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

Esteemed Mr. President:

Israel has flagrantly violated the Security Council decision on the cease fire in the Middle East.2 We in Moscow are shocked that the understanding which was reached only two days ago has in fact been rup[Page 607]tured by this action by the Israeli leaders. Why this treachery was allowed by Israel is more obvious to you.

We see one possibility for correcting the situation and fulfilling the understanding . . . in forcing Israel to immediately obey the Security Council decision. We vouch for the Arabs, since the leaders of Egypt and Syria have stated that they will implicitly fulfill the Security Council decision.

We pledged with you, jointly as guarantor-countries, to ensure the fulfillment of the Security Council resolution. In this connection, we propose that the most decisive measures be taken without delay by the Soviet Union and the United States of America to stop the violations of the understanding reached and of the Security Council resolution based on [this understanding].3 We would like to believe that on your part, on the part of the United States Government, everything will be done in order that the Security Council decision and our understanding with you will be implemented. Too much is at stake, not only as concerns the situation in the Middle East, but in our relations as well.

We will be grateful for a speedy response.4

Respectfully,

L. Brezhnev 5
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of Henry A. Kissinger, 1973–1977, Lot 91 D 414, Box 1, Nodis Miscellaneous Docs., Tels., Etc., 1973–1977. Top Secret; Sensitive; Specat. A note at the top of the page reads, “HOTLINE First copy received 12:36 p.m. Oct. 23, 1973.”
  2. A reference to UN Security Council Resolution 338. See footnote 6, Document 143.
  3. Brackets in the original, presumably added during translation of the message.
  4. Nixon replied at 1:10 p.m. that he understood that the Egyptians had violated the cease-fire. He assured Brezhnev that the United States would insist that Israel respect the cease-fire, and he hoped the Soviets would likewise speak with the Egyptians. Nixon reiterated the importance of achieving a cease-fire. For the text of Nixon’s reply, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXV, Arab-Israeli Crisis and War, 1973, Document 246, footnote 3.
  5. Printed from a copy with this typed signature.