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

K: Hello.

D: Hello. I have received an answer from my government to the question you asked yesterday.2 The answer is yes. The announcement will be Thursday—your time will be 12 o’clock and in ours will be 19. That is Thursday, May 20th. This is official confirmation. They said yes I could reaffirm agreement of my government to you. If you could wait for the other, I should have an answer tomorrow.

K: The text as it was we agreed.

D: They are prepared to accept text we agreed on with you.

K: As we agreed with one difference. The one word—

D: I do not have confirmation on that. I cannot officially confirm it. You asked me to put in at the present time but in this year—

K: I have checked with the President and he prefers to have it as you would like to have it. Concentrate this year … rather than …

D: Perhaps it would be good tomorrow I will drop in and talk with you in the morning.

K: Should we set a time?

D: 11 o’clock? How about 12 o’clock tomorrow?

K: That would be good. We can run through the text then. There is a slight possibility that one word may be changed.

D: When we meet at 12 o’clock, I will have word from my government on that. This is official confirmation to you on the subject except for this one item.

K: We are all set as far as we are concerned.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 221.
  3. After his conversation with Dobrynin, Kissinger went to the Oval Office to brief the President. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76, Record of Schedule) According to his handwritten notes, Haldeman was in the Oval Office with Nixon when “K burst in w[ith] SALT news.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Special Files, Staff Member and Office Files, H. R. Haldeman, Box 43, H Notes, April–June ’71)