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

D: I just arrived from New York.

K: Did you have a good time?

D: Not exactly—it was a very short visit.

K: You called me yesterday.

D: Yes because yesterday I was in New York and Vorontsov was with Mr. Davies at State.2

K: Who?

D: Mr. Davies, Deputy Assistant Secretary dealing with East European affairs. He works for Mr. Hillenbrand.

K: Oh yes, I know who.

D: And he invited Vorontsov yesterday and he mentioned two points. The second, about the gentleman, you know.3

K: Yes, but he doesn’t know anything about it. The Secretary will talk to you about that next week.

D: He put some conditions on it and Moscow will be very angry.

K: There will be no conditions.

D: He already said it.

K: What are they?

D: That we have to give back Mr. [Kudirka] who is a Soviet citizen, an unbelievable demand, and second about the four Americans in East Germany.4 I told Vorontsov to hold this until I came back to Washington to discuss it with you.

K: Let me discuss it with the President. Don’t make this an official thing.

D: Should I drop it with you?

K: Let me talk to the President to make sure.

D: I asked him to hold it because I knew he would send a telegram to Moscow. He put it down in writing.

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K: What I communicated to you was the expression of the President with no conditions attached. The only thing I want to confirm—which I already know the answer to—is that this was not a change made without my knowing it. Let me call you tomorrow morning.

D: I will hold it till tomorrow morning.

K: Could you?

D: Yes. I was so surprised with these changes of mind.

K: There is no change.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry Kissinger Telephone Conversation Transcripts, Box 8, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. No record of the meeting between Vorontsov and Davies on December 16 has been found.
  3. Igor Ivanov.
  4. Not further identified.