201. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State 1

5076. Dept please pass Immediate info to London, Paris, Beirut, Jidda, and Kuwait. Ref: State 144257.2

I made oral statement per paras 26–29 Reftel3 to Soviet Dep FonMin Vinogradov late afternoon September 3, mentioning previous talk on same subject with Kuznetsov August 22.4
Vinogradov then launched into lengthy, repetitive, and largely unyielding reply. Although he said his remarks were preliminary in nature, and that my oral statement would be studied, the manner in which he made his comments suggested he may well have been expecting my approach. Following is account of discussion.
First, he could not accept wording in oral statement that USSR along with UAR would bear responsibility for possible resumption of fighting. The USSR could never accept such an accusation. The USSR was not engaged in hostilities in ME, and therefore could not be held responsible for things with which it is not connected.
Second, he said he could see very clearly our idea was to cover up for recent Israeli actions. The well-known facts were that Israel had disrupted the NY talks. It was unwilling to accept resumption of Jarring mission, had done so only in “funny way,” and then Tekoah ran off to Israel and is still there. The Arabs are still in NY. Why then blame USSR/UAR for disrupting the talks?
Third, the US was accusing the UAR of a “kind of violation” of ceasefire agreement. However, one does not know if there were violations. For its part, the UAR accuses Israel of violating the agreement. Since US planes are flying over Eastern side of Suez Canal and can see over both sides, USG should be able to determine accuracy of UAR charges. Therefore, my statement looked “strange.”
I told Vinogradov that, while we were taking up matter with UAR, we regarded the USSR as involved since Soviet weapons and personnel were there and that their people on the ground must have knowledge of developments which were contrary to the ceasefire agreement. He asserted that any talk of ceasefire violations should be established by “both sides.” In proposing the ceasefire agreement, the US said that verification of observance should be done by national means. The US may be right in charging that violations have occurred, but neither “you nor we,” he asserted, know whether they have actually taken place. We both know clearly only that Israel has raised a hue and cry about violations.
He then said “there were no Soviet weapons in the UAR,” although the UAR had bought Soviet weapons. There were no Soviet troops there; only advisers and technicians. Therefore, the situation was different than represented, and he said the USSR was in no way involved in the ME crisis. I told Vinogradov my government would take note of his statement, and added that it was our belief that Soviet personnel were involved with complicated weapons in the UAR.
I stressed our concern over the situation, noting that we had approached the GUAR regarding the violations I was speaking to him about. I said both the USG and the GOI were convinced that ceasefire violations had taken place, and handed him list of coordinates contained in paras 16–18 of Reftel. These violations were reason, I said, why the Israelis were staying away from NY. Although we were pressing them to return to NY to resume the talks, the GOI was confronted with a serious domestic situation as a result of the violations. This simply was a factor which we should both realize. In response to Vinogradov’s question, I said we had raised with the GOI Egyptian charges of Israeli violations and were pressing Tel Aviv for more precise information.
Vinogradov then returned to his assertion that we were trying to put the blame on the USSR rather than where it belonged. I responded that we shared a joint responsibility. The USG was convinced that the ceasefire has been violated, and that the situation is extremely serious. The ceasefire and talks may be in jeopardy. Therefore, both of us should approach the situation in the spirit of taking steps to maintain the ceasefire.
Vinogradov then said that our accusations were wrong. He could see, he asserted, that the US wished to prepare the ground for the disruption of the talks and the resumption of hostilities. I immediately interrupted, saying this was not true. There was not the slightest such intention on our part, and I repudiated his suggestion. The situation was serious. The UAR had violated the ceasefire. We should both be concerned about such a development inasmuch as it could lead to a breakdown in the talks.
Vinogradov then backed off somewhat, especially when I asked him whether the Soviet Government should not be concerned, assuming our charges were true. He replied the USSR did not want the talks to break down. He said Moscow had supported the US initiative, whereas Israel had been reluctant to do so. Now Israel was accusing Cairo of violating the ceasefire as a pretext for trying to disrupt the talks. The situation, according to Vinogradov, was serious because of all the “shouting” Israel was doing; if the talks were resumed the situation would not be serious.
He then asked if I did not think that the ceasefire agreement provided for maintenance and the repair and restoration of facilities, to which I replied that our information clearly indicated that the violations I was talking about went far beyond repair and restoration.
Vinogradov then charged that we were making our accusations and drawing conclusions before waiting for the results of our approach to Cairo. He wondered how we could put ourselves in the role of being the only judge in such a complicated situation and why we wished to take on such a role.
I reiterated that, because of the seriousness of the situation, we were approaching both the UAR and Moscow. I then said that, as a personal suggestion, it seemed to me that if something could be done, quietly and without publicity, it might improve the situation. If the UAR would withdraw some—maybe not all—of its missiles as a gesture, this would be a small step toward restoring confidence and returning Israel to the conference table.
The discussion then turned to Jordan, with Vinogradov saying that their information indicated the situation was “no worse—no better.” It was his assessment, Vinogradov said, that it would not be useful for Iraq to do something “serious.” He did not, however, know how Jordan had behaved. The Soviet concern, he asserted, was to have good conditions for the Jarring mission. I closed by stating both our governments were faced by a situation of extreme seriousness.
State 1442975 received after FonOff meeting. Gromyko understood to be on leave so that Vinogradov and Kuznetsov highest officials available.
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Geopolitical File, CL 172, Jordan Crisis, September 1970, Selected Exchanges, Soviet Union. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Repeated to USINT Cairo, Tel Aviv, USUN, and Amman.
  2. Telegram 144257 to Moscow, September 3, reported on the administration’s evaluation of the apparent violation of the cease-fire agreement between Israel and the UAR by the latter, which was supported by the Soviet Union. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 27–14 ARAB–ISR)
  3. Paragraphs 26–29 contained instructions for Moscow to transmit the oral statement described below to the highest possible level at the Soviet Foreign Ministry.
  4. No record of this meeting has been found.
  5. Telegram 144297 to Moscow, September 3, reads, “Re State 144257, we strongly urge you to make the démarche to Gromyko.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL US–USSR)