203. Memorandum From President Nixon to Secretary of State Rogers 1

In connection with my decisions concerning Vietnam, I request that you inform all United States representatives engaged in negotiations with the USSR as follows:

All U.S. negotiators should be aware that my purpose is to end the conflict in Vietnam so that its disruptive and diversionary effect on international relations will be ended.

All U.S. negotiators should proceed on the basis of existing instructions.

If their Soviet counterparts should comment on our actions with respect to Vietnam, our representatives should note them and not engage in debate but proceed with the business at hand.

If Soviet representatives should walk out of negotiations or otherwise attempt to disrupt them, American representatives should express regret and emphasize that as far as we are concerned we are ready to proceed with negotiations on their merit.

American representatives concerned with commercial matters should state that it has been my intention, in the context of broadly improving U.S.-Soviet relations, to authorize major steps designed greatly to increase the volume of trade and other types of mutually beneficial cooperation between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Richard Nixon
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL USUSSR. Top Secret; Sensitive; Nodis.