's visit and he advanced certain views. I have nothing in particular to add now, but it would be in the best interests of all concerned to make progress on this and the prospects are favorable.

I want to emphasize our appreciation that you kept your word regarding the admission of the two German states into the United Nations. This promotes better relations between them and increases détente, and indirectly helps our relations also.

Now, about SALT and the agreements already achieved. There is no need to talk about their significance. All of this is very obvious and we must now look to the future. We want to find ways to convert the provisional to a permanent agreement, and reach understandings on additional matters of interest. I am familiar in a general way with the views given at your instruction to Dobrynin by Dr. Kissinger. I should add that this is a subject we are studying with the greatest attention, and in all of its aspects. We want to find points of contact and a basis for agreement. So far we have not completed our studies on a number of possible variants, but we will do so soon. The General Secretary and I


are only just back from our vacation-although for him it was not much of a vacation. But he has not yet studied it from the point of view of the next stage, but he is now doing so and giving it all the attention the subject merits. As regards the ideas put forward by Dr. Kissinger, we are studying them with all due attention, as they should be studied, in the context referred to above.

I should add one point, one we feel you also have in mind, as we understood from Dr. Kissinger. We have to take into account certain special features in our own situation, which for the time being are not as important for you as they are for us. I am referring to the Far Eastern factor. There are certain other factors relevant to the specific nature of our own situation, but I want to emphasize that particular factor and ask you to keep it in mind in formulating an agreement with us. What I have said on this score fully conforms to the principle of not inflicting any harm on the security interests of either contracting party.

Now just a few words on the Middle East. Your assessment and ours do not fully coincide, even if at first sight it seems that we do since both sides feel the situation is complicated and dangerous. But we have a different assessment of the danger because we feel the possibility could not be excluded that we could all wake up one day and find there is a real conflagration in that area. That has to be kept in mind. Is it worth the risk? A serious effort has to be made for a solution because a solution will not just fall down from the sky. I recall the conversations you had with General Secretary Brezhnev here and then in San Clemente on this and your words that you considered the problem of the Middle East most important, and that you would take it up. I certainly would be interested in what you might say.

Now, very briefly, on the Far East. Our relations with China are familiar to you. The General Secretary told you a lot about this. Since then, nothing noteworthy has happened. The situation is tense, but there have been no border clashes and we trust the Chinese leaders will not resort to such incidents. As regards the future—and we believe and feel you raise questions about this also in your mind can one continue to rely on the common sense of the Chinese leadership? It is hard to forecast the makeup of the future leadership. But this is something we have to think of in both our interests. As we see it, our assessments do not diverge too much. But I am interested in your assessment and in the bearing of that factor on the relations between us. You have advanced the idea in confidence that you gave priority to US-Soviet relations and we cannot point a finger at anything that you have done that runs counter to what you said. But it is a factor that cannot help but have a certain influence on our relations.

The General Secretary asked me to tell you specifically that we do not intend to depart one inch from our policy regarding relations with


the United States, provided of course that you do not do so either. For us these relations are the question of questions, the question of war and peace in the world.

In conclusion, let me say the following. We feel, as we think you do too, that we should so conduct ourselves that the entire structure of relations will be built on a basis that no one can throw it back in the future, that is to say that our relations assume an irreversible character. I am now referring to the entire complex of relations, not just to the one aspect of the Far East.

There is one organizational question which is of significance for the forthcoming summit. We believe that for the preparatory work, Dr. Kissinger could visit the Soviet Union once or twice, perhaps the first time before the end of this year.

And, now, just a piece of geography. Perhaps during the next visit (of the President) to the Soviet Union, some time can be spent outside of Moscow. The Black Sea has a very long coastline. You will recall that the General Secretary flew 3000 miles across the United States, so maybe there should be the same thing for us.

Mr. President, thank you very much for your patience.

The President: First, Mr. Foreign Minister, please extend to the General Secretary and all his colleagues my good wishes. Second, with regard to my visit to the Soviet Union—as far as my own view is concerned, the timing could be the latter part of May or early June, but we should recognize that we want a major accomplishment and that is why SALT has such a high priority. I think that is what the General Secretary and I agreed to. So we should be sure that a permanent agreement will be on the way, plus anything else that your fertile minds can come up with. It should not just be symbolic.

Now I feel that the agreement on the prevention of nuclear war has not received enough attention in the United States. Henry, at the State Department, make sure in your speeches that it does.

Regarding travel, I will be completely in the hands of the hosts. I would like to go not just three but six thousand miles and I have never seen the Black Sea coast. It is good to change places for the talks, as we did here. Here we were in Washington and Camp David and San Clemente. It helps to change the place. But it is up to General Secretary Brezhnev and I appoint Secretary Kissinger to work this all out.

Regarding Secretary Kissinger's trip, I have not discussed this with him. I would say he has considerable problems reorganizing the State Department—something the Foreign Minister does not have. He also has great problems in the Congress where Secretary Kissinger is indispensable. But as soon as progress in the private channel merits, and the Congressional problems are exhausted, I would like the Secretary of

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