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Moscow Summit and the Cyprus Crisis,
184. Message From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to
I would like to express to you, dear Mr. President, some considerations regarding the situation that is shaping up at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. We shall certainly touch on this theme during our forthcoming talks in Moscow. However, in view of the urgency of this issue it is useful even now, in our opinion, to exchange views on it.
The completion of the Conference has been unjustifiedly delayed. The deliberations in Geneva have been going on extremely slow, sometimes the proceedings are being bogged down in trivia. It looks like the trivia overshadows the principal mission of the Conference, i.e. to consolidate the relaxation of tensions in Europe and beyond, to provide for peace and reliable security, which are the only conditions that can make a wide-range cooperation between the states in various fields possible. Sometimes we are confronted with proposals—I would like to note at once that they come not from the US—which are either plainly unacceptable or are not yet ripe for a decision, while the discussions on them result in unproductive waste of efforts and time. Some people start talking to the effect that the work of the Conference should be suspended for the summer or even for a longer period of time.
The Conference has been going on already for almost a year. Practically all the questions under discussion have been thoroughly reviewed, many of them several times over. On a number of aspects, including some major and important ones, agreement has been reached among all the participants with the balance of interests of the sides being found, and those interests are of course far from being homogeneous. We view that as an encouraging basis for the final success of the Conference.
As for the still unresolved questions, it appeared here with adequate certainty as well what was common in the positions of the partic
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 69, Country Files-Europe-USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 23, May-June 1974. No classification marking. A handwritten note at the top of the message reads, “Delivered from Soviet Embassy, 7:00 pm, Sat, 6/8/74."
ipants and where they differ. Actually it is clear to everyone which proposals can be accepted and which cannot.
If to remain on the realistic grounds, then it is possible to reach relatively soon mutually acceptable decisions on the pending questions related to all items on the agenda. In other words it is quite possible to secure in a document agreements which would correspond to the degree of the relaxation of tensions achieved at present in Europe and in the world as a whole, to the level of mutual understanding, being established between the states after a long period of tensions and mistrust.
In future, with the deepening of present positive processes in the world, the results of the Conference, this first international forum in the modern history of Europe, could be expanded and enriched along the line of relaxation and confidence.
With such an approach the assets accumulated at the Conference allow, so to say, to enter the final lap, to make the final thrust towards the completion of the work of the Conference within the shortest period of time, and mainly, with solid achievements which would reflect the coincidence of interests of all the participants, above all in the cardinal question of strengthening peace, security and cooperation in Europe.
I hope you will agree with me that to put the Conference in a top gear a strong political impetus is needed, and first of all the one coming from the top leaders of the countries, interested in its success. The Soviet-American mutual understanding on the issues of the Conference has always been of prime importance for moving the Conference ahead. It pertains also to the known understanding reached between A.A. Gromyko and H. Kissinger which, we hope, will make it possible to untangle the questions of item 3 of the Agenda discussed at this time in Geneva.
We would like to hope that now too at this turning phase of a sort in the work of the Conference, both our countries will act in the spirit of the established mutual understanding and will jointly facilitate the speediest conclusion of this major international undertaking.
There is one more point to which I would like to draw your attention. We believe that one of the possibilities to make the work of the Conference more active is for the countries, which of course would desire to do so, to send to the conclusive part of the second stage of the Conference in Geneva the representatives of a sufficiently high rank who would be authorized to make appropriate decisions there.
We are convinced as before that the results of the Conference would have historical importance for all the future course of events in
? A reference to Basket III of the CSCE. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXXIX, European Security, Documents 208 and 210.
Europe in the direction of peace, relaxation of tensions and cooperation and they deserve to be sealed by the authority of the supreme leaders of the participating states. There are objective possibilities for bringing the Conference within a short period of time to a successful conclusion. We believe that they should be used to the fullest extent.
3 In telegram 8625, from Moscow June 6, Stoessel wrote: "Some sort of turning point on CSCE will have been passed as of the time of the Summit. It now seems likely that the Soviets will very soon put in most of their chips in order to try to wrap up the second stage by the end of June or early July. Whether they will continue to push for a July CSCE summit is still not clear, but it seems more likely than not. Therefore I would expect a strong pitch from Brezhnev on this subject in June." (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 950, VIP Visits, Presidential Trip (USSR & Europe), June 1974 [5 of 5])
185. Editorial Note
On June 25, 1974, President Richard Nixon left Washington for a two-day state visit to Belgium. In his memoirs he described the trip: "Our first stop was Brussels, where I attended ceremonies marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of NATO. I thought that it would be especially useful to dramatize the continuing viability of the Atlantic alliance before sitting down with Brezhnev. In my formal statement to the NATO Council, I said that the period of détente was one of great opportunity but also great danger. We had to face the fact that European politics had changed completely. We had to accept the fact that fear of communism was no longer a practical motivation for NATO; if NATO were to survive, it would need other binding motives to keep it together." The text of President Nixon's statement before the North Atlantic Council, delivered on June 26, is in telegram 4583 from Brussels, June 26. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
Two days later, Nixon and his party left Belgium and continued on to Moscow for the summit. He described his arrival in his memoirs: “With our airport reception in Moscow on June 27, Summit III got off to a very auspicious start. Brezhnev himself was there, bounding across the tarmac to meet me. A fairly large crowd had been allowed to stand behind barriers and wave paper flags. Unlike 1972, there were also crowds along the streets to the Kremlin.” (The Memoirs of Richard Nixon, pages 1026-1027)
186. Memorandum of Conversation
Moscow, June 28, 1974, 10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Leonid I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Affairs, Chief of USA Division
tional Security Affairs
General Secretary Brezhnev: Mr. President, American guests, it gives me and my colleagues great pleasure to welcome you once again to Moscow. In effect, we began this round of talks yesterday, but yesterday we devoted most of the time to protocol, and had no time to get into substance.
I would like to note, first of all, that this new meeting takes place under new circumstances: many important political events are taking place in the world. But, first, I would note that in meeting here with you once again, I cast my thoughts to the past, to the first meeting in 1972
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 77, Country Files—Europe-USSR, Memcons, Moscow Summit, June 27-July 3, 1974. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in St. Catherine's Hall at the Grand Kremlin Palace. Brackets are in the original.
when we had very businesslike discussions and negotiation and signed the most important agreements, which laid the groundwork for very good relations between our two states and two peoples.
That first meeting is past history, and it is universally recognized that it belongs to a prominent place in history, so that meeting in world history and the contents of its agreements constituted a turning point in relations. Then we stood at the beginning of the road that we were to follow together.
I think that we both recall that at the time of the first meeting there was great pessimism on the part of many; many said the meeting itself was impossible, let alone the agreement we signed. And following that meeting it took a great effort to go further, and we all of us value very highly your persistent efforts, of the President and Secretary Kissinger, to make it possible in 1973 to continue what we began in 1972, and to sign some important documents.
There is no need to list all of the agreements. They are universally known-known to the peoples of the Soviet Union and the United States, and indeed, they are agreements that have been duly appreciated by the peoples of the Soviet Union and the USA. While we would not want to belittle the others, the most important ones that we signed here and in the US are the Prevention of Nuclear War Agreement, the Treaty on Limiting ABM and the Treaty on Limiting Strategic Arms, and, of course, the Basic Principles. All of these are documents of great historical importance. Figuratively speaking, all served to prepare conditions for building a broad avenue between our two countries, based on principles of mutual respect and confidence and development of political, economic and cultural ties. Of course, to be frank, we have to say that along with the highest assessments, we hear in the press and from others differing assessments of these documents. But what they all achieved are already a matter of history and reality, and history will judge what we have done correctly, and history will assess what we have achieved, the courage it took to do it, and the justice of what was achieved in a short time.
And it will also be realized that in the past period, how our relations have improved from a purely practical standpoint. For example, there are thousands of visitors to the Soviet Union-statesmen, businessmen and others. Many travel to the US ministers, heads of departments and others. Thus, indirectly, Soviet-American relations are becoming a fact whether some are against it or whether anyone likes it or not.
And it is probably worthwhile noting the improvement of relations is playing a role of no small importance in world politics. In this period, we recall that improvement existing in Vietnam, there is no firing in the Middle East, and there is cooperation by the four powers in