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any thinking. I said yes, but it was in a very preliminary stage. He said
Dobrynin then turned to the issue of the Leningrad consulate. He said that Brezhnev was willing to make a special promise that the construction of the Leningrad consulate would be completed by July 1. Would I be prepared to open it? I said it would be bureaucratically difficult to open the consulate on such short notice. I would prefer to come back from Leningrad having looked at the consulate with a decision that it be opened.* Dobrynin said, “Well, in that case we will handle it in diplomatic channels.” I said—and I don't know whether the offer will still be good—I said it didn't make any sense to me that if I gave him a promise that the consulate would be opened by, say, October 15, why this could not be done. Dobrynin said he would check with Moscow.
We then turned to MBFR and CSCE. Dobrynin said he was somewhat baffled. On the same day that I had told him that the MBFR discussions would not have to start on the same date as the European Security Conference, Beam had come in and had made exactly the opposite point.” I said that by now Dobrynin should know who represented American policy. Dobrynin said he did, but Gromyko was not yet used to Ambassadors who didn't exactly know their government's views. At any rate, if we were prepared to agree to a European Security Conference on November 22, they would be prepared for MBFR exploratory discussions by the end of January. And if then the European Security Conference would take place during the summer of 1973, the MBFR Conference could take place in the fall of 1973. I told him that this looked like a realistic procedure.
Economic and Maritime Agreements
We then reviewed our economic proposal. I substantially followed the talking points prepared by Peterson (Tab A]. Dobrynin said he thought there was a basis for an agreement.
The next subject concerned maritime agreements, and there too I followed the talking points prepared [Tab B]. The end result was that it was agreed that the schedule laid down for both of these topics could be followed.
Dobrynin said he thought major progress would be made on my trip. Middle East
Dobrynin asked where we stood on the Middle East. I said I didn't know how to proceed because I didn't know who really could be talked to. Dobrynin said that he thought that Sadat was a little bit deranged, but still one should look for the possibilities of settlement six months, a year, or two years from now. Could I come up with some proposal of what the security zones would look like? I said yes, I would, and I would give it to him in an oral form. Japan and China
We then turned to Japan. Dobrynin asked what I thought of the Japanese rapprochement with China. I said we were somewhat relaxed because we saw them competing everywhere potentially and this present infatuation must be replaced sooner or later by some concrete steps. Dobrynin said this might be true theoretically but we should never underestimate the anti-white bias of these two nations, and they might just get together on the basis of both hating whites. In that case he hoped that we would understand that the material forces at our disposal and the Soviet Union's could be brought to bear much more rapidly than anything the other side could do. I said we were aware of this but I didn't believe matters would reach this point. Brezhnev Visit
There was a concluding discussion about Brezhnev's visit to the United States. Dobrynin suggested that he might come in September together with the General Assembly. I said that would be a poor time
Not attached. Peterson's talking points, August 28, are in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Office Files, Box 74, Country Files-EuropeUSSR, Moscow Trip-Economic Talks, Henry A. Kissinger. These and the following brackets are in the original.
? Not found. Haig forwarded talking points prepared by Sonnenfeldt on the “shipping problem” as an attachment to a memorandum to Kissinger, September 4; it is ibid., NSC Files, Box 495, President's Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 13.
for us because we wanted the trip primarily as a U.S.-Soviet measure. Dobrynin said, "Well, then late May or early June would be appropriate." I told him that this seemed good to us too.
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Message From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon?
It is perfectly obvious that a Treaty between the USSR and the US on the non-use of nuclear weapons would be of major consequences not only for the relations between our two countries, but also for the development of international situation as a whole. Therefore it is important to reach a clear understanding of the substance and scope of obligations which would be undertaken by the parties under that Treaty. It is our conviction that the more definitely the essence of the idea, for which the USSR and the US are concluding that Treaty, i.e. prevention of a nuclear collision between them, is expressed in it, the more important the Treaty would be. It is from this angle that we approach the questions raised by the American side in the conversation with our Ambassador on July 21, 1972.?
1. The most serious of those questions is the following. If to presume that the USSR Warsaw Treaty allies or the US NATO allies are attacked with only conventional weapons by the US or the USSR respectively (alone or together with their allies), does the other nuclear side have the right to use nuclear weapons for repelling such an attack? As we understand, the US Government believes that the answer to that question should be in the affirmative.
We also believe that with regard to such a situation (which, of course, is a purely hypothetical one) it is not possible to deprive one of the right to turn, for defensive purposes, to the use of nuclear weapons in order to fulfill appropriate allied obligations. That possibility is contained in Article III of our draft Treaty. However, admitting in principle such a possibility, we would like to emphasize that the idea of the
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 79, D: Nuclear Understanding, Exchange of Notes. No classification marking. A handwritten notation at the top of the paper reads, "Handed to HAK by D, 7 Sept. 1972." According to Kissinger's Record of Schedule, he and Dobrynin met briefly in the Map Room of the White House from 5:15 to 5:17 p.m. on September 7. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1967-76)
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2 See Document 17.
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Treaty would be served by such a mode of actions in that presumed situation when both the USSR and the US firmly proceed from the necessity to localize the use of nuclear weapons and undertake nothing that could increase the danger of our two countries mutually becoming objects of the use of nuclear weapons.
All this line of reasoning should be supplemented with a very substantial argument. The situation which we consider, so as to have common understanding of the Soviet-American draft Treaty, which is being worked out, would be far less probable or rather even practically excluded if this Treaty is signed and becomes one of the new and most important factors of international life.
2. As for the other two questions raised in the abovementioned conversation, the answer to them, in the opinion of the Soviet side, can only be negative.
If to assume that the USSR or the US might use nuclear weapons (Middle East was mentioned as an example) also to assist states with regard to which neither the USSR nor the US have direct treaty obligations, this would devalue our Treaty. In particular, it would render worthless Article II of the draft Treaty which is the one that provides for prevention of a situation when, as a result of actions by third states, the USSR and the US may find themselves drawn into collision with the use of nuclear weaponts.
These same views and arguments of ours may be fully applied as well to a third situation, which the American side termed as seriously
a upsetting the global balance and to illustrate which a most hypothetical example of introduction of Soviet or US troops into India was used.
Thus, the Soviet side believes that the Treaty should exclude a possibility of using nuclear weapons by the Soviet Union and the US against each other in the two situations outlined above. Otherwise, such a Treaty would be almost pointless. It would be even natural to ask oneself a question: in what situations would it be valid at all?
3. On our part we could also mention situations the emergence of which-though they do not look very real-cannot be completely excluded. Say, one of the US allies (there are nuclear powers among them) will attack a Soviet Union's ally. The kind of reaction of the USSR with regard to the state that made such an attack, is not to be questioned-it will be determined by the allied duty of the USSR. But a question suggests itself-how in that situation matters would stand directly between the USSR and the US, having in mind that the Treaty on the non-use of nuclear weapons would be in effect between them?
We mentioned this example as yet another illustration of the complexity and versatility of the whole problem. It is the very nature of the problem that makes us to emphasize that a true criterion for the working out the Treaty is rather the will of our countries to solve the
task of preventing a nuclear war between them and to develop their relations proceeding from the solvability of that task and its historic importance than attempts to foresee in advance various situations-possible and impossible.
4. We proceed from the assumption that all this strictly confidential exchange of views serves on this stage only one purpose: a more precise and more profound understanding by the Soviet leaders and President Nixon of the contents of the Treaty being worked out.
It is expected in Moscow that President Nixon would consider, taking into account L.I. Brezhnev's message of July 20, 1972 and our present additional clarifications, our new draft Treaty, forwarded to him, in a positive manner.
3 Document 15.
Message From the U.S. Leadership to the Soviet Leadership
Washington, undated. Prevention of Nuclear War
1. The President has considered our discussions on this subject of great importance.
2. We believe that the drafts on this subject should take the following points into account:
-We believe it important to avoid any formulation that carried an implication of a condominium by our two countries;
-We believe it important that an agreement between our two countries should not carry any implication that we were ruling out only nuclear war between ourselves but were leaving open the option of nuclear war against third countries;
-We think it important that in concentrating on the prevention of nuclear war we should not at the same time appear to be legitimizing the initiation of war by conventional means;
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 79, D: Nuclear Understanding, Exchange of Notes. No classification marking. A handwritten notation reads: “Handed to D, Sept. 7, 1972." According to Kissinger's Record of Schedule, he and Dobrynin met briefly in the Map Room of the White House from 5:15 to 5:17 p.m. on September 7. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1969–76)