265. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Leonid I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU
  • Nikolai V. Podgorny, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR
  • Aleksei N. Kosygin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR
  • Andrei A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Anatoli F. Dobrynin, Ambassador to the USA
  • Andrei M. Aleksandrov-Agentov, Assistant to the General Secretary
  • Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Interpreter
  • Leonid Zamyatin, Director of TASS
  • The President
  • William P. Rogers, Secretary of State
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Martin Hillenbrand, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs
  • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, NSC Senior Staff Member
  • Winston Lord, Special Assistant to Dr. Kissinger


  • Economic Relations; Europe

[In informal conversation before the meeting began, the Soviet leaders, in particular Kosygin, emphasized the importance of Most-Favored-Nation treatment for the Soviet Union, citing the very high U.S. tariff rates for many Soviet products. The President essentially listened without committing himself.

[The Soviet side then said that the meeting would take up European issues. The U.S. side had thought that SALT would be the principal item, and when he heard that Europe would be discussed the President said that he wanted Secretary Rogers and Assistant Secretary Hillenbrand present. He pointed out to the Soviet leaders that Secretary Rogers would have to describe the discussions to the European countries and at home. Dr. Kissinger left the room to call Secretary Rogers.]2

[Page 1024]

Economic Relations

The President: I was talking to Prime Minister Kosygin on MFN. As I told the General Secretary yesterday, I will handle that. I already indicated this to Ambassador Dobrynin at Camp David. I have to get this through the Congress. I have already discussed it with the leaders; if we can get Congressional agreement I will take responsibility.

Chairman Kosygin: That would be a very good thing. I can see that then we will really have a solid basis for the development of our economic ties, because otherwise there can be nothing but talk on this subject and nothing concrete. In fact, we can sell commodities 40% dearer in European markets. So why should we sell to the United States if we can get 40% more in Europe?

The President: That makes sense.

Chairman Kosygin: While we are waiting I can give you some comparable examples: all sorts of heavy equipment, like machine tools and parts of metal cutting machines, power stations, diesels, in short most of the products of the engineering industry that we could sell to the United States would be taxed up to 40%.

Chairman Podgorny: There are some that are even higher.

Chairman Kosygin: Compared to that the general tax [tariff] on goods in other nations is 5% or 7% compared to that of 40% in the United States. There are other examples. On optical equipment, for example, the tax is 50%. On electrical measuring devices and instruments it goes as high as 90%. Can anyone do trade on that sort of basis?

For example, with Canada recently we had a sale of turbines and generators and it was a normal situation where the delegation came over and crossed Siberia and saw our equipment at work and bought very important machinery in the electrical power field, and the tax rates were quite normal.

The President: On the whole economic matter, Patolichev, Rogers and Flanigan had discussions yesterday. We have no problem so far as Export-Import Bank credits are concerned. I can do that unilaterally as President. On MFN I have to go to Congress.3

[Page 1025]

It would be helpful, Mr. General Secretary, if whomever you designate, perhaps Prime Minister Kosygin, could talk to Rogers about this so he can sell it to Congress when he gets there. Don’t you agree, Mr. Ambassador (Dobrynin)?

Ambassador Dobrynin: [gestures to Kosygin]

General Secretary Brezhnev: Very well.

Chairman Kosygin: Well, of course, the solution of the question of Export-Import Bank credits will provide the opportunity to achieve some progress, but ways must be found to get over the MFN problem and seek ways to increase trade.

I have already put this to some American representatives. When we really get trade going it will be quite useful for us to have a bank of our own in the United States, as we do in various countries, such as France, Great Britain, Iran and Turkey, like in many parts of the world. We should either have a bank of our own, or it could take the form of a joint U.S.-Soviet venture.

General Secretary Brezhnev: One specific matter. I think on two occasions an important delegation of American businessmen visited this country. Among the questions discussed was a possible large scale agreement on a joint venture in gas, building in the northern areas of our country special liquid gas plants. This could be a very important project for U.S.-Soviet cooperation. Are you familiar with this, Mr. President, and if so how do you view this matter? Because this would be a question involving both vast quantities and also it would be on a long term basis.

[Secretary Rogers and Assistant Secretary Hillenbrand arrived.]

Chairman Kosygin: The situation right now is this. The representatives of American business circles are suggesting where some of these could be built. We reached preliminary agreement on a gas pipeline in Siberia from Tyumen. The initial duration will be for a period of twenty years and the cost would be somewhere close to $5 billion. The Americans who came here were quite confident that they had almost agreed on this matter with their authorities in the U.S. I don’t know if it has come to your attention. They are quite sure that the total amounts of gas involved would be 25 billion cubic meters, or liquid gas would be 25 million tons. They gave us preliminary projections, a preliminary plan of action which they elaborated for our experts. I made a suggestion to have not just one pipeline but two parallel pipes. Then they made their own additional suggestions. They seemed quite sure a bargain could be struck.

To sum up, I am quite sure there is a basis to study this matter. We are also quite sure that there are enough gas deposits in this area to arrange for a business deal. There is a very important project that could be carried into effect. On account of the credit that would be extended by the American side to us to carry the project into effect, we [Page 1026] could place very significant orders, for example for 3 million tons of sheet steel and important orders in the field of compressors. We would thereby, contribute to a fuller scale of operations important to American industry. We would contribute to a lower American unemployment rate. If correctly presented to the Congress it would be welcomed.

The President: [to Secretary Rogers] Would you say a word on the gas project?

Secretary Rogers: This is a very large project, and we have to consider carefully its feasibility. We as a government have not taken a position as yet. We recognize the point that Premier Kosygin has made. We talked to private parties, and we indicated that we would want to consider any proposals that they make. Up to this time we haven’t taken a position as a government on it.

Chairman Kosygin: That is exactly what the American businessmen said. But they are interested and confirmed what you said, that the U.S. Government has not taken a position yet.

The President: [to Secretary Rogers] Before you came I said that I thought it would be helpful if you could meet with Mr. Kosygin and discuss the specifics on this. They also raised the points of MFN which I said we were prepared to move on with the Congress. Would you like to say a word about that?

Secretary Rogers: I would be happy to meet with Mr. Kosygin and Mr. Flanigan at your convenience. As you know, Mr. President, this involves huge amounts of credits and we have to consider it carefully. Concerning natural gas, actually if we were to extend that amount of credit, we would have to work out the lend-lease settlement. Natural gas involves a very substantial amount of credit, about one-third of what the Export-Import Bank has available.

The President: It also involves MFN?

Secretary Rogers: Credit.

The President: That doesn’t mean that it isn’t possible.

Chairman Kosygin: But this is not just something in our interest alone. It is something of a mutual advantage to both sides.

The President: Oh no.

Chairman Kosygin: This should reflect a mutual desire on our part to develop a cooperation in this field; it is not something that is unilaterally to our advantage.

The President: We would like to work it out altogether, including lend lease, the resolution of that problem. I can move on Export-Import Bank matters, but in regard to MFN I have to go back to the Congress on that. I believe that Kosygin/Rogers discussions would be useful because we get the side of the businessmen, and I would like to hear directly what you have in mind.

[Page 1027]

Secretary Rogers: I have talked to the businessmen. I will be very happy to talk to Premier Kosygin.

Chairman Kosygin: Well, just adding to what has been said now, we have large agreements on the sale of gas with Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany and all the Socialist countries and Italy. In short, we have almost potential consumers of our gas than we need. This should be in the nature of a serious business deal between our two countries.

On the question of lend lease, we think we should set aside a time to discuss that so we know where we are. We should not just float in air so that we can come to a concrete solution on the basis of your proposal and the ones that we have. Certainly that issue is long overdue.

The President: That certainly would help the political climate that we need to get Most-Favored-Nation.

Chairman Kosygin: And here, of course, we must both take a really realistic view of things and remember that after all more than 25 years have passed since the end of the war. None of us can expect very great figures or sums to be involved in solving this matter. On the other hand many in this world want to exploit this matter in their own selfish interest.

Secretary Rogers: The President suggested I say a word about MFN. If we have a satisfactory outcome of the lend lease negotiations and the general relations between the Soviet Union and the United States improve as a result of this visit, and the President supports MFN, then Congress, I think, will follow the President’s lead. It is not an easy matter, but I think whatever the President recommends to the Congress under these circumstances, I think that they should do.


General Secretary Brezhnev: Shall we now turn to the subject that has been suggested we discuss this morning, Europe? If you have no objections, I would like to make a few opening remarks on that question. A discussion of the problems relating to Europe is a very important one indeed, and I believe the reasons for that are understood perfectly well on both sides. Europe is indeed an area which is one of the most densely populated ones in the world. It is an area of enormous economic potential; an area of ancient culture and science. All of these are important matters.

On the other hand, it is also an area where in the past many large-scale wars originated. I need only to mention two world wars and especially the last one which the U.S. was dragged into also. And those wars, particularly the last one, involved very much human suffering and sacrifice. It had a very bad aftermath and had a long term effect on the situation in Europe generally.

[Page 1028]

The question therefore is how to make this area an area of peace and tranquility so that all the peoples of Europe can live in conditions of security, so that we too, and both of us, can be confident that the situation in Europe would not deteriorate. This is certainly not an easy thing to achieve, but it is something that should be the focus of our attention.

In Europe, we have sufficient and quite rich experience of cooperation on various matters. There has been the fighting cooperation of our two nations during the Second World War. There was the fruitful cooperation at the time of the Potsdam Agreement. There has been comparable experience in the post-war period. We regard particularly highly the cooperation of our two nations in the talks on the Berlin agreement and in the matters of the Soviet Union–Federal Republic of Germany and Poland–Federal Republic of Germany Treaties.

However much we value the cooperation in the past, we should not belittle the importance of our role in ensuring the future of Europe, because there are still in Europe the unresolved problems. Very much in the policies of the United States and Soviet Union about Europe would favor not only the interests of Europeans, but also the interests of your country and ours. I should like to say quite frankly that if the U.S. is prepared to take measures to remove the survivals of the past policies of the cold war, the outcome would be an improvement of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. That, too, is a very important aspect of this problem.

And I would like at this point to emphasize again the significance of the concerted policies we both pursued with regard to the problems of West Berlin and the ratification of the treaty. At the same time I wish to state firmly that our line with regard to the Federal Republic of Germany would not be anti-American in character. This is something we said in all frankness to Chancellor Brandt, and this is something we will abide by very strictly. And as a practical step let me say that on May 31 our Supreme Soviet will be ratifying the treaty with the Federal Republic of Germany. As we pointed out in the past, immediately after that we will sign the final protocol on West Berlin so that can be put into effect too. In our view that will not only serve to improve the legal relations between the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic and Poland. It will also have a beneficial effect on the general atmosphere in Europe.

Secretary Rogers: I suggested to Mr. Gromyko that we make the signing on June 3.

General Secretary Brezhnev: I think that seems to be a very acceptable date. We have promised to sign it immediately after ratifying; that is something expected by the Federal Republic of Germany.

Secretary Rogers: There is some suggestion that we delay until June 16, but June 3 is better for us.

[Page 1029]

General Secretary Brezhnev: We feel the sooner the better. We promised they would come into force at the same time, so it seems logical to do it on June 3.

Secretary Rogers: We will try to work it out with the others.

Foreign Minister Gromyko: Good, the British and the French.

General Secretary Brezhnev: That would be a very good thing indeed. In our common policy in Europe it will also be most important to continue to pursue a firm line and not even conceive of the possibility of the violation of boundaries of Europe as they have taken shape in the post-war period. That also is one of the paramount tasks of current foreign policies.

And I would now like to tell you frankly, Mr. President, there have been erroneous, fallacious interpretations of our policy with respect to Europe. Sometimes this is a lack of true knowledge, but more frequently it is deliberate rumors spread to the effect that the goal of our policies is to break the ties that the U.S. has developed with European states. We wish to state in these negotiations that this is very far from the truth. The initiatives that we are taking in Europe, and particularly on the question of European security, pursue a goal that is totally different. We pursue our objective in the interest of not only the European states; we pursue it also with the goal of maintaining and protecting the interest of the Soviet Union and the United States in Europe, if of course, like ourselves, the United States seeks to make Europe tranquil and secure.

In confirmation with what I have said with regard to the goal of the Soviet policy in Europe, we will take into account the role played by the U.S. and U.S.-Soviet cooperation both during World War II and the post-war period, particularly in the earlier talks on the problem of West Berlin and the matter of the ratification of the treaties. We believe it quite normal that in all matters relating to the European Conference and the solution of all serious problems relating to Europe, the United States should participate on an equal footing, even though the United States is not an European nation. This review is confirmation of our views and attitude to the U.S. and to the U.S. being able to defend its own interests in Europe.

Another question to which we attach great importance is the question of preparing and convening an all-European Security Conference. The reasons why we attach importance to this is as follows: We do not see the Conference as an aim in itself. We regard it as one of the possible means that can help bring to fruition the turn that has been discernible toward the normalization of the situation and strengthening of the prospects of securing lasting peace in the continent.

I should like to add the following. Despite the different approaches taken by the U.S. and the Soviet Union to several matters affecting [Page 1030] European politics, the strengthening of security in Europe does in our view correspond to the long-term interests of both the Soviet Union and the United States. And if we both act in that direction—in a direction of building up the guarantee of security of European states—that will insure that there will be no more nuclear war and there will be tranquility in Europe to a far greater extent than attempts to insure that tranquility through the use or threat of nuclear weapons.

We believe that a turn for the better has become discernible in Europe today, and it will be in our view useful if we could take advantage of that fact in order to strengthen that feeling of security and begin a joint effort to prepare for the convening of a European Security Conference. We should therefore endeavor to begin preliminary bilateral consultations on those matters and in a preliminary way we might say a few words about that at this meeting. And we are counting on the positive attitude of the United States toward this matter. We have expressed our views publicly on this question on many occasions and so have quite a few other European states.

As you know, we have spoken in favor of convening this conference even as early as the end of this year. It is quite clear that in one blow it may certainly not prove possible to resolve all the complex problems of Europe, but the important thing is to launch the conference, to get the conference going. It might prove expedient to prolong its work. The important thing is to begin the work, to begin the preparations for the conference.

As in any question such preparations can assume a different form, but as a first suggestion perhaps we could discuss the following: we first begin multilateral consultations in Helsinki. Then, in the first stage of the conference itself the Foreign Ministers of the European states and the United States and Canada could meet to work out an agenda of the conference, to create the necessary bodies, commissions, secretariat and so forth. And then those bodies could get to work in order to elaborate and submit various specific proposals for the consideration of the governments of the European states and the United States and Canada.

Certainly this is not the one and only possible form of addressing ourselves to this problem. Other forms can also be discussed. We are just submitting our own view. This form has in it nothing that can be construed as running against any participants in the conference. Whatever conversations we have on this topic, we should certainly like to emphasize the significance for future developments of our two sides publicly saying something in principle on the problem relating to the European Conference at the conclusion of our meeting here. And you have in principle given your consent to that first meeting. I wish to emphasize that it would be very important indeed to say something at [Page 1031] the conclusion on these subjects because if we don’t there might be all sorts of wrong opinions and misunderstandings in Europe. People would start saying that the U.S. or the Soviet Union was changing their policy. Even if so, by making public reference we would be doing a very good thing and therefore justify the hopes the people in Europe have placed in these talks and in the people of our countries.

And now we have through joint cooperation settled the matter of the ratification of the treaties and the question of West Berlin, another important matter arises and that is a simultaneous admission of the two German states, the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic, to the United Nations. The possible solution to this question would certainly remove much tension in Europe and the sources of friction between us on those grounds. This is a major issue, and we feel we should be entitled to count on the positive attitude of your part on this also.

Although it is an international problem, it also relates to bilateral relations between our two countries. It would help to create a better climate for the relations between us. And that is something to which you made frequent reference during this visit, Mr. President.

Another major issue which concerns not only improving the general climate and relations between our two countries and the relations of our two countries with the states of Europe, but also in line with the interest of generally improving the situation in the world, is the question of the military/political groupings in Europe. You are, I trust, familiar with our position on these matters. We are prepared, together with our allies, to disband military/political groupings in Europe towards a first step to really disbanding military organizations, and we are prepared to initiate consultations with you on this subject.

Those, Mr. President, are in our view just the basic issues we could discuss and talk about with relation to Europe.

The President: Mr. General Secretary, you correctly pointed out our position of agreeing in principle to a European Security Conference, or a European Security and Cooperation Conference. As you know, we have, and you have, the problem of not deciding at this meeting the future of Europe. It is very important, while we agree in principle, that we consult with our allies, you with yours and we with ours. Therefore it is very important that whatever we state here, we will follow through with consultations with our allies.

General Secretary Brezhnev: That’s quite natural.

Chairman Kosygin: Do you think the time will come when there are no allies on your part or on ours, that we are common allies?

The President: Surely. It will take time.

Chairman Kosygin: That’s what we want to achieve. As long as you have your allies and we ours, we are at loggerheads.

[Page 1032]

The President: It is very important we recognize that smaller nations are very sensitive about the relations between the two great powers. Small nations object to having their fate decided by larger ones.

General Secretary Brezhnev: It should not offend them.

Chairman Kosygin: That in fact is why we are so categorically opposed to allegations, these Chinese allegations, about the two superpowers combining to settle all the questions of the world, the affairs of smaller countries. We, for our part, have the immutable position that we respect other countries. And that is our attitude.

[There was a brief discussion about Kosygin and a Deputy Prime Minister for Science.]

The President: He is making a private deal with Mr. Kosygin. As the first nation to send a manned mission to Mars, I will go along.

Chairman Kosygin: I can stand it, can you?

The President: It will take nine months. We will get to know each other very well.

Chairman Kosygin: We will take cognac.

Foreign Minister Gromyko: How could you go without the Foreign Ministers?

Chairman Podgorny: This is not a private deal. We have to give honest thought to who flies.

Foreign Minister Gromyko: Perhaps first there should be a preliminary flight of foreign ministers.

The President: If the foreign ministers don’t come back, we won’t go.

General Secretary Brezhnev: We call Dr. Kissinger to order—keep him away from submarines.

Chairman Kosygin: If we don’t come back, everything will be clear.

The President: Getting to the practical points, as I know the General Secretary likes to do, stated frankly, I see these problems. First to have a meeting this year, 1972, the first meeting of the European Security Conference, would not be possible. It poses for us rather considerable problems. We have elections and the aftermath, and it also poses the problem of participation. We can talk in terms of a meeting in 1973. We can have preliminary discussions take place in the fall of this year. That is realistic. One of the reasons that this meeting we are having now is producing such solid results is because it was well prepared. In a meeting involving all the countries of Europe, the preparations, of course, would be very important. Whereas we two might agree on an agenda, smaller nations have various ideas, and it will take time. 1973 is the time for the meeting to aim for rather than trying to compress it and get it done in 1972.

[Page 1033]

Secretary Rogers: Our allies agree with this. Some of them have elections this fall, like Canada.

The President: You have to know whether you are dealing with a government that will survive or one that’s gone. Preliminary discussions at the proper level, the exploratory discussions, could go forward at the times the European nations and all of us agree.

It’s your thought that these should take place at Helsinki?

General Secretary Brezhnev: That’s where the idea of a conference came to life. Some work has already begun. Since Finland was the initiator we feel that Helsinki should be the city. That seems the general trend of public opinion, that it should be held in Helsinki.

Foreign Minister Gromyko: In fact practically all the countries concerned have indicated their preference for Helsinki, and the U.S. has not in fact registered a negative attitude.

Secretary Rogers: We are talking about preliminary talks, not the conference itself.

General Secretary Brezhnev: That’s exactly our understanding.

The President: The second point, with regard to UN representation of East Germany, this is a problem where we, of course, will have to be guided by the attitude of the Federal Republic. And when the Federal Republic has discussed this matter and indicated it is ready to move forward, we will, of course, cooperate. We will be prepared to discuss it with the British and the French. There is the very sensitive problem of four-power rights that might be affected by this action.

The situation with regard to what the General Secretary was referring to concerning military forces and military blocs is of course much more difficult and is going to require a great deal of time. As the General Secretary and all the representatives here of the Soviet Government are aware, there have been considerable discussions in the NATO community in regard to the possibility of mutual balanced force reductions. This is naturally a matter that cannot be decided in a large conference involving a number of nations that do not have forces. That is why we are suggesting, I know this is a matter of previous discussion. …

General Secretary Brezhnev: Of course, there are such states as Luxembourg, with 90 policemen.

The President: … we have suggested that there should be parallel discussions on the problem of force reductions, parallel discussions at the time going forward with discussions on the European Conference.

General Secretary Brezhnev: Well, how do you visualize that in practice? Let us assume that we have the procedure on the conference that I have suggested, the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Helsinki to discuss matters on the agenda, working bodies, the secretariat, etc. In your view they would also discuss the question of force reductions in parallel? Is that your thinking generally?

[Page 1034]

The President: No. That was the point I was making. We thought that is too large a body for that. Let the countries involved, with forces involved, have discussions; that is the point Dr. Kissinger made in discussions with the General Secretary before.

Chairman Kosygin: But they should proceed in parallel.

General Secretary Brezhnev: In parallel, but different bodies discussing the two different subjects.

Secretary Rogers: We might have the subjects on the agenda and agree to discuss maybe simultaneously, maybe shortly thereafter.

General Secretary Brezhnev: Or perhaps we really need not have them in parallel, perhaps first agree to getting the question of the European Conference out of the way, and then force reductions. But if we discuss the two very important matters of the European Security Conference and force reductions in parallel, perhaps they would get in the way of each other.

The President: If we wait until a multilateral conference, we may never get to parallel discussions.

General Secretary Brezhnev: That matter could be dealt with in parallel but different bodies altogether. We support the earliest possible discussion of that but without hinging these questions together. The crux lies in not tying up these two problems as far as substance is concerned.

Secretary Rogers: I think that as a matter of logic if you are going to have a conference dealing with security certainly one of the most important aspects is forces. Certainly any conference that didn’t cover forces would be lacking something.

The President: Let me suggest, Mr. General Secretary, a procedure for your consideration. I would like to do some thinking on how we do this tactically, the date and so forth. If we could have Rogers and Gromyko have a discussion also and then report back to us, maybe Friday, and by Friday then we can consider this question. They could give us some options.

[General Secretary Brezhnev stands up.]

Chairman Kosygin/General Secretary Brezhnev: Okay.

Chairman Kosygin: Because indeed it would be a very good thing if Secretary Rogers and Gromyko could work on this for our consideration, a kind of program for both of us working toward a European Conference. This would indeed help us remove many questions that otherwise would take months of time.

The President: This is too big a group for technical matters.

Chairman Kosygin: Although certainly there are many people in Europe who live under the impression, perhaps false, that we are holding back preparations for the Conference. If we come to an agreement on this, it would be very useful to remove this impression.

[Page 1035]

General Secretary Brezhnev: Many people in Europe think you oppose the Conference.

The President: Let me emphasize again that although we come to agreement, we must be careful not to irritate our friends—all our friends, we consider all Europe our friends. For example, we wouldn’t want to anger Albania. (laughter) We don’t want to anger them.

Foreign Minister Gromyko: That is a very noble intention.

Secretary Rogers: We don’t want to make Luxembourg mad.

Chairman Kosygin: We heed the words of Luxembourg too.

If, for example, we tell Albania that you regard them as best friend, they will be very glad.

Chairman Podgorny: We are prepared to heed the voice of Luxembourg but Albania takes a different view.

Chairman Kosygin: No exceptions. If they don’t want to take part, what can we do?

The President: Take a country like Austria. It is very important. It is small but in the heart of Europe. We should heed its voice.

General Secretary Brezhnev: The voice of every country should be heeded.

I think we can accept as a basis the view by the President to make Secretary Rogers and Comrade Gromyko get to work, perhaps throughout the night. While we enjoy our sleep they will do work. We have to cherish our time.

The President: They will not see the ballet.

General Secretary Brezhnev: I am sure he’s seen “Swan Lake.”

Secretary Rogers: Not here. I am looking forward to it.

General Secretary Brezhnev: Well, Mr. President, that I feel completes the discussion.

The President: I think we have a direction set. Also on the trade side there will be further discussions with Flanigan and Kosygin.

General Secretary Brezhnev: At nighttime too.

Chairman Kosygin: How shall we divide it? Half the time for me and half the time for Gromyko?

[The Soviet side then suggested that an announcement for both sides be made concerning this meeting. It contained the facts of the date of the meeting, the participants, the atmosphere and that there were signatures of the space and science and technology agreements. President Nixon suggested that the topic for discussion for the meeting be termed “European matters” rather than “European security.” The Soviet side accepted this, and the text of the announcement was agreed to. The meeting then concluded.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 487, President’s Trip Files, The President’s Conversations in Salzburg, Moscow, Tehran, and Warsaw, May 1972, Part 1. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting was held in St. Catherine’s Hall, Grand Kremlin Palace. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the meeting was from 11:34 a.m. to 1:31 p.m. (Ibid., White House Central Files)
  2. All brackets in the source text.
  3. On May 23 Peter Flanigan sent the President a memorandum reporting on this meeting and saying that he and Rogers had clarified the U.S. position on the various possible commercial agreements. He noted that Soviet eligibility for U.S. export credits and the granting of MFN depended on agreement on lend-lease, and that the only unsettled lend-lease item was the amount, with the Soviets offering $300 million and the United States asking for $800 million. Agreement on this could be reached eventually, parallel to the work of the Joint USUSSR Commercial Commission—the establishment of which was to be announced that week—unless the President and Secretary wanted to make a major step by compromising the amount and terms during the summit. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 73, Country Files, Europe, USSR, 1972 Summit, Economic Commission)