22. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 0

1844. Eyes only Secretary. Following is text of aide-memoire handed me by Gromyko at two p.m. today:

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Government Soviet Union expresses satisfaction in connection with statement contained in aide-memoire of US Government of January 241 this year that US Government will do everything possible for improvement relations between USSR and USA. Government USA can be sure that all efforts in this direction will always meet with positive response and support in every possible way on part Soviet Government.

[Page 59]

Soviet Government has taken note of announcement that President USA has issued directive prohibiting American aircraft from violating air spaceUSSR. Thus, one of reasons, which as known, led to serious deterioration Soviet-American relations, has been removed.

Soviet Government welcomes intention US Government engage in joint consideration of broad international problems, which determine state of international relations in our time. We hope that US Government informed in detail about certain views of Soviet Government on most important of these problems, which were set forth by Ambassador USSR in USA in course recent unofficial exchange of opinions. Comments and views, which might be expressed by US Government on questions touched upon in course of this exchange of opinions will be studied with full attention by Soviet Government.

Soviet Government shares point of view US Government expressed in aide-memoire that work of UN and discussions of controversial questions between member states of UN should be approached in constructive manner. Such approach especially necessary for removal of questions preventing achievement healthier international situation and fruitful work of UN.

In our opinion, preliminary exchange of views between two governments is expedient in nearest future for purpose of seeking mutually acceptable decisions on questions which are before 15th Session General Assembly UN, which, as known, will soon resume its work. Appropriate instructions could be given, for example, to our representatives in UN. Representative USSR in UN is employed undertake such an exchange of views.

Government USSR, just as US Government, is prepared to discuss practical steps in sphere Soviet-American relations and to examine concrete proposals of both sides. Soviet side, specifically, confirms its agreement to conduct negotiations for purpose concluding agreement on air communications between USSR and USA. Soviet representatives can start these negotiations in Washington or in Moscow at time which will be mutually agreed.

Soviet Government considers that in nearest future discussion of draft consular convention between USSR and USA could be started, about which exchange of opinions between parties already had begun some time ago. In this connection question of reciprocal opening of Consulates General raised in aide-memoire Government USA of January 24 of this year could also be examined. Moscow 4 February, 1961.

End text.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 611.61/2-461. Confidential; Priority.
  2. See Document 12.