5. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union 1

1990. Ref: Embtel 2121.2 For Ambassador from the Secretary.

Your assumption that settlements of consular convention, exchange agreement, civil air agreement, and leased line issues are not absolutely interdependent is correct. I appreciate your cogent comments this important and elusive question.

However, we are convinced of necessity scheduling progress on these individual projects in such way as to maximize our leverage and pressure upon Soviets to satisfy our patently legitimate leased-line request and minimum position on consular access. It is precisely because of risk of set back from present levels in field of exchanges that we find Soviet commitment on consular access question essential prior to conclusion cultural negotiations. Domestic reaction in this country to Barghoorn case,3 particularly in Congress and academic world which will have to carry burden implementation exchanges agreement, in our judgment will result in seriously curtailed cultural exchange this year and sharp opposition to air agreement if we cannot provide evidence that arbitrary uncivilized Soviet action against American citizens is more unlikely in future.

Specifically wish to emphasize that formal conclusion consular convention is not necessarily what we have in mind, since this obviously depends on several non-substantive factors. But Soviet acceptance of at least our minimum access and notification position does inevitably affect our ability to conclude and implement satisfactorily broadest possible exchanges agreement and civil air agreement.

As President has made clear in the State of the Union address,4 we are determined press ahead with possible areas agreement in U.S.-Soviet relations. Therefore we desire leave no stone unturned to point out to Soviets those barriers to such progress which it is clearly within their ability to remove. Removal in this case requires changes administrative procedures and not abandoning vital Soviet interests.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, CON 4 USUSSR. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Kempton Jenkins (SOV), cleared by Bundy, Tyler, Thompson, Harriman (in draft), L, SOV, FAA, and USIA; and approved by Rusk.
  2. Document 3.
  3. For documentation on the arrest of Frederick Barghoorn on October 31, 1963, see Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, vol. V, Documents 372 374 and 376.
  4. For text of the State of the Union address, January 8, see Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1963–1964, Book I, pp. 112–118.