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

36. Austrian Counselor (Karasek) who accompanied Gorbach throughout USSR visit1 reports Chancellor’s party departed with final impression that (1) although USSR opposes Austrian membership in Common Market, it tacitly acquiesces in Austrian intention open negotiations with Common Market, but (2) reserves its position regarding whatever special arrangements Austria may be able to work out with Common Market.

At GromykoKreisky meeting on July 4, Kreisky read out several paragraphs of document Austria proposes to present to Common Market on July 28. Gromyko reportedly made no comment other than to say that Soviet position on Common Market already well known.

In discussions with Khrushchev, Gorbach took line that Austria’s independence dependent upon its standard of living which in turn dependent upon export possibilities. Pointing out 55 per cent Austria’s trade with Common Market, Gorbach said USSR should have confidence that Austria’s relations with Common Market would be in strict conformity with its international obligations.

Khrushchev acknowledged Austria’s need to trade, advised Gorbach to “get your friends in the West to understand your position,” but carefully refrained from committing USSR to any specific approval of Austrian approach to Common Market.

Final Austrian-Soviet communique published today’s press was largely Austrian draft which Soviets accepted without making any suggestions for major changes or additions. Soviets privately expressed satisfaction with Gorbach’s constant emphasis on his determination to follow in footsteps of Raab.

On basis public Soviet statements and detailed account from Karasek on private talks, appears USSR has retained freedom of action with regard to Austrian desire to develop relations with Common Market.

McSweeney
  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 033.6361/7–662. Confidential. Repeated to Vienna, London, Paris, and Brussels.
  2. Gorbach visited the Soviet Union June 28–July 4.