198. Memorandum for the Record1


  • Meeting between Soviet Chargé d’Affairs Vorontsov and General Haig, August 24, 1970

General Haig met with the Soviet Chargé d’Affairs Vorontsov at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, August 24, 1970 in Dr. Kissinger’s Washington White House Office.

After a formal exchange of greetings, General Haig handed Mr. Vorontsov the written communication (copy of which is attached at Tab A). [Page 601] The message was typewritten on plain paper with neither heading nor signature, in conformance with instructions received in the message of August 22d from Dr. Kissinger to General Haig at Tab B.2

Mr. Vorontsov read the communication carefully. He then stated to General Haig that he understood it completely. General Haig then stated to him that he, General Haig, had also been instructed to deliver the following oral message from Dr. Kissinger: The U.S. Government believes that pending progress between Dr. Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador on the agenda items contained in the U.S. communication that it might be of value to fix a date for a meeting between President Nixon and Chairman Kosygin or General Secretary Brezhnev, or both, on the occasion of the Anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly during the week of October 18 in New York. General Haig reiterated that the months of November and December would pose insurmountable problems for the U.S. side for such a meeting since the President would be involved in a heavy work schedule associated with the preparation of the President’s Annual Message to the Congress. Finally, General Haig stated that Dr. Kissinger would be most grateful for an early response from the Soviet side as to the feasibility and timing of the suggested venue. Mr. Vorontsov stated that he would be in immediate touch with Moscow and anticipated an early response.

The meeting adjourned at 10:07 a.m.

Tab A

Message Handed to the Soviet Chargé d’Affairs (Vorontsov) by the Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Haig)3

The President has studied with great care the communication forwarded to him through Dr. Kissinger by the Soviet Chargé D’Affairs.

For a meeting at the highest level the President wishes to repeat the agenda items already outlined to the Soviet Ambassador by Dr. Kissinger. These topics and their possible outcomes are:

  • European Security—Agreement in principle on the calling of a conference.
  • Middle East—Discussions of a comprehensive political-military solution.
  • SALT—Agreement on the general outline of an accord.
  • Provocative Attacks—Initiation of discussions at the highest level only.
  • Principles of Co-existence—With special reference to Southeast Asia.
  • Trade—Measures to expand trade.
  • Other topics either side may wish to raise.

Dr. Kissinger is prepared to conduct preliminary discussions on these topics with the Soviet Ambassador.

The President wishes to point out that preparations for the new session of Congress make November and December unfeasible for a meeting.

The President will study attentively proposals the Soviet side may put forward in reaction to this communication.

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical File, Box TS 36, Soviet Union, Chronological File, 7/70–1/71. Top Secret; Sensitive.
  2. Attached but not printed is a backchannel message from Kissinger through Winston Lord to Haig outlining Nixon’s message and instructions for delivery.
  3. No classification marking.