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

V: General, how are you. You are left alone. They arrived already?2

H: Yes. I just spoke to them. He3 asked me to hold up our Seventh Fleet movements, and we are going to put that movement in orbit for 24 hours at a place so it wonʼt surface—the fact that they are moving.

V: Still like the Vietnamese situation?

H: They are considerably south of there. So it will be no public issue.

V: For 24 hours. Very good. I think that is very necessary. During this 24 hours, we might have good results.

H: Henry wanted you to have this.

V: Thank you very much, General.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 998, Haig Chronological File, Haig Telecons 1971. No classification marking.
  2. President Nixon traveled to the Azores on December 12, where he met with Portuguese Prime Minister Marcello Caetano and French President Georges Pompidou. Among the topics discussed were European economic integration and international monetary problems. Kissinger, Rogers, and Connally accompanied the President. The Presidentʼs party returned to Washington on December 14. (Ibid., White House Central Files, Presidentʼs Daily Diary)
  3. An apparent reference to Kissinger, acting on Nixonʼs instructions. In his memoirs, Kissinger states that the decision to delay the movement of the fleet was taken to give the Soviet Union more time to respond to the hot line message sent to Moscow earlier in the day. (White House Years, p. 911) For text of the hot line message, see Document 286.