587. Telegram 2587 from USUN, January 41

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Pass to White House. Subject: Cuba.

Confirming Plimpton-Johnson TELECON last evening:

1. McCloy and Plimpton met with Kuznetsov, Mendelevich and interpreter (USSR) at 5:00 p.m. yesterday afternoon at SOV Mission.

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2. Kuznetsov deplored omission from US draft of JAN 2, 1963 (USUN 2558, PARA 3) of reference to “understanding”, and said it was to the interest of both sides to include the word. He said there was understanding, through the letters at the end of OCT, and that, if there had not been one, the results would have been very different. Surely US could not deny that there was an understanding.

3. There followed discussion as to Russian word for “understanding”. SOVS said that their word was “dogovorenmost” which could be translated either “understanding” or “agreement”, but was a weaker word than their ordinary word for agreement, “soglashenye”, which they had not used in their draft. Their strongest word is “dogovor”, meaning “treaty”. They do have a weaker word “ponimenye” also translated as “understanding”, but this would be awkward and unacceptable in the Russian text. Apparently [Facsimile Page 2] it is roughly the equivalent of the French word “entende”.

4. Kuznetsov then presented new draft of second PARA as substitute for second PARA of US draft of JAN 2, 1963 as follows:


While it has not been possible for our GOVTS fully to resolve all the problems that have arisen in connection with this affair, they believe that, in view of the understanding reached between them on the settlement of the crisis and of the progress in the implementation of this understanding it is no longer necessary for this item to occupy farther the attention of the SC at this time. END VERBATIM TEXT.

5. Kuznetsov pointed out SOV draft closely followed second PARA of US draft. He called attention to omission word “considerable” as applied to progress and, in answer to McCloy question as to reason for omission, said that there was no corresponding Russian word, and that nearest equivalent word mean substantial which unacceptable to SOVS.

6. McCloy said he was disappointed that the Russians had not accepted US draft of JAN 2, which he had gone to great pains to get approved by US GOVT, that the SOV draft was not substantially different from its earlier drafts, and that he was disposed to stand by the US draft.

7. All agreed to substitute “not” for “no longer” at end of PARA.

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8. Kuznetsov asked for omission of “by them” in third PARA. McCloy agreed.

9. All agreed that last few lines of third PARA awkward, and should be rewritten. McCloy tentatively suggested revision to read: “to further constructive efforts for the adjustment of differences existing between them and the general easing of tensions that could cause a further threat of war”.

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10. McCloy said he would consider SOV draft and let them know answer.

11. In off-the-cuff discussion of signing arrangements, if letter could be agreed upon, it was suggested that in the letter in English, US should precede SOV, whereas in letter in Russian, SOV should precede US, and that two copies of each letter should be signed by US and SOV, one of each to be sent to SYG and other sent to other party.

12. Kuznetsov now planning stay until JAN 7 or 8, planning to go SOV Embassy Washington on some other matter.

  1. U.S.-Soviet discussion on U.S. draft declaration. Confidential. 3 pp. USUN Files: NYFRC 84–84–001 1–B December/January Meetings.