18. Memorandum From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon 1

    • Your Meeting with Soviet Union Foreign Minister Gromyko, 11:00 a.m., Thursday, October 22, 1970


I have provided you by separate memorandum2 an analysis, together with suggested talking points, for your meeting with Foreign Minister Gromyko on Thursday. The meeting will include Foreign Minister Gromyko, Secretary Rogers, Ambassador Dobrynin, U.S. and Soviet interpreters, and myself.

This separate memorandum is designed to provide you with an overview of the conduct of the formal meeting and to suggest that you ask Foreign Minister Gromyko to remain with you briefly at the conclusion of the formal meeting so that the two of you can discuss briefly topics not suitable for airing within the larger framework. A private discussion between you and Foreign Minister Gromyko is a useful [Page 77] adjunct to the general session because this is your first formal meeting as President with Gromyko and because a brief private discussion will serve to underline your controlling role in the conduct of U.S. foreign affairs as well as permit a personal exchange on summitry and Cuba. This can be accomplished by telling Gromyko you want to show him your small private office.

In order to prepare yourself for this private session, I recommend that you review with some care my memorandum of October 143 which forwarded an analysis of my recent discussions with Ambassador Dobrynin during the Cuban crisis and which contains the detailed Memcons, including the texts of the notes verbale exchanged at the time between our two governments.

Conduct of the Meeting

  • —At the outset of the general meeting, I suggest that you welcome Foreign Minister Gromyko. Gromyko will then ask you what agenda you wish to cover. Ambassador Dobrynin and I have discussed the agenda, and I anticipate that Gromyko will promptly agree to your proposal to include the following topics in the order listed:
    A general discussion of U.S.-Soviet relations
    Middle East
    Berlin and Europe
  • —You should then invite Gromyko to open the discussion on the general state of U.S.-Soviet relations. Gromyko will mention the summit in Moscow at the end of Topic 1.
  • —At the conclusion of the session you should suggest that Foreign Minister Gromyko join you for a few minutes in your small office.

Talking Points for Private Discussion with Gromyko

You should raise the following issues with Foreign Minister Gromyko:

  • —Suggest to Foreign Minister Gromyko that as a result of your meeting with him, both sides agree to an announcement that both parties have agreed in principle to a Summit meeting between the leaders of the United States and the Soviet Union, to be held sometime next year in Moscow. If Gromyko agrees, you should suggest that the modalities of the announcement be worked out between Ambassador Dobrynin and me. The date of the announcement should be October 29.
  • —Assuming agreement in principle for the Summit, you should also suggest that a pre-Summit work program be worked out between Ambassador Dobrynin and me. When Dobrynin and I have arrived at agreement in principle on an agenda item and work schedule, detailed preparatory work should then be referred to regular channels. (Dobrynin indicated that it would be helpful if you reaffirmed our channel to Gromyko.)
  • —Concerning Cuba, you should underline the sensitivity of and the importance you attach to the nature and scope of Soviet activity in Cuba. A submarine base would lead to grave consequences. Our definition of a base will be governed by the principles in the oral note handed to Dobrynin by Dr. Kissinger on October 9. Within this framework we consider the Soviet announcement regarding Cuba “positive.”

Following this brief private discussion, you and Foreign Minister Gromyko should rejoin the main party which will remain in your office.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 71, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Gromyko, 1970. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Sent for action. No drafting information appears on the memorandum, which Kissinger forwarded to the President on October 21 with the following note: “Attached are your talking points for the meeting with Gromyko. They are necessarily detailed because of the complexity of the subject matter and the importance of your talks. There were some suggestions in New York that Gromyko anticipates in depth discussion on the subjects contained in the talker.”
  2. Document 17.
  3. Document 6.