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Brezhnev: Since I remember meeting your children at San Clemente, please give them my best regards. I hope they like Moscow.
Kissinger: Very much.
Kissinger: I am confident the visit will be a successful one and a great contribution to peace.
Brezhnev: We have emphasized and re-emphasized that we both feel we are on the right course, and the further ahead we go, the more the American public and world opinion will conclude we are doing a truly great job.
Kissinger: Thank you.
Brezhnev: Let us do some more work so we can settle it. And work out documents so they can be signed.
Kissinger's memorandum for the President summarizing his final meeting with Brezhnev is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Office Files, Box 76, Country Files—Europe_USSR, Secretary Kissinger's Pre-Summit Trip to Moscow, Memcons & Reports, March 24-28, 1974.
Summit Preparations, April-May 1974
171. Memorandum of Conversation
Paris, April 7, 1974, 8:30 a.m.
Nikolay V. Podgorny, Chairman, Presidium, USSR Supreme Soviet
The President's breakfast meeting with Podgorny lasted about one hour and three-quarters. A good part of it was composed of conversation about ballet (Kirov versus Bolshoi), opera, food, reminiscences of the Kremlin and Leningrad and where the President might go during the next trip. (Podgorny suggested perhaps Georgia, Uzbekistan and Bratsk, but was rather noncommittal.)
Podgorny began the substance of the meeting with a remark about press stories to the effect that Secretary Kissinger's trip to Moscow was a failure. He said they were lies; while Kissinger did not find common basis on some subjects, there was progress. He said there were those in the United States (and fringe elements like Solzhenitzyn and Sakharov? in the USSR) who were against improved relations, but we must resist them and press on. He knew that Secretary Kissinger and the President were trying and he hoped all Moscow agreements would be implemented—especially those involving trade and MFN. The President responded that we had very tough problems in Congress but that he had made a promise in Moscow and would do his utmost to fulfill it.
Podgorny then took the United States to task for statements that the United States had to be first in defense, noting that it resulted in some of their people doing the same. He could understand when the military and Secretary Schlesinger did it, but not “political leaders.”
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 69, Country Files—Europe—USSR, US-USSR Presidential Exchanges, TS-/ Sensitive, 1974. Secret; Sensitive. The meeting was held at the residence of the U.S. Ambassador in Paris. Nixon was in Paris from April 5 to 7 to attend memorial services for former French President Pompidou.
2 Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov, a nuclear physicist and dissident, urged the Soviet Government to work with the United States to limit ABMs in order to prevent nuclear
Our relations must be based on equality. The President agreed, but said that did not mean equality in everything; for example, they had a bigger army and we a bigger navy, although they were building rapidly.
On the summit, Podgorny thought there could be no agreement on a test ban and on SALT. He said MIRVs pose a difficult question but that this could be worked out on a basis of equality-noting that the USSR was far behind and a freeze would not be equal. The President responded by saying he would be personally involved in U.S. SALT analysis. He noted that Soviet throw-weight was much greater so that their MIRVs were more destabilizing than ours. Podgorny said it could be worked out, whether it was 600, 1000, or 1,2000 MIRVed missiles.
The President asked Podgorny to look into the future. If we two limit arms and perhaps reduced them, what about the PRC. Podgorny said the Soviets are optimistic about US-Soviet ability to develop mutual confidence and control arms, but if the PRC continued to build up, it would be dangerous—for us as well as them. We need to find a way "to drag the PRC into the field of disarmament." He said he understood our relations with PRC were “in a state of freeze." He added that the PRC is trying to drive a wedge between us. We both would like better relations with the Chinese. The present leaders are not eternal.
The President mentioned that it was of importance not to have a runaway arms race in conventional arms. Podgorny acknowledged that was so.
On the Middle East, Podgorny expressed extreme disappointment with U.S. behavior. He insisted that negotiations for a settlement should take place within the framework of Geneva. The President responded that it was important as an urgent first step to defuse a very unstable military situation, but we are working hard for a permanent peace and wished to consult closely with the USSR. We should use all available measures to move the situation to a position of greater stability. The USSR should not underestimate the strength of Israeli concerns and should move in a manner which took account of their sensitivities. He concluded we would work closely with the Soviets and would talk further about it with Gromyko next week.
The President and Podgorny then concluded their conversation during a walk in the garden at Ambassador Irwin's residence.
172. Memorandum From the President's Assistant for National
Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon
Washington, April 10, 1974.
Secretary Dent has sent you the following report of his meeting with General Secretary Brezhnev:
“1. I had hour-long talk with Brezhnev April 9. Ambassador Stoessel, Jack Bennett of Treasury and Lewis Bowden of Commerce were with me.
“Throughout conversation Brezhnev was somber, obviously preoccupied with what he feels is slowing tempo of détente relationship. He blames this squarely on what he called 'misguided statements' by a few individuals in the Congress and perhaps elsewhere in U.S. which are taken as signal by American businessmen not to move forward. He complained that many U.S. businessmen take positions when they were talking to you but changed their minds when you leave, intimating that some are easily scared out of 'cooperation' with the USSR in economic field.
“2. Brezhnev cited two cases: Rockwell negotiations for possible purchase of YAK-40 aircraft and Hammer deal on fertilizers, both of which he maintained had ground to halt.
“3. I pointed out record was not really that bad since much progress had been made in past 20 months, proof of which was that our trade had reached $1.4 billion last year. As evidence of movement, I cited recent approval by Ex-Im Bank of $36 million loan for new trade center in Moscow. Moreover, I told him you were personally interested in seeing fertilizer deal get backing from Ex-Im Bank and we hoped that would take place soon. As far as YAK-40 was concerned, I told him its use in U.S. would depend on conclusion of an airworthiness agreement between us and we were prepared to negotiate one when they were.
“4. Senator Jackson is clearly Brezhnev's bugbear these days. At one point, on being told by aide that U.S. would not give licenses for sale of some of machine tools on display at U.S. exhibition, he commented perhaps we should get permission from Jackson. I said Senator
Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 69, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 22, January-April 1974. Secret. A stamped notation at the top of the page reads: “The President has seen.”
2 Attached but not printed is Dent's report, transmitted in telegram 5235 from Moscow, April 9.
Long had indicated to me last week he was hopeful about being able to pass constructive legislation this year, but he did not react to this.
"5. I told Brezhnev you were interested in our continuing efforts to find mutually satisfactory subjects for inclusion in a long-term economic cooperation. We agreed our representatives would meet soon with view to working out new text by next meeting of Joint U.S.-USSR Commercial Commission on May 21.
"6. Brezhnev said he looks forward to your forthcoming trip here and asked me to tell you that he and his colleagues deeply appreciate your efforts to fulfill the responsibilities which you and he jointly assured toward each other in 1972 and 1973. He hopes there will be new agreements to sign, 'notwithstanding the difficulties,' in order to show we are moving toward good neighborly relations. I promised I would pass these sentiments on to you.
"7. To sum up, I sensed from conversation Brezhnev and company are disappointed and confused over seeming slowdown in our commercial relations. At the same time, he appears convinced that course you and he have embarked on will be judged by history to have been course of 'great realism.'"
Russell B. Long, Democratic Senator from Louisiana, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.