88. Memorandum of Conversation1
- Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, Ambassador of the USSR
- Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
I invited Dobrynin to the White House at his request to see the Chinese films of my Peking visits.2 My parents and Mrs. Dobrynin were there also. At the end, he asked to see me alone for a minute.
Dobrynin told me that his military attaché thought our buildup in Asia was getting very ominous. I said “Anatol, we have been warning you for months that if there were an offensive we would take drastic measures to end the war once and for all. That situation has now arisen.”
Dobrynin said the question now was not the right or wrong of how we got there but what was needed to end it. He thought that the April 24 meeting would be extremely crucial, and he could tell me that his Government had been in touch with Hanoi to make sure that this meeting would take place. He said “Are you prepared to talk and fight at the same time?” I said no, there had to be a rapid end of the war now and it would not be acceptable to us any more to talk while the fighting was going on. Dobrynin said he would transmit this to Moscow. He was sure he would be in touch with me.
- 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. No drafting information appears on the memorandum. The meeting was held in Haldeman’s office at the White House.↩
- Kissinger and Dobrynin met at 3:35 p.m. in Kissinger’s office before viewing the Chinese films at 4 p.m. in the White House Situation Room. (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–1976, Record of Schedule) Dobrynin then gave Kissinger a copy of the floor plan to determine the housing arrangements for the American delegation at the summit in Moscow. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 493, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 10) For Kissinger’s published account of the afternoon, which he described as “a unique exercise of triangular politics,” see White House Years, p. 1117.↩