322. Transcript of a Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

D: How’s the weather?

K: Perfect. I am sitting with Ken Rush and I don’t know what we will do on a govt. to govt. level but when he says nice things of Abrasimov tensions have reached (a good point).

D: Gromyko has asked me to tell you about Berlin that from our side we are not going to make any change about this agreement which was made by the Ambassadors. You mentioned yesterday2 that somebody changing—

K: Don’t worry about it.

D: Not a single change from our side.

K: You understand the problem here. I understand it so let’s let it be handled in Bonn. If any problem Rush will be back next week. We are standing behind the agreement but perhaps some exchanges but not on a high level.

D: For your information, we are not going to make—

K: We will not escalate to a govt. level.

D: I and my govt. give assurances what has been done by 4 ambassadors.

K: But we must do it in our way.

D: I would like to send you—Secy. called me today and said no objection on the West Berlin text.3 You handled it beautifully.

K: It took work but we have got it. They are going to suggest a drafting change but react as you want.

D: I am not in this.

K: I have kept it a low level and we will not escalate to our level.

D: I have talked with you and yesterday the Secy. called on his own. [omission in transcript]

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K: Would you do that?

D: On this formal (former?) thing, it’s not my business at all.

K: Tell Gromyko to handle normally and we are standing by the agreement. We will stand by our words. There may be some need to make—

D: It’s up to them to do. If they have something for ambassadors to discuss.

K: Probably can be handled at technical level.

D: I will report from you and the Secy.

K: President seeing Rush and put himself personally behind the agreement.4

D: I hope in two days to give you an answer. It’s the only thing that delays my departure.5

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 27, Dobrynin File. No classification marking. Kissinger was in San Clemente; Dobrynin was in Washington.
  2. See Document 321.
  3. According to his Appointment Book, Rogers called Dobrynin at 9:27 a.m. on August 27. (Personal Papers of William P. Rogers) No record of the conversation has been found.
  4. Nixon and Kissinger met Rush in San Clemente at 9:41 a.m. on August 27. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Central Files, President’s Daily Diary) See Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XL, Germany and Berlin, 1969–1972, Document 324.
  5. Reference is to formal agreement on the text of a summit announcement.