68. Telegram From the Embassy in Switzerland to the Department of State1

2285. Space Communications Talks with Soviets. US group met June 15 with six-man Sov delegation consisting Blagonravov and Milovidov [Page 131] (Academy of Sciences), Badalov and Kalashnikov (Ministry Communications), Stashevsky and Krasulin (Foreign Ministry).2

Blagonravov said he made head delegation since Academy responsible for communications satellite experiments. Said assumption from outset his talks with Dryden in 1962 was that joint US–USSR efforts would lead to global communications satellite system, but experiments needed on both sides.USSR does not yet have communications satellite but expects to and has had experiments on means of communication in connection its space flights. (When queried later re nature of such experiments, Sovs referred only to television broadcasts from Vostok spacecraft to earth and between spacecraft.)

Morning devoted mainly to introduction by Chayes and to technical presentation by Istvan (CSC) of company’s work to date and future plans. Sovs questioned justification for planning use of frequencies assigned by EARC on temporary basis. Asked why US emphasized telephone traffic in calculating needed future capacity for satellites, and not giving more weight to television. Same alleged Sov concern emerged in afternoon discussion of US majority control based on telephone traffic with little regard to television.

Afternoon meeting devoted mainly to exposition of organizational plans by Johnson (CSC).3 Sovs claimed US plan had discriminatory features in violation GA Res 1721 and Communications Satellite Act. Pointed out frequency bands are property of all countries. Objected as discriminatory to right organization would have after six months to set terms for adherence by additional countries, on ground committee could impose onerous terms on countries which may not now have resources to participate. Chayes pointed out this would be contrary both to agreements creating committee and to US law, emphasizing Presidential authority over CSC.

Sovs concerned to know whether agreements would be between governments or entities appointed by governments.

US closed with frank explanation why inevitable that US, which has pioneered technology, should have main influence over early years of organization.

Comment: US presentation candid throughout, supplying details where appropriate or requested by Sovs. No mention yet of discussions with Europeans. Sovs attentive but somewhat reserved, asking few questions. Next meeting Tuesday pm.

  1. Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Records of the Department of State, Central Files, 1964–66, TEL 6. Confidential. Passed to Charyk and Ende (FCC). An advance copy was passed to Bushong (L) and the E message center was notified.
  2. A full transcript of the meetings is in circular airgram 2247, August 26. (Ibid.)
  3. John A. Johnson of the Communications Satellite Corporation.