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

1780. In conversation with Kozlov and Kuzmin1 at Iraqi reception yesterday latter said he could not understand failure of US businessmen take advantage of opportunities trade with Soviet Union. Said SOV Union prepared sign contracts for deliveries over period up to ten years on basis normal commercial credits and if necessary deposit guaranties in Swiss bank. Said SOV Union would be interested not only in means of production but also consumer goods. He mentioned particular interest in textile mills, railroad cars, pipe, and in fact almost anything we wanted to sell. When I inquired what he meant by normal commercial credits he replied “around 3 percent”. When I explained I was thinking of length of credits he mentioned 6 or 7 years. I replied that situation had been explained to Mikoyan and said frankly that Mikoyan’s statement that SOV Union had no obligation settle lend-lease had made very bad impression.2 Kozlov denied that Mikoyan had made this exact statement but admitted this was its general tenor. Said “give us credits and we will settle lend-lease account”. I thought first step should be to settle some political questions and create proper atmosphere. Kuzmin replied he was not interested in political questions but business deals and said number of Western countries even including West Germany willing extend credits to SOV Union. Said he had recently signed contracts for delivery number of sugar mills but did not specify supplier.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 411.6141/3–1059. Confidential.
  2. Iosef Iosifovich Kuzmin, Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Council of Ministers and Chairman of the Soviet State Planning Commission (Gosplan).
  3. See Document 65.