10. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between President Nixon and the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

P: How do you like that [about the Russian plane being hijacked?]2

K: Terrific.

P: I was told it was a Jewish couple. From Russia. Did you hear that?

K: I had seen a report a couple of weeks ago that the Soviet airliners were the most vulnerable. They take special precautions.

P: Killed the stewardess. What do you think the Russians are going to do?

K: In my opinion they will be tough. Because they do not want to set an example that this can be done to them.

P: Tough on the Turks. I …

K: Criminal charges probably [will be brought against them.]

P: That is fair enough. [omission in transcript] hijackings [omission in transcript]

[Page 36]

K: Question of political [omission in transcript]

P: There is a lot of antisemitism in Russia now.

K: Russians are very tough. I do not think [they will let this go.] P: This is one we will stay out of. I do not want the Turks to get into any trouble.

K: I am sure they will send the plane back. I am not sure they will send the people back.

P: It’s just like we have a hell of a time.

K: Plane and passengers will be returned. It is an amazing phenomenon.

P: It is good that it happened.

K: Shows that it is a universal problem.

P: Maybe we could have a line or two in the UN speech.

K: Put in the speech that you asked for this last year.

P: Did you get the other thoughts that I had.

K: Yes. We are working them in now. If things broke right in the Soviet Union we could …

P: Compete in other fields. People need a little hope. We have been tough on them and now we must give them a little hope.

[Omitted here is discussion of Chile.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 7, Chronological File. No classification marking. All brackets, other than those indicating omission of unrelated material or omissions in the transcript, are in the original.
  2. On October 15, while en route between two cities on the Black Sea, a Lithuanian truck driver and his son hijacked an Aeroflot flight to Trebizond, Turkey, seriously wounding the pilot and co-pilot and killing a flight attendant in the process. The Turkish Government refused Soviet demands to extradite the hijackers.