175. Memorandum of Conversation1

Conversation with Soviet Minister Counselor Vorontsov, April 13, 1971, 5:00 p.m., in the Map Room of the White House

I saw Vorontsov at my request in order to have a pretext to put something into the Soviet system and to find out when Dobrynin might be coming back. I told Vorontsov about the technical arrangements for the meetings between Soviet Ambassador to East Germany, Abrasimov, and Ambassador Rush. The procedures are as follows: at [Page 506] the next meeting of the four Ambassadors slated for April 16th, Abrasimov is to ask Rush for a private meeting; the subject of that meeting is to be the Soviet draft proposal of March 26th, and Rush will raise the issues contained in the oral note already given to Dobrynin (copy of note attached at Tab A).2 I also suggested the possibility that Soviet Ambassador to West Germany Falin might talk to Rush along the lines of the backchannels between Rush and myself (copies attached at Tab (a)).3 Vorontsov said that it sounded to him like a good idea and he would report it to Moscow.

Vorontsov then said that he had noticed with interest that a high Administration source on Air Force One had interpreted Brezhnev’s speech to the Party Congress in a very positive way.4 It had been the Soviet hope that this would be done and they were gratified by our response. I said that the relaxation of tensions with the Soviet Union remained a high priority of this Administration but that it was time to make some concrete progress.

Vorontsov said he was certain that the Ambassador would have new instructions when he returned which he thought would be early the following week, i.e., the 20th. And he was certain that the Ambassador would call me soon after his return.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 491, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 5 [part 1]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Kissinger forwarded the memorandum of conversation and an undated memorandum summarizing its contents to the President. A note on the covering memorandum indicates that the President saw it. According to Kissinger’s Record of Schedule, the meeting lasted from 5:30 until 5:45 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76)
  2. See Document 154.
  3. Attached but not printed at Tab (a) are copies of the following messages: Kissinger to Rush, March 29; Rush to Kissinger, April 1; and Kissinger to Rush, April 12. See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XL, Germany and Berlin, Documents 211, 214, and 217.
  4. See footnote 3, Document 169.