102. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Nixon 1

Dear Mr. President,

I received your letter of May 1,2 which was delivered by Ambassador Dobrynin, and I decided to reply to it immediately.

I share your confidence that the tradition begun at the Moscow meeting last year will be continued at our meeting in the USA by a new series of significant agreements and understandings that will benefit not only the peoples of our two countries but the cause of worldwide peace and progress.

Up to now considerable work has been accomplished in preparing appropriate documents which are to be adopted as a result of the meeting. But there is yet quite much to be done.

We hope that during the forthcoming visit to Moscow by Dr. Kissinger, who, as you wrote, will have detailed instructions from you, we shall be able to make a substantial progress in completing the preparation of those documents.

It applies, first of all, to the agreement on preventing nuclear war.

We shall, undoubtedly, be prepared to discuss with him also the question of what could be an outcome of the discussion at the meeting of the strategic arms limitation problem.

We are now completing the work, taking into account Dr. Kissinger’s formulations, on the draft of the document, proposed by us, regarding the basic principles of negotiations on further limitation of strategic arms. And we shall be, of course, prepared to consider the possibility of reaching a mutually acceptable understanding on the substance of the questions as well.

Another important matter, which, undoubtedly, will be a subject of our discussions with you, is the situation in the Middle East, that, unfortunately, remains extremely dangerous. In order to give, at last, necessary impetus to the Middle East settlement on the basis of the UN Security Council known resolution, it would be important in our view to reach mutual understanding between the USSR and the US regarding the principles on which the settlement should be built. We suggest that [Page 329] the work on such principles be done while Dr. Kissinger is here so that at our meeting they will be finally agreed upon, and corresponding steps will be taken on their basis for the speediest achievment of a settlement in the Middle East.

I was glad to know from your letter that you authorized Dr. Kissinger to review other subjects of mutual interest as well, such as security and cooperation in Europe and the implementation of the Agreement on ending the war and restoring peace in Vietnam. That fully corresponds to our own intentions. We share your opinion that as a result of our meeting even greater impetus be given to the development of mutually beneficial trade and economic relations between the USSR and the US, including those on a long-term basis.

As for preparing for the signing at the meeting of several agreements on cooperation between the USSR and the US in a number of fields of science, technology and agriculture, our drafts of possible agreements of that series have been recently transmitted by Ambassador Dobrynin through Dr. Kissinger,3 and appropriate Soviet agencies are ready to begin at any time the work on agreeing those drafts with their colleagues on the American side.

In conclusion, I would like to say, Mr. President, that I appreciate the attention, that you personally pay to the preparation of our visit to the United States. We would like to believe that visit will be fruitful as it is being expected by both sides.


L. Brezhnev 4
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 68, Country Files—Europe—USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 17. No classification marking. A handwritten notation at the top of the page reads: “Handed to HAK by Vorontsov, 7:15 pm, May 3, 1973.”
  2. Document 101.
  3. On April 30, Dobrynin delivered draft agreements to Kissinger on agriculture; contacts, exchanges, and information; ocean exploration; peaceful uses of atomic energy; and transportation. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 70, Exchange of Notes Between Kissinger and Dobrynin, Vol. 5)
  4. Printed from a copy with this typed signature.