348. Editorial Note

Pursuant to the President’s September 29, 1971, meeting with Foreign Minister Gromyko (see Document 347), Secretary of Commerce Stans traveled to the Soviet Union in late November 1971, to discuss trade-related matters with Soviet officials. He stopped in Stockholm en route to Moscow and in Warsaw during his return travel to Washington.

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In preparation for Stans’ trip, on November 11 Helmut Sonnenfeldt sent Henry Kissinger a memorandum regarding Kissinger’s scheduled meeting with Stans the next day, and on November 15 Kissinger sent the President a shorter version and talking points for his meeting with Stans that day. Both Sonnenfeldt’s and Kissinger’s memoranda noted that the purpose of Stans’ visit was to explore the expansion of commercial relations but not to make specific commitments. Concerning Stans’ desire to have approval of pending export license applications related to the Kama River project before departing for the Soviet Union, Sonnenfeldt called Kissinger’s attention to the fact that the Defense Department and the AEC were not objecting to approval.

Sonnenfeldt also commented on Stans’ desire to carry Presidential letters to the heads of state in the countries he would visit. Letters for Stans’ visits were prepared, and in his November 15 memorandum to the President, Kissinger characterized the letter to Kosygin as “warm and positive.” Letters for Stans’ visits to Moscow and Warsaw were signed by the President. A letter for Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme was not approved, and the talking point Kissinger provided the President for Stans’ Stockholm stopover noted that “he should avoid political subjects and confine any public statements strictly to economic relations.” The talking point for Warsaw noted: “He can hold out prospect of gradually improving economic relations; Romania should stay well ahead of Poland in our initiatives.” Both memoranda are in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 213, Commerce Volume II 1971. The President met with Stans, Secretary Rogers, and Alexander Haig from 5:20 to 5:55 p.m. on November 15. The meeting included a brief photo opportunity. (Ibid., White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) A transcript of a tape recording of this meeting is scheduled publication in Foreign Relations, 1969-1976, Moscow Summit, 1971-1972.

On November 15 Kissinger sent Stans a memorandum regarding export license applications for the Kama River project. Kissinger indicated that the President had approved the Commerce recommendations, subject to the conditions governing the actual export. Kissinger reminded Stans that for foreign policy reasons future export license applications for the Kama River project should continue to be referred to the White House. (Ibid., NSC Files, Agency Files, Box 213, Commerce Volume II 1971)