173. Memorandum From Helmut Sonnenfeldt of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1


  • US-Soviet Bilateral Negotiations—Next Steps on 1) Science and Technology and 2) Environment

As I mentioned to you, we are now confronted with some urgent operational decisions on the science and technology and environmental negotiations with the Soviets if agreements are to be completed for the Moscow visit. We can always drag our feet later, if necessary.

Science and Technology. OST and its Soviet counterparts would appear to be ready to reach agreement on necessary language for an Agreement in Principle to be announced during the Summit on the US-Soviet decision to establish a Joint Commission on Science and Technology. The Soviets have given us a draft agreement; David’s people have given the Soviet Embassy their technical comments; and David has a draft statement he is ready to negotiate with the Soviets.

David and his principal staffer on this issue depart tomorrow on a two-week swing through Taiwan, South Korea and Japan. Dobrynin has now suggested to them that they stop in Moscow on the way back to tie up loose ends on a science and technology agreement in principle.

It should be kept in mind that we are faced with the bureaucratic problem of State’s non-involvement at this point. State’s lawyers will have to look over any language before it is actually agreed to at the Summit. Perhaps the best way to handle this at this point would be to have David stop in Moscow, negotiate draft ad referendum language, and, upon his return to the US coordinate approval of the language with State and the White House.

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Environment. As you know, Train 2 and State have worked together on an exchange of environmental draft agreements with the Soviets, and the Soviets have suggested that 3 or 4 technical people come to Moscow to work out a pre-Summit draft for approval and implementation at the Summit. (Note: The suggestion is that an environmental agreement—not agreement in principle—be signed at the Summit.) State and CEQ agree with the Soviet suggestion, and CEQ member Gordon MacDonald is ready to lead a US negotiating team. I understand that he has called you; he has called me at least three times asking for a decision. Again, since State and CEQ are agreed, perhaps MacDonald should be given the OK to go to Moscow.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 718, Country Files, Europe, USSR, XXI–A, April 1972 (continued). Secret; Eyes Only; Outside the System. Sent for immediate action. Kissinger initialed approval of both decisions. Attached to an April 29 memorandum from Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger, was David’s statement as approved on April 29 and text of a statement authorizing Science Adviser to the President Edward David to engage in discussion in Moscow. (Ibid.) Other bilateral issues are assessed in memoranda from Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger of April 26 (on natural gas) and of April 29 (on Lend-Lease repayment). (Both ibid.) Attached to a memorandum from NSC staff secretary Jeanne Davis to Eliot, May 23, is an April 27 memorandum from Sonnenfeldt to Kissinger, on nuclear fuel supply policy. (Ibid., Box 719, Country File, Europe, USSR, Vol. XXII, May 1972)
  2. Russell Train, chairman, Council on Environmental Quality.