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Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969–1976
Volume E–7, Documents on South Asia, 1969–1972, Document 187


187. Central Intelligence Agency Information Cable TDCS–315/07612–71, Washington, December 15, 1971 11. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation. Secret; Priority; No Foreign Dissemination. Sent to the White House, and distributed within the Departments of State and Defense, the CIA, the JCS, and NSA. Also sent to Islamabad for the Ambassador, the DCM, the political counselor, and the defense attaché. Sent to Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras for principal officers only, and to CINCPAC, CINCPACAF, CINCPACFLT, AND CINCARPAC.

  • SUBJECT:
  • HIGH-LEVEL INDIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL'S COMMENTS ON THE VISIT TO INDIA OF VASILY KUZNETSOV, SOVIET FIRST DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER

Intelligence Information Cable

15 December 1971

COUNTRY: INDIA, PAKISTAN, USSR, CHINA

DOI: 15 DECEMBER 1971

ACQ: [text not declassified]

SOURCE: [text not declassified] HIS INFORMATION IS RELIABLE AND ACCURATE. [text not declassified]

1. ON 15 DECEMBER 1971 THE HIGH-LEVEL GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL DESCRIBED ABOVE STATED THAT SOVIET FIRST DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER VASILY KUZNETSOV ARRIVED IN INDIA ON 12 DECEMBER TO DISCUSS THE POLITICAL RECOGNITION OF BANGLADESH BY THE SOVIET UNION. THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL SAID THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HAD ASKED THE SOVIET UNION TO GRANT POLITICAL RECOGNITION TO BANGLADESH AND IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER TO SIGN A DEFENSE TREATY WITH THE NEWLY-INSTALLED GOVERNMENT. KUZNETSOV AHS TOLD INDIAN OFFICIALS THAT THE SOIVET UNION IS NOT PREPARED TO RECOGNIZE BANGLADESH UNTIL DACCA FALLS AND UNTIL THE INDIAN ARMY SUCCESSFULLY LIBERATES BANGLADESH FROM PAKISTANI FORCES. KUZNETSOV ADDED THAT, IF THE USSR IS TO RETAIN WHATEVER SMALL INFLUENCE IT STILL HAS IN PAKISTAN, IT CANNOT RECOGNIZE BANGLADESH UNTIL THESE CONDITIONS ARE MET.

2. ACCORDING TO THE INDIAN OFFICIAL, THE SOVIET UNION IS IMPATIENT WITH THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES FOR THEIR INABILITY TO LIBERATE BANGLADESH WITHIN THE TEN-DAY TIME FRAME MENTIONED BEFORE THE OUTBREAK OF HOSTILITIES. KUZNETSOV HAS TOLD THE INDIANS THAT THE SOVIET POSITION IN THE SECURITY COUNCIL OF OPPOSING A CEASE-FIRE BECOME MORE UNTENABLE THE LONGER THE WAR GOES ON IN THE EAST. WHICH KUZNETSOV SAID THE SOVIET UNION WILL CONTINUE TO USE ITS VETO TO STALL ANY EFFORTS TO BRING ABOUT A CEASE-FIRE FOR THE PRESENT, HE STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF QUICK AND DECISIVE INDIAN ACTION IN LIBERATING BANGLADESH IN THE SHORTEST TIME POSSIBLE.

3. KUZNETSOV DELAYED HIS SCHEDULED RETURN TO MOSCOW BECAUSE HE IS AWAITING SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR LEONID BREZHNEV, GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE SOVIET COMMUNIST PART, REGARDING INDIA'S REQUREST THAT THE SOVIET UNION SIGN A DEFENSE AGREEMENT WITH THE BANGLADESH GOVERNMENT AFTER SOVIET RECOGNITION OF BANGLADESH. ACCORDING TO KUZNETSOV, BREZHNEV WAS NOT IN MOSCOW WHEN KUZNETSOV SENT HIM THE REQUEST FOR GUIDANCE.

4. KUZNETSOV ALSO DISCUSSED WITH INDIAN LEADERS THE THREAT OF CHINESE INTERVENTION. THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL SAID BOTH THE INDIAN OFFICIALS AND KUZNETSOV AGREED IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE CHINESE MAY DECIDE TO LAUNCH AN ATTACK THROGH SIKKIM. THEY ESTIMATED THAT, AFTER ACCOMPLISHING THE LIMITED OBJECTIVE OF OVERWHELMING INDIAN DEFENSIVE POSITION IN THE SILIGURI AREA, THE CHINESE WOULD WITHDRAW BACK ACROSS THE BORDER AS THEY DID IN 1962 TO THE EMBARASSMENT OF THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT.

5. [text not declassified]

1 Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 642, Country Files, Middle East, India/Pakistan Situation. Secret; Priority; No Foreign Dissemination. Sent to the White House, and distributed within the Departments of State and Defense, the CIA, the JCS, and NSA. Also sent to Islamabad for the Ambassador, the DCM, the political counselor, and the defense attaché. Sent to Dacca, Karachi, Lahore, Bombay, Calcutta, and Madras for principal officers only, and to CINCPAC, CINCPACAF, CINCPACFLT, AND CINCARPAC.