192. Notes on Talks Between Secretary of State Kissinger and Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko 1

Note: The conversation was sporadic and in large part private.

1. It was agreed that the Minister and the Secretary would sign the protocols of the Standing Control Commission.

2. It was agreed that there would be a review, later that day, in Moscow of remaining issues in the underground test limitation agreement. Gromyko referred to removing “mistakes” in the text as it then stood.

3. Gromyko said that the agreement on limiting environmental modification techniques should be stronger than “restraint.”

4. PNEs

Kissinger: You will be able to continue as before for a year and a half, which will give us time to work out a protocol.

Gromyko: We must work out the date for stopping military explosions—March 1, 1976.

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Kissinger: Well, July, 1976.

Gromyko: Then both sides agree to work out steps regarding peaceful explosions as soon as possible but we would not mention a date. This would not be a condition for the first agreement [on military underground tests].

Kissinger: Well, we cannot permit PNEs after the agreement goes into effect.

Gromyko: We should agree to put the agreement into effect even before the date [of an agreement on PNEs]. There should be no formal “string.” People would not understand that since we talk of peaceful uses all the time. But we should get an agreement on PNEs even before the effective date of the TTB—whether that is March 1 or July 1, 1976 is not material. There should be no problem. The US is also interested in it. And there would be no obstacle to having observers.

Kissinger: Perhaps we can express it more positively:

“Peaceful explosions can be conducted subject to the following conditions.”

Gromyko: Or “Both sides will make active efforts to reach agreement on peaceful nuclear explosions as soon as possible.”

Kissinger: But we cannot put the TTB into force without agreement on PNEs.

Gromyko: But it should be simple. In any case there is a supreme interest clause in the treaty.

Kissinger: That is not enough; we have to say something specific about PNEs.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Fiels, Kissinger Office Files, Box 77, Country Files—Europe—USSR, Sensitive Memcons, Moscow Summit, June 27–July 3, 1974. Secret; Eyes Only. Drafted by Sonnenfeldt on August 15. The talk took place on an aircraft between Simferopol and Moscow. Brackets are in the original.