« PreviousContinue »
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Florida is gone already!
General Secretary Brezhnev: Who will support that reference to change in frontiers? The only country interested in that is the FRG, because they are nervous about the GDR. But that question is already resolved, because there is a treaty between the FRG and the USSR, and Poland and the FRG, and the GDR and the FRG—both of which are now members of the UN.
What we could do is agree on something like voluntary change in frontiers by the consent of the states concerned. But reference to that should not be in the part of the final document regarding inviolability of frontiers, but in some other part of the final document, so there will be no intimation of one state imposing its will on others. So that's how we see the solution to this question.
If Bonn and France act as has been promised, and if the United States acts in the same spirit, we think it would be a good thing to bring the European Conference to a close before President Nixon's visit to the Soviet Union. This would be a good and significant thing, because it is a fact that the United States is present in Europe. That is a fact.
We feel the All-Europe Conference has at present reached a stage where it is possible, given the mutual consent of all the parties, to end its work as quickly as possible, and then the Conference would yield its result as a contribution to the lessening of tension. That's my first point.
The second point is the United States has been pursuing a consistent line. The task is to find a way to prepare the final document. We are adding no controversial issues and we are adding no new legal considerations to the guarantees of existing frontiers in Europe. That is a very
a important fact.
On the basis of consultations between us, we agreed to introduce this element of confidence, that is, that of military observations. But that has now been turned into God knows what. We should eliminate those accretions and retain what is really useful. That is the task we now face. And I trust you realize the need today is to remove all these unnecessary and trumped-up elements and leave in only those elements which are truly necessary and useful.
Finally, there are the questions regarding Item III, regarding culture, information, human contacts, and so forth. I have already had occasion to speak publicly on this subject, but I want to repeat here in our official conversation. I want to emphasize we are in favor of human contact and increase of tourism, etc., but on condition of basic respect for the traditions and customs of every country and respect for whatever social order exists in that individual country. And if anyone is counting on being able to interfere in our internal affairs through the Conference, those hopes are to no avail, I can assure them. I will not conceal my satisfaction that after Comrade Gromyko's last visit to Washington,4 an understanding was achieved to act in that spirit, and in accord. That would indeed display yet again the desire of both governments to strive for true understanding between the United States and the Soviet Union, in a matter of political importance.
I could speak at greater length on this, but I trust this exposition would be sufficient-unless Comrade Gromyko has anything to add.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: I would say Comrade Brezhnev has been very exact on this.
Secretary Kissinger: Mr. General Secretary, we agree with much of what you have said. Above all, we agree a major effort should be made to bring the Conference to a conclusion this year, and within this year as soon as possible. We also share your evaluation that the objective conditions exist for bringing it to a conclusion. Finally, we also agree our two representatives in Geneva, working together tactfully, can speed up the work of the Conference.
General Secretary Brezhnev: That is exactly what I am calling for.
Secretary Kissinger: Let me talk first about various items you mentioned, Mr. General Secretary, and then we can talk about the level at which the Conference can be concluded.
General Secretary Brezhnev: Please.
Secretary Kissinger: Incidentally, I think the consultations between our representatives in Geneva should be handled with the same care we used at the time of the Berlin agreement. But I will work that out with your Foreign Minister and your Ambassador. And, of course, Ambassador Stoessel and Korniyenko have also been in active contact to work out the basic approach. [Korniyenko beams.)
Korniyenko is pleased I can say something positive about him. They've had useful talks.
On the individual items: On so-called confidence-building measures. You're quite right; they were introduced after an initial exchange between our two governments. We share your evaluation that too many items have been introduced that aren't really central to the main subject. So we believe we should concentrate on the question of maneuvers on which we started—maneuvers of a substantial size, for example, of units of 15–20,000 men. We think a practical means of achieving it would be by means of the British proposal at Geneva, which would be appropriately amended. Not the exact proposal, but ...
Ambassador Dobrynin: Division or strengthened division.
Secretary Kissinger: Sixty days' notice. We would be prepared to amend it.
We've not, incidentally, discussed any of this with our allies. This is what we are prepared to do on our own.
On the issue of inviolability of frontiers, we find that idea of the General Secretary has considerable merit. That is, we could put the phrase about peaceful change in, for example, the section on sovereignty, or some other section than the frontier section. And I think the proposal ...
[Brezhnev reads an article in Izvestiya about Secretary Kissinger.) Secretary Kissinger: Is it friendly?
General Secretary Brezhnev: No. We knew you would reject all our proposals. This is Izvestiya, our evening paper.
Secretary Kissinger: It is a good picture. It makes me look thinner. That was before I came here this afternoon.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: It can be corrected.
Secretary Kissinger: So tactically—I don't know whether it is worth talking about I like the proposal of your delegate in Geneva, to write that sentence on a separate piece of paper, with the understanding that it will not be in that paragraph on frontiers. And we could cooperate in that effort.
General Secretary Brezhnev: Let me say we feel the most convenient thing would be to write it in that section on sovereignty.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Where sovereignty is mentioned. Sovereignty extends to frontiers.
Secretary Kissinger: The United States and Libya. Your intelligence is too good. You found it out. We wanted to make it a surprise.
I have not studied the exact formulation. We agree that the concept of peaceful change should not-need not—be in the section on frontiers. We agree it could be in the section on sovereignty. And it has to have some specific reference to peaceful change and not simply be related to the concept of sovereignty. But it is not primarily an American problem, let me say. Anything the Germans accept, we will accept.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Why must one country hold the key to the problem?
Secretary Kissinger: We will use our influence to move that sentence. This we promise you. What that sentence is, we will discuss. I think we will find a reasonable solution.
General Secretary Brezhnev: What's your view on ending the Conference before President Nixon's visit?
Secretary Kissinger: It will be difficult, for technical reasons. But we won't exclude doing it shortly afterward. For example, at the end of July. I am talking about the signature.
General Secretary Brezhnev: I take it you are agreeable to signing the document at the highest level?
Secretary Kissinger: This raises the following problem, about which I will be quite candid.
General Secretary Brezhnev: Please.
Secretary Kissinger: We don't want to be accused of giving up the position of our allies. So let me separate our formal position from what you can expect—if you do not use it with other countries ...
General Secretary Brezhnev: That goes without saying. Unless we stand on that assumption, then there is no possibility of confidential communications between us.
Secretary Kissinger: Our formal position is, like President Pompidou's, that the formal document could be signed at the Summit if it is an adequate document. Let me say that if the document, which we are now working on, is finished in the sense we are now discussing, we will consider it a satisfactory document. This is to explain, on a private basis, the thinking of President Nixon to the General Secretary. And we would work in that direction.
That gets us to the part on cultural exchange. I have said on many occasions to your Foreign Minister that a social system that was established with so many hardships and that has overcome so many obstacles is not going to be changed through cultural exchange.
So for us it is the problem of how to bring it to a conclusion. We think the best solution is the one discussed between Ambassador Stoessel and Mr. Korniyenko. I mean the solution proposed by Ambassador Stoessel, not the one proposed by Mr. Korniyenko! That is, to have the reference to national laws in the basic principles, and then refer back to it at the beginning of Basket III. And we would urge our allies to accept such an approach. We would still have to give some content to the whole basket, but we don't think that is an insoluble problem.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Let me just say, the solution as you explained is a possible one, that is, in the principles to make reference to national legislation and then to have a reference back to those principles, including the principle on domestic legislation, in the section on so-called human contacts. But since we are not dealing with a work of fiction, the link should have meaning. Namely, in the section dealing
with cultural exchange, etc. there should be reference to the fact that these ties proceed on the basis of the principles set out at the beginning.
Secretary Kissinger: Exactly.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: We had no doubt of your understanding. But we were more than surprised that the representative of Holland came up with a proposal that included reference to the principles but the two are separated and there is a link between the two. And we were even more surprised when the other delegations—and yours was no exception-came out in support of that of Holland. What you just said is in accord with our thinking.
Another observation on another matter, that is to add to what Comrade Brezhnev has correctly pointed out, that other delegations have brought out of all proportion the so-called “confidence military measures." You mentioned the British proposal. The first aspect is volume, that is the figures, the question of the size or figures starting from which information would start. We are told it starts from a division, or a reinforced division, though no one seems to know what a reinforced division means. If we take that approach, as Comrade Brezhnev said, we would have to have an enormous bookkeeping apparatus. The second aspect is geographic—the regions where this would operate. It is one thing to refer to a strip of land adjacent to borders; it is another thing if it includes the whole of European Russia. That is nonsense.
Secretary Kissinger: Certainly everything west of Vladivostok.
Foreign Minister Gromyko: Some even include Vladivostok! Fortunately, the Urals are the limit of Europe.
You seem to take a realistic approach.
Secretary Kissinger: We want to be constructive, in the spirit of the agreement reached between the President and the General Secretary. Our preliminary view is that some distance from the frontier is more realistic than the whole of European Russia.
General Secretary Brezhnev: When I discussed this with the President, we talked only about foreign observers coming to maneuvers on a voluntary basis. But what is discussed now has a different aspect. In form, what Dr. Kissinger says makes sense, in the spirit of what was agreed upon. But in substance, Dr. Kissinger introduced a certain element of vagueness.
Secretary Kissinger: No, I'm trying to be constructive. I'm saying that what the Foreign Minister says, about a certain distance from frontiers, is what we will support as opposed to all of European Russia. I think the Foreign Minister will recognize it is an attempt to take into account the Soviet point of view, and it is not identical with the view of other delegations. And I believe on that basis a solution can be found.