69. Backchannel Message From the Presidents’ Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

Following is a note received from our friend today. I have told Dwight to avoid confrontation on the Kremlin and the length of stay until you return. He is preparing a recommended position for your use on these two items which he understands you will handle.

Begin text of note:

“The Soviet leadership suggest to fix the duration of President Nixon’s visit to the Soviet Union as eight days. If this corresponds with the intentions of the President himself.

In this case the arrival of the President in Moscow could be planned for the second part of the day on May 22, and departure from the USSR—by the end of the day on May 30.

As a third city, besides Moscow and Leningrad, we suggest Baku, from where the President could fly directly to Teheran.

The residence for the President and Mrs. Nixon will be in the Kremlin.

A separate appropriate program will be prepared for Mrs. Nixon in accordance with her wishes.”

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 493, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 10. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. Sent from the White House to the Embassy in Mexico City. Kissinger remained on vacation in Acapulco through March 27. According to a notation on the original, Dobrynin delivered it to Haig on March 23. (Ibid.)