99. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

334. For the Secretary from Ambassador. Ref: Moscow 325.2

Muskie party got red carpet treatment but no concessions, and very little publicity in Soviet press. It is interesting that case was the same with Hubert Humphrey and Arthur Goldberg when they were [Page 297] here in summer 1969.3 Dobrynin remarked to me Soviets knew very well who would be around for some time to come.
Senator and Harriman conducted themselves responsibly, making it clear they were speaking unofficially and had no mandate to negotiate. They stressed the importance of peaceful solutions in talks on Vietnam, SALT, the ME, and Berlin. Senator supported President’s Vietnam policy by stating that American public accepted idea that President intends to end war. Senator also noted importance for US public opinion of POW issue, and suggested Soviets could play role in resolving POW question. In turn this could help US-Soviet relations. Harriman said his position on Vietnam well known and he paid tribute to assistance given him by Soviets in getting Paris talks started.
They also defended our general military posture by reference to decreased expenditures of last two years. (Senator here took some credit for supporting such decreases in Congress.) Muskie urged broadest possible SALT agreement, noted that negotiators were not pessimistic on course of talk. He diverged from official policy in reiterating his proposal for six-months’ freeze on offensive and defensive weapons.
While forthcoming in support of Brandt’s Ostpolitik and a Berlin settlement, Senator did not give anything away. By implication he linked a CES to satisfactory Berlin solution. In so doing and by adopting a very cautious approach on a CES, he should have dispelled hopes Soviets might have held about differences in US on this issue. Similarly, although touched on only lightly, he gave Kosygin no reason to think he would support any unilateral reduction of US forces in Europe.
While Muskie may have derived some political benefit from trip, his frank and extensive discussion of our policies and problems was undoubtedly helpful here and he was especially effective on Middle East.
We are still working on final notes. In rereading them we are struck by doctrinaire position displayed by Kosygin with Senator. If Senator comes to same conclusion, it will have been a useful experience for him and hopefully moderate any criticism he has of administration’s policies vis-à-vis USSR.
I agreed to the Senator’s strong request that I not report on meetings before he had chance to brief you fully in person since he had earlier accepted my request that EmbOff be permitted to come along to check translations and take notes. Harriman was also very insistent on this point since he had bad memories of occasion after meeting with [Page 298] Khrushchev when his personal remarks, reported by Embassy, were promptly reprinted in US press, while he was still abroad.4 You may wish accordingly to explain to Senator that I sent in full report at your request. If Dept is not given copy of memcons prepared by Muskie staff, we can provide copy from here.5
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL USUSSR. Secret; Exdis; Immediate.
  2. Document 98.
  3. Former Vice President Humphrey and former Ambassador to the United Nations Goldberg were both in Moscow in July 1969 for separate meetings with Soviet officials: Humphrey met Kosygin on July 21; Goldberg met Kuznetsov on July 19.
  4. Reference is probably to the trip Harriman made to Moscow in June 1959 for private talks with Khrushchev.
  5. Not found.