285. Oral Note From President Nixon to the Soviet Leadership1

The Government of the Soviet Union is aware of the sequence of events which has preceded the July 15, 1971, announcement of the President of the United States.

The United States Government has repeatedly expressed the priorities of its foreign policy. The President wishes to reaffirm the content and spirit of the remarks about US-Soviet relations that Dr. Kissinger made to Ambassador Dobrynin at Camp David on June 8 and again on June 30, 1971. The United States Government is willing to continue, and indeed to speed up, the process outlined in these conversations.

The announcement is not directed against any countries as the President pointed out in his accompanying statement. Any reversal of recent positive trends would, of course, have serious results for both countries.2

The President very much hopes that the Government of the Soviet Union will choose to join with the United States in a policy of furthering and accelerating the positive developments in their relations in recent months.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 492, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 7 [part 2]. No classification marking. Kissinger made several handwritten corrections on a draft of the note (ibid.); substantive changes are noted below. According to Kissinger: “On July 15, about forty-five minutes before the announcement [at 10 p.m.] of my trip to Peking, we sent a message to the Soviet leaders through Vorontsov.” (Kissinger, White House Years, p. 835) Marginalia on the original, however, indicate that it was “handed to Amb D by Col Kennedy 9:45 p.m., 7/15/71.” See also Document 284.
  2. Kissinger inserted this paragraph by hand in the draft. The draft also included the following sentence, which Kissinger crossed out: “It is also prepared for any other course of action, although this could lead to serious results for both countries.”