287. Message From Chairman Kosygin to President Johnson 1
Dear Mr. President,
My colleagues and I have acquainted ourselves with your letter of July 30 of this year2 on the question of Soviet-American negotiations concerning the integral limitation and then reduction of both the delivery systems of offensive strategic nuclear weapons and of the defense systems against ballistic missiles.
We note with satisfaction your agreement with the proposed period and place of these negotiations.
Concerning the level for conducting the negotiations on this question, we are inclined toward the appointment of special delegations for this purpose.
As far as the specific date for beginning the negotiations at Geneva, we thought it possible to propose September 30, that is, to begin the negotiations immediately after the end of the conference of non-nuclear states which, as is known, will take place in Geneva from August 29 to September 28 of this year. We also consider it possible to announce the proposed date for beginning the Soviet-American negotiations even prior to the opening of the conference of non-nuclear states, for example, on August 22. The text of the announcement could be the following:
“Concerning the Soviet-American Negotiations on the Question of Curbing the Strategic Armaments Race
Agreement has been reached between the governments of the USSR and the USA to begin negotiations on September 30 in Geneva on the integral limitation and reduction of both the delivery systems of offensive strategic nuclear weapons and the defense systems against ballistic missiles. The Parties have agreed to appoint special delegations for this purpose.”
If you have any additional considerations, then we are prepared to study them, of course.