312. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union 1

144480. Ref: Moscow 5368.2 For Ambassador From Secretary.

1. Please seek an appointment with Foreign Minister Gromyko at the earliest opportunity and convey the following to him:

Report of your July 28 meeting was read with interest by Washington authorities, including those at the highest level.3 We are pleased [Page 923] to note that the USSR intends to continue cooperating with us wherever possible. For our part, this is precisely our own attitude and we shall continue our efforts to narrow differences on points at issue between us.
Regarding Mr. Brezhnev’s query, you are authorized to state that the United States regards its relations with the Soviet Union as fundamental to the maintenance of world peace. The President recalls from his visit to the USSR in 1959 the desire of the Soviet peoples for good relations between our two countries and he is, of course, fully aware of the strong feelings of the American people in this regard.
We believe that, if American policy—towards the Soviet Union and other countries as well—is examined in depth, “zig-zags” do not appear, but rather consistency of purpose. The President’s views, for example, are known to the Soviet Government from his two reports to the Congress on foreign policy. We follow the policy line set forth there—namely, not to try and wish away our differences but, rather, to eliminate them through serious and patient negotiations wherever such negotiations offer a hope of success. That has been and will continue to be the basis of our policy towards the USSR.
We hope there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that it is the purpose of this Administration to improve its relations with the Soviet Union wherever possible on a basis of mutual respect and comprehension.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 USUSSR. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Okun in EUR/SOV; cleared by Kissinger (per Jeanne Davis), Hillen-brand, and Miller (S/S); and approved by Rogers. In an August 6 memorandum to Kissinger, Hyland forwarded a draft of this telegram with the comment: “The substance of the proposed reply (Tab B) is innocuous enough. The question is whether you want this channel pursued.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 716, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Vol. XV [2 of 2]) Haig added in a separate note to Kissinger: “I know you have taken care of this through Dobrynin but I wanted to be sure that you focused carefully on the message. Certainly Beam must have some response to make in order to maintain his credibility.” (Ibid.)
  2. See footnote 7, Document 302.
  3. See Documents 302 and 307.
  4. In telegram 6130 from Moscow, August 23, Beam reported that he followed these instructions in a meeting with Gromyko that afternoon, delivering an informal oral statement of the U.S. response. “Gromyko appeared to be pleased at receiving statement,” Beam commented, “but confined himself to expression of thanks and a promise to see that Brezhnev was informed both about our reaction to the earlier discussion and the content of our message.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 716, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Vol. XV [1 of 2])