265. Memorandum of Conversation1

    • Henry A. Kissinger
    • Ambassador Dobrynin

The conversation concerned the fact that a subordinate Soviet Official, Kvitsinskiy, had approached Jonathan Dean from our Embassy [Page 785] in Bonn and mentioned to him a special channel [related Rush cables attached].2 I pointed out that this was an impossible situation and had to be rectified.

Dobrynin said he could assure me it was a mistake—that in Moscow now, there was a feeling that definite progress was being made, and he was certain that it was not a deliberate action. He would take measures in a gentle way because he thought Kvitsinskiy was a very valuable person and he didn’t want him to be punished. He said I had to understand that our system of government was hard for the Soviet leaders to understand.

We then turned to random matters. I told Dobrynin that I would give him a preliminary reply to the Kama River Project on Wednesday evening,3 and particularly the stages at which it could be accomplished. I told him also there was no sense bringing public pressure on us and that we would appreciate it if this pressure would stop. We were moving as fast as was possible.

Dobrynin then turned to SALT. He said that Garthoff had had a conversation with Vorontsov and had talked in great generalities about a treaty form and, secondly, had mentioned a very broad agreement on offensive limitations.4 Dobrynin wanted to tell me that in his view, Moscow was prepared for an ICBM freeze, but the broader the freeze on our side, the more difficult their bureaucratic problem would become. I told him I would discuss it when we had a general review of the situation Wednesday evening for dinner.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 491, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 6 [part 1]. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Young forwarded a draft of this memorandum and another summarizing it for the President to Kissinger and Haig. On the issue of whether to forward the memoranda to Nixon, Kissinger wrote: “Just file.” According to Kissinger’s Record of Schedule, the meeting, which was held in General Hughes’s office, lasted from 2:34 to 3:29 p.m. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76)
  2. Not attached. Brackets in the original. In a special channel message to Kissinger on June 26, Rush commented: “Dean and Kvitsinsky have developed a close relationship which is very valuable to us, and it would be a mistake to kill this relationship. Accordingly, I think it would be best if you did not mention this situation to Dobrynin, who might take strong action.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 59, Country Files, Europe, Ambassador Rush, Berlin, Vol. 1 [1 of 2]) The message is printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XL, Germany and Berlin, 1969–1972, Document 261.
  3. June 30.
  4. Memoranda of their June 25 conversation on SALT, MBFR, and the Soviet proposal for a five-power disarmament conference are in the National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, DEF 18–3 and DEF 6 EUR.
  5. Kissinger called Dobrynin at 11:35 a.m. on June 29 to review arrangements for the meeting. After agreeing to meet the next evening at the Soviet Embassy, Kissinger asked about security for Soviet shipping in American ports and reciprocity for American ships in Soviet ports. Dobrynin replied that he was unfamiliar with the issue. (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File)