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

D: It is difficult for good friends to say good-bye.

K: I tell you, you terrify me so much. I don’t see why I get you answers; you never get me any.

D: You saw I was efficient yesterday.2

K: You were straightening out your mess. (laughter)

D: Everything is clear and I have no problem.

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K: It is substantive answers that I need.

D: When you ask me for anything I get you answers very quickly.

K: Only on something you want. You have me so cowed that when I see you I get people out of bed and I talk to the President. I wanted to give you an answer if you would stop interrupting me (laughter). On the commercial business, no problem about equal status and so we are against discrimination.3

D: After one hour of thought I thought you would come to this conclusion.

K: See, you tell your Government you scored a tremendous victory.

D: When I say equal they will say naturally.

K: The last point—consulate general—we can be quite flexible about commercial enterprises. So, you can assume that most of the items on your list are acceptable. We want a little flexibility. And the other points on commitment and on the other two items—I have found a way of communicating there and I will have an answer before tomorrow evening.

D: Fine.

K: But the general sense which I gave you is almost certainly correct.

D: Thank you very much. I always was thinking and deeply believed you were a very efficient man.

K: You also think that I am easily flattered.

D: Oh, no, no, no, come on!!

K: When we are both out of government service, which will be a lot later for you than me, I hope you will let me read the reports you send in on me.

D: I can tell you before. When I get back I will tell you.

K: I will probably talk to you tomorrow. If not, I will put it in an envelope and leave it for General Haig. In that case I would call you Saturday morning.4

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 151.
  3. Reference is to the issue of Soviet presence in West Berlin.
  4. March 27.