145. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

D: You received the paper?2

K: Yes, and am analyzing them now. There are some positive elements and some that may present troubles.

D: We tried what you said to put it as compromise.

K: I recognized that there were many positive elements.

D: Even things we didn’t discuss, for instance about presentation. Can I say to them that I will get your reaction, just to give them a time, by Monday?3

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K: I will give you some reaction on Monday. Whether it will be the formal one…

D: No need to be the formal one, just your reaction.

K: You can tell them you will get my reaction by Monday, but maybe not to every point.

D: I understand. Then after I think they have a meeting on the 25th.4

K: Right. Are you committed to putting it forward on the 25th?

D: I think so.

K: Let me see what my reaction is.

D: Yes, because they have the last meeting of [before?] the Congress then. But I didn’t give it to anyone but you. You can consult with the person [omission in transcript—Rush?] but please observe strictly the instruction not to speak with our people.5 And on the second point—I think it would be a good idea [omission in transcript—for Rush and Abrasimov?] to begin some private exchange…

K: The trouble has been that we have been blocked by the Germans on this.

D: But you remember [omission in transcript].

K: On that point I was not fully clear.

D: You have to give chance to discuss it on very private basis. They were waiting for others but waiting for [omission in transcript] on this particular point.

K: Our trouble has been … I had better tell you personally when we see each other but there is a reason for this which is not in our direct control here. I gave you our view…

D: But I understand your ambassador was prepared to discuss the two others on a confidential basis with the others involved. They have this in Moscow.

K: Let me see. I will give you an answer on that on Monday also.

D: Okay, so I can say the initial reaction will be on Monday at 8:00.

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K: Yes, and I’ll see on this other matter. We are approaching it in an attempt to be constructive.

D: This was too.

K: In reading it quickly I can see points where you were. There are also some points that will not be acceptable.

D: But this is not worse.

K: No, it is not worse.

D: And there are points where this is definitely better.

K: That is true. This represents a movement.

D: Okay, Monday evening at 8:00 at my house.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 144.
  3. March 22.
  4. Reference is to the next scheduled meeting of Ambassadors for the quadripartite talks in West Berlin.
  5. In a special channel message that evening, Kissinger briefed Rush on this telephone conversation: “My ubiquitous contact Dobrynin called a few minutes ago to say that Moscow was counting on a reply by Monday evening. He stressed that I was the only person in the West to have a copy. When I told him you were being kept informed, he urged me to keep you from making any reference to the Soviet Ambassador who allegedly has not seen the draft. Finally, he said that he recognized some provisions remained unacceptable but no formulation was worse than the previous one and some were better.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 59, Country Files, Europe, Ambassador Rush, Berlin, Vol. 1 [2 of 2])