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

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your message of March 21, 1974,2 which I have read with great interest.

First of all I would like to tell you, Mr. President, that I highly appreciate and fully share your evaluation of the historic importance of what we already managed to do in the last years in improvement of relations between the Soviet Union and the United States. I agree with you also in that our forthcoming meeting can, and I would say—should demonstrate that the relations of mutually beneficial cooperation between our two peoples are really becoming a permanent factor of the general peace. This is a goal worthy to work for.

The concrete questions listed in your letter undoubtedly merit thorough consideration and I am confident that there exists ample opportunity—provided both sides demonstrate necessary determination, realistic and constructive approach—to come to mutually acceptable agreements which would give appropriate importance to our new meeting.

We will thoroughly discuss in this spirit all these questions with Secretary Kissinger, proceeding from the understanding that he will have as before all necessary powers from you for reaching concrete agreements.

Please accept, Mr. President, my best wishes,

L. Brezhnev 3
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 69, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 22, January–April 1974. No classification marking. Vorontsov’s March 23 covering memorandum to Scowcroft noted that Dobrynin had read the letter to Kissinger over the telephone that day. The transcript of that telephone conversation is ibid., Kissinger Telephone Conversations (Telcons), Box 28, Chronological File.
  2. Document 163.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears Brezhnev’s typed signature.