314. Oral Note From the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

I have received instructions from Moscow to tell you for President Nixon the following.

1. The Soviet leadership on its part also reaffirms the earlier principle agreement (understanding) with President Nixon concerning his visit to Moscow for discussion of questions of mutual interest with the aim of finding their mutually acceptable solutions.

Taking into account the wishes of the President, such visit of his could take place in May–June 1972, having in mind that a concrete date of this visit would be clarified in the nearest time and that an appropriate public announcement to that effect would be agreed upon.

A great importance is being attached in Moscow to the mutual understanding, reached in the course of the previous exchange of opinion, about the necessity of creating the most favourable conditions for preparation and carrying out of the Soviet-American summit meeting.

2. As to the remarks of President Nixon, received through Mr. Kissinger on July 15,2 about the Soviet-American relations in the light of his decision to make a trip to Peking, Moscow proceeds from the premises that the President is well aware of the importance which the Soviet leadership has attached to the questions of relationship between our two nations in view of their real position in the world.

This, of course, should not hinder the maintenance by each of our countries of normal relations with any other state. To the contrary, we have been always standing on the position that the existence of normal relations among all states would be in the best of interests of world peace and international security.

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From this point of view a common normalization of relations between the United States and the People’s Republic of China in principle could only be welcomed.

The main thing here is on what basis the relations between the U.S. and the PRC will be built and where all this will lead to. This is apparently being realized by the President himself when he raises the question whether such his decision could lead to “an agonizing reappraisal” of our relations. The answer to this question will depend naturally on what the President is being guided by while taking such a step.

The Soviet Union in its relations with the United States, as well as with other states, is being guided by considerations of principle and not by any transitory calculations no matter how important the latter may seem from the point of view of the moment. This gives us, of course, the grounds to expect that the other side will also maintain a similar approach.

  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. A handwritten note on another copy indicates that Dobrynin gave Kissinger the note on August 10. (Ibid., Kissinger Office Files, Box 73, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Apex) According to his Record of Schedule, Kissinger met Dobrynin on August 10 from 5:34 to 5:52 pm. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76) In an August 10 memorandum to Kissinger, Lord and Rodman prepared background material for his meeting with Dobrynin on several issues, including: the Soviet-Indian treaty, the recent Arbatov article in Pravda on U.S. China policy, Berlin, and SALT. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 66, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Dobrynin Backup (Talkers) [2 of 3]) No record of the conversation has been found.
  2. See Document 284.