277. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon 1

    • Soviet Response

The Soviet response has been received in writing (Tab A).2 The Soviet note delivered by Minister Vorontsov is holding in nature—suggests delay from September to some mutually acceptable time closer to the end of this year (end of November or December), providing by that time all that is necessary is done—the time for the event and its publication to be pinpointed subsequently assuming progress in other preparations—the overall project contingent upon nothing occurring in the interim which would make the situation unfavorable or jeopardize positive results.

In summary the Soviet response appears to be a holding action seeking both delay and further progress in areas of interest to the Soviets (Berlin, SALT) with such progress a pivotal factor.

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That we make no comment to the Soviets at this time.

That Dr. Kissinger proceed with the other option seeking an early summit in Peking.3

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 1031, For the President’s Files—China/Vietnam Negotiations, Exchanges leading up to HAK trip to China, December 1969–July 1971. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only.
  2. Printed as Document 273.
  3. The President initialed his approval of these recommendations.