30. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

1993. Yesterday evening at Bulganin’s reception I had a series of extremely interesting conversations with virtually all top leaders. In all my experience in this country I have never seen them so relaxed or forthcoming on variety of subjects. They answered individually, with apparent frankness, almost any questions that I asked them.

I shall deal with these questions in separate telegrams2 since they are in varying degrees of confidentiality. In general, however, since it is now apparent that Soviet leaders in private conversation are disposed to talk very much more frankly than in the past with foreign representatives here, I urge Dept to make every effort to avoid leaks which could only impair real possibilities of useful developments in this field.

All Soviet leaders with whom I talked, Khrushchev, Bulganin, Molotov, Malenkov and Mikoyan, expressed great satisfaction at [Page 66]President’s decision to run again,3 and repeatedly expressed their high regard for him and their belief in his genuine desire to work toward conditions of tranquility and peace throughout the world. I told them that while of course I had no direct information on subject, I was personally convinced that an important element in his decision was the feeling that the job of restoring some stability and tranquility to the world was still to be done and was a sign of his deep and genuine interest in working towards that end.

Bulganin and Khrushchev both said they had been favorably impressed by President’s message on disarmament4 and that while our views are still far apart they welcomed indication of movement in this field. I shall deal in separate message with views oft this subject and other foreign policy matters which Khrushchev expressed to me last night.

Bohlen
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.00/3–756. Secret; Limited Distribution.
  2. See infra and Document 32.
  3. The President announced this decision on February 29.
  4. See Document 28.