174. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • U.S.-Soviet Discussion of Strategic Nuclear Weapons


  • Soviet Ambassador Anatoliy Dobrynin
  • The Secretary
  • Deputy Under Secretary Foy D. Kohler

The Secretary received Ambassador Dobrynin at 7:00 p.m. at the latter’s request.

Ambassador Dobrynin read the following oral statement:

  • “They have reviewed in Moscow the communication of Ambassador Thompson in a meeting with the Soviet Ambassador on December 6, 1966, with respect to an exchange of views between Soviet and American representatives on the question of the possibilities of reaching a mutual understanding between the U.S.S.R. and the U.S.A. relating to anti-missile defense systems.
  • “This question, raised in the meeting of December 6 of last year, deserves attention. Indeed, the deployment of anti-missile defense systems involves enormous expenditures, and it would be desirable to avoid them. The Soviet Union has always come out for, and comes out for, the reduction of military expenditures, for the limitation or cessation of the arms race.
  • “The Soviet Union constantly strives to reach an agreement on the liquidation of the threat of a nuclear missile war. That would be responsive to the interests of both of our two countries, and of all peoples. The question of reaching a mutual understanding with respect to anti-missile systems could be considered simultaneously with a solution of the problem of offensive means of delivering nuclear weapons and in close association with the problem of general and complete disarmament. If the Government of the U.S.A. has any reflections in this respect, these reflections could be brought to the attention of the Soviet Government.”

Ambassador Dobrynin left behind the Russian text of his oral statement (attached).2

In the ensuing discussion, Ambassador Dobrynin clarified that it was his understanding of his instructions that the Soviet Government was prepared in principle to enter discussions on this subject on the understanding that the discussions would cover offensive as well as defensive missile systems.

[Page 425]

The Ambassador added that he had alerted his Government to the urgency of the matter after his talk with Ambassador Kohler last Saturday, January 14,3 in order to obtain a reply prior to the President’s presentation of his budget to the Congress.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 383, Central Policy File: FRC 86 A 5, Folder 3541. Top Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. Drafted by Kohler.
  2. Not printed.
  3. Not further identified.