287. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Minister of the Soviet Embassy (Vorontsov)1

HAK: The steps we had started are no longer reversible. I want you to understand that. I want us to understand each other. We are calling a Security Council meeting to ask for implementation of the General Assembly resolution. Then when we are still prepared we are sending a hot line message to Brezhnev2 to tell him that we still are prepared to do what we told you on the 10th. This will give you a chance to send instructions to your people and we will be working with the Pakistanis. We had no choice. We had to make our position clear.

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Vorontsov: Do you think that whole situation is that urgent for all these steps. We are talking very actively with the Indians and I think we will have results in several hours.

HAK: We had already given all our instructions. I told you we would move this morning and we didnʼt get your message till after 10:00 and it could not be reversed.

Vorontsov: Not because of ill-will but just the timing factor of getting messages to and from Moscow.

HAK: I think this can still be settled on that basis.

Vorontsov: I am afraid we will have some trouble in the Security Council. We are thinking of everything together: the ceasefire, status [of the] war, withdrawal of all forces.

HAK: Your communication doesnʼt mention any of these things.

Vorontsov: We havenʼt yet gotten approval of the Indians but we expect it in several hours.

HAK: I think all we need is one more round at the Security Council.

Vorontsov: Maybe by the time of the Security Council meeting there will be agreement from India. We must cooperate on this matter because we are now on the same track.

HAK: Our greatest desire is to cooperate with you. But when we didnʼt hear from you I told you that by 9:00 we would move. I told you on Friday3 I was holding it up for 48 hours. I was hoping to hear something from you last night.

Vorontsov: Well, maybe everything will fall into place.

HAK: We can still make it fall into place.

Vorontsov: We need an agreement. I hope you will not be insistent on a fist fight in the Security Council because we are in agreement now. All that is needed now is the tactical things. The terms will be acceptable to you.

HAK: You will find us more than cooperative. Make sure your leaders understand this.

V: I think they understand.

HAK: We had no choice but to do this. We had to stand by our allies. Now we will have gone through the exercise.

V: In the Security Council, Malik might ask to receive instructions since he is waiting for the same thing I am telling you now. If he is trying to stall it is because of this reason, not because he wants to disrupt anything.

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HAK: Donʼt have him introduce it before giving me some advance warning. I am in good communications and if you have a concrete proposal that had a chance of acceptance make it to me first.

V: Maybe by 1:00 we will have something.

HAK: General Haig may go to New York to meet with Bush. In that case call Col Kennedy. I will send you right away a copy of the hot line communication.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 370, Telephone Conversations, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. Document 286.
  3. December 10.