167. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State0

971. Lacking many of the clues as to meaning Khrushchev’s behavior in New York must be avilable to Dept, for example in form of reports his private conversations from other delegates, I hesitate comment. Following points however may be worth noting.

Khrushchev’s behavior in virtually following Chinese line in fact while paying only lip service to his own previous policies would appear [Page 560] constitute further evidence of depth Chinese-Soviet split and Khrushchev’s apparent need undercut Chinese influence with other satellites on ground he too soft toward West. Having taken this line however believe it more than ever incumbent upon Khrushchev to obtain at reported forthcoming meeting of Commie parties1 complete Chinese acceptance of Soviet leadership and probably specific Chinese commitments to support certain Soviet policies and to refrain from some specific actions objected to by Soviet leadership. In Commie tradition handling such matters, maximum Soviet desire at such meeting would probably be purge of Chinese party leadership. Minimum would be Chinese self criticism and some commitment for future along lines indicated above. While likely some formula will be sought endeavor conceal split from West, I continue believe unlikely gap between two parties can be completely closed.

While I continue believe Khrushchev will seek meaningful negotiations with West next year, long-range implications of his UN behavior are that present line is not merely trial balloon or temporary expedient. (Soviets are of course capable of abrupt changes when any particular policy proves ineffective and probably do not realize difficulties of democracies in making similar changes.)

Most important actions with long-range implications would seem to me to be following:

Revelation determination force world to accept concept of three blocs.
Clear revelation of determination prevent UN from becoming effective peace-keeping body.
Refusal accept opportunity keep cold war out of Africa.
Change in attitude toward Algerian question and relations with France.
Linking of disarmament with form of UN and Chinese participation.
Blatant reassertion of Communist ideological goals and methods.

In preliminary comment on foregoing, indications appear to be that Khrushchev has given up any real expectation of achieving agreement on disarmament except possibly in atomic-testing field. Believe important factor in Khrushchev’s actions was incorrect appraisal of world political situation. Feel certain that present Khrushchev line will be viewed with disfavor by most of Soviet people including many important officials. Impossible to predict however extent to which such disapproval may have any effect upon future developments. Khrushchev’s present [Page 561] situation both with respect to Chinese dispute and Soviet opinion is likely make it more difficult for him to accept any setback in near future such as on Berlin situation. Consciousness this fact borne out by extent to which Berlin question played down in Soviet press.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 761.13/10–1460. Confidential.
  2. Reference is to a conference of world Communist leaders held in Moscow during most of November 1960.