170. Letter From President Nixon to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev 1

Dear Mr. General Secretary:

I would like to express to you my appreciation for the courtesy and warm hospitality shown to Dr. Kissinger and his colleagues during his recent stay in Moscow. His reports to me while he was in Moscow had already indicated that the discussions were extremely useful. This impression has been strongly confirmed by the detailed oral report which Dr. Kissinger made to me immediately after his return.2 I am convinced that the ground is being successfully prepared for our meetings in May to which I look forward with keen anticipation and I was pleased to hear that you share this view. We have a unique opportunity to open a new and promising chapter in the relations between our two countries. This reflects not only the desires of our two peoples but of peoples everywhere. As we make progress in constructing relations of peace and cooperation, all mankind will benefit.

As regards specific matters, I welcome the spirit of progress with which you spoke to Dr. Kissinger. As he told you, this is precisely the spirit in which I and my Administration approach these matters also. What has been achieved on Dr. Kissinger’s trip gives great promise; I am sure our talks will bring it to completion.

I know that in the period left before our meetings, both sides will intensify their work to ensure the success both of us desire. My own preparations will benefit greatly from Dr. Kissinger’s discussions in Moscow.

Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 494, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 11. Top Secret. An unsigned handwritten note indicates the letter was delivered to Vorontsov by messenger at 4 p.m. on April 25. According to a typed note attached to another copy, the letter was “machine signed (in a matter of 5 minutes) at HAK’s direction and hand carried to Minister Vorontsov.” (Note from Muriel Hartley to Haig, April 25; ibid.) A draft with Kissinger’s handwritten revisions including the sentence: “What has been achieved on Dr. Kissinger’s trip gives great promise; I am sure our talks will bring it to completion,” is ibid.
  2. See Document 168.