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

D: I would like to tell you a few things. First, I am leaving for New York on Friday2 and will be back late on Sunday. I am just telling you this if you feel you could do it tomorrow. If not, let’s do it on Monday.

K: I am on the way to see the President now. I had an earlier talk with him3 and I am getting these documents translated into better English4 and then if your view is correct …

D: Oh, come on. Come on. It is correct.

K: I cannot make my own judgment on the Russian. Anatol, you are much more devious than I. If it is possible to translate your letter to be consistent with your release, I think we can solve most of the problem.

D: I could make another suggestion but it is only on my own. Maybe put it this way—one letter to say I am honored to confirm we have reached an agreement and then a supplement to this particular letter and instead of saying one government, we would say both governments.

[Page 634]

K: Right.

D: Or maybe just a letter saying I would like to confirm we agreed about following instructions which we will both give our determination and then quote and unquote but instead of one government both governments then it will be just a confirmation on reached agreement and nothing else.

K: Let me see. That is a variation. The easiest thing would be if your letter could be put into better English and then we look at it and I am now on the way to see the President5 and I may call you in the morning to tell you what his initial reaction is.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking.
  2. May 14.
  3. See footnote 4, Document 211.
  4. See Document 211.
  5. According to the President’s Daily Diary, Nixon met Kissinger in the Residence from 7:40 until 8:15 p.m. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files) No record of the conversation has been found.