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

1203. Verbatim text. Following is Emb translation letter from Khrushchev to President handed me by Zorin (Acting for Kuznetsov who reportedly “out of town”) after deposit ceremony today. Similar letter to Macmillan given British Charge. According Zorin, text letter will be broadcast Moscow radio beginning 0600 Oct 11 Moscow time and published first issue tomorrow’s Pravda:

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Begin Text: Dear Mr. President: Today in the three capitals—Moscow, Washington and London, carrying out the final act in connection with the conclusion of the Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Underwater—the ratification instruments of the original parties to this treaty, the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain have been deposited.

Thus the Nuclear Weapon Test Ban Treaty has come into force. This undoubtedly is a significant development in international affairs which brings joy to all peoples. Together with the Soviet Union, the United States of America and Great Britain the Nuclear Weapon Test Ban Treaty has been signed by more than one hundred states. It can be said with assurance that this treaty has found warm response and approval among all peoples of good will.

It has been repeatedly noted by representatives of our countries that the Test Ban Treaty is in itself a document of great international significance and the hope has been expressed that the conclusion of this treaty will have a positive influence on the international climate, on relations between states. Actually, the conclusion of the Nuclear Weapon Test Ban Treaty has injected a fresh spirit into the international atmosphere showing that no matter how complicated contemporary problems, no matter how great the differences between social systems of our states, we can find mutually acceptable solutions in the interests of all mankind, in the interests of maintaining peace if we manifest the necessary push (stremleniye) toward this end.

But, it is understood, agreement on banning experimental nuclear explosions with all its importance for peoples, in itself does not solve the principal international problem of our epoch—does not eliminate the danger of war. Now it is necessary—and our governments have spoken out in favor of this—to develop further the success that we have achieved, to seek solutions of other ripe international questions.

These questions are well known, they have been brought forward by life itself, by the whole development of world events. They concern the strengthening of security in Europe, including the liquidation of the remnants of the Second World War, conclusion of a non-aggression pact between countries of NATO and member states of the Warsaw Pact, creation of nuclear free zones in various regions of the world, barring the further spread of the nuclear weapon, banning of launching into orbit objects bearing nuclear weapons, measures for the prevention of surprise attack, and a series of other steps. Their implementation would facilitate a significant strengthening of peace, improvement of international relations, would clear the road to general and complete disarmament, and, consequently, to the delivering of peoples from the threat of war.

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Peoples expect that our governments will now manifest still more persistence and consistency in their further activities in the interests of consolidating peace. So far as the Soviet Government is concerned, inalterably following the course of peaceful coexistence of states, it is prepared to exert new efforts, to do everything dependent on it in order that the change for the better in the international situation which has been noted as a result of the conclusion of the Nuclear Weapon Test Ban Treaty should become the beginning of a sharp turn toward broad relaxation of international tension.

Permit me, Mr. President, to express the hope that the Government of the United States of America for its part will make an appropriate contribution to the solution of international problems which is demanded by the interests of weakening international tensions, the interests of insuring universal peace. Respectfully yours, signed N. Khrushchev.End text.

  1. Source: Department of State, Presidential Correspondence: Lot 66 D 204. Limited Official Use; Priority. The Russian-language text is ibid., Central Files, DEF 18-4. Another copy of this message is in the Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, USSR, Khrushchev Correspondence. A slightly different version is printed in American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1963, pp. 1034-1035.