195. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Andrei A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
  • Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador to the USA
  • Georgiy M. Korniyenko, Member of the Collegium of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chief of USA Division
  • Oleg Sokolov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Mr. Zaitsev, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (interpreter)
  • Oleg Krokhalev, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (interpreter)
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Amb. Walter J. Stoessel, U.S. Ambassador to the USSR
  • Major General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counselor to the Department of State
  • Arthur A. Hartman, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs
  • William G. Hyland, Director, State Department, Bureau of Intelligence and Research
  • Harold H. Saunders, NSC Senior Staff
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff


  • Test Ban; Environmental Warfare; Communiqué

Test Ban

Gromyko: If there are no objections, let us go underground.

Kissinger: Fine. How is your toothache?

Gromyko: Thank you very much. I needed an hour and a half to put aside for that. But with all these documents to sign, I can’t. When we have finished, my war with the doctor will stop.

Let’s turn to a starting date. We thought first we would start on the 1st of January [1976].

Kissinger: Impossible.

Gromyko: Impossible.

Kissinger: How about May 27, my birthday?

Gromyko: Let’s try March 1 as a compromise.

Kissinger: Let us say April 15.

[Page 977]

Gromyko: That is a bad month.

Dobrynin: It is not a good time.

Kissinger: At the beginning of March you will find underground water is so deep that you can’t do it. I was trying to help Morokhov.

No, April 15 is the realistic figure we gave you.

Gromyko: I will give you one figure, and please don’t try to presuade me. March 31. Try the peanuts there and agree.

Kissinger: Now that you are trying to bribe me.

Gromyko: 31st of March.

Korniyenko: Without the peanuts.

Kissinger: April 15 with peanuts.

Gromyko: Let’s take this time our compromise solution.

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: The 31st of March. Let’s go to the third article. [Draft text is at Tab A.]2

You have any reservations?

Kissinger: No.

Gromyko: Then we accept. “Underground nuclear explosions for peaceful purposes shall be governed by an agreement . . .”

Kissinger: I want the record to be absolutely clear on this, on what position we will take with our Congress. We will strongly defend this treaty but we will also point out that we cannot deposit ratification until this is settled.

Gromyko: Each side will be responsible for its own actions. This is the responsibility of the Administration, how it defends. All right. Article Five. In that form as we already agreed, excluding the words “including consideration of reducing the levels,” that we accept.

Kissinger: Within the context of what we discussed yesterday.3

Gromyko: Yes.

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: Now 3rd became 2nd. Is it recorded? The former 3rd becomes the 2nd paragraph.

Kissinger: The sixth article becomes paragraph three of the fifth article.

Gromyko: We are speaking about Article Five.

Kissinger: These texts have already been compared. It is accepted.

[Page 978]

Gromyko: Tell me. Have you become [more] realistic than yesterday about joining of other countries to the agreement?

Kissinger: No.

Gromyko: It is a pity.

Kissinger: I am a slow student. I don’t think you want to exchange geological data with the Chinese. So we are doing it out of friendship.

Gromyko: The Chinese scared you.

Kissinger: Scared me? They have Senator Jackson there;4 they are happy. I wish they would keep him.

Gromyko: How many millions did they bring to meet him?

Kissinger: I don’t think they did.

Dobrynin: It was very quiet.

Gromyko: Thus, you are too sensitive as far as this good article is concerned.

Kissinger: We will put it in some other treaty. We will save it. How about the artificial heart machine?

Gromyko: We already signed it.5

All right. We are sorry, and I say that frankly. Just because you stress too much importance to that, to turn it into a barrier.

So the Sixth Article goes away.

Kissinger: The third paragraph of the Sixth Article becomes the third paragraph of the fifth.

Gromyko: Right.

Kissinger: When do we sign it?

Gromyko: Tomorrow. It seems you have changed your view. Our thought would be today.

Kissinger: It is not a political decision. Our people thought it better for the press . . . We very rarely think about public relations in this Administration.

Gromyko: Now we are on the protocol. [Tab B]6

Kissinger: Right.

Gromyko: We went a long way as far as concessions to the Americans on this.

Kissinger: We came a long way too. We gave up two paragraphs. But we need that paragraph (d).

Gromyko: Already, I turned.

[Page 979]

Kissinger: You accept it?

Gromyko: I accept it. Right. Will the American side appreciate this gesture?

Kissinger: Yes. Quite seriously, we recognize you’ve made a big concession.

Gromyko: We think you will be more understanding when we discuss the natural factors. Environmental factors.

Kissinger: I have already made a proposal. Your Ambassador rejected your proposal of yesterday.

Dobrynin: I said it was too weak.

Kissinger: Just to finish on the protocol: There are a number of brackets that follow.

Gromyko: Yes.

Kissinger: We don’t have to review them all.

Gromyko: Tomorrow is the signing.

Kissinger: What time is it?

Gromyko: There is a reception at 1:00 p.m. and we shall arrange it so we sign it and the reception comes immediately afterward.

Kissinger: Good. We sign the treaty, the ABM agreement—we see where we are on environment—and the communiqué.

Gromyko: Right.

Kissinger: And the comprehensive SALT Agreement.

Korniyenko: And the two Geneva Protocols.

Kissinger: The SCC documents.

Gromyko: Yes.

Kissinger: We will announce that Kissinger and Gromyko will sign two secret agreements. With loopholes.

Gromyko: How many? Six?

Korniyenko: Six.

Gromyko: With environment, it will be six.

Kissinger: Including SALT?

Gromyko: You are in an extra good mood today. All right.

Environmental Warfare

Now, let’s pass to the subject of environment.

Kissinger: I made the mistake of discussing with your Ambassador who, as always, was not correctly briefed.

Yesterday when we discussed the question of dealing with the dangers of use, there was some dispute about it. We will accept any reasonable interpretation. So we could accept that language that yesterday I withdrew. We will reserve our position for the conference. “Both [Page 980] sides,”—this formula—“advocate the broadest possible measures to deal with the dangers of the use of environmental modification techniques for military purposes.”

[He hands the text of Tab C to Gromyko. They translate to themselves and discuss in Russian.]7

Gromyko: The Russian text—“to deal with.” You are better experts in English, and we vice versa. In Russian we will say “with purpose of elimination.”

Dobrynin: Or “doing away with.”

Gromyko: This is the formulation. Does it give this, or does it give permission? Removal or permission.

Dobrynin: “Overcome the dangers.”

Sonnenfeldt: “Overcome the dangers.”

Kissinger: Then we will say the same thing.

Gromyko: It seems to us, though not very strong, “overcome” is a little bit more definite than “deal with.”

Kissinger: I agree, but with the Russian equivalent.

Gromyko: “Ustranyenie”

Stoessel: That means to eliminate. “Udalyenie.”

Dobrynin: “Ustranyenie” means removing the dangers.

Gromyko: We don’t want to mislead you; neither do we want to mislead ourselves. If it gives the impression of permission, it is not our intention.

Kissinger: If someone is deceived, it is better it be you than we.

Let’s be realistic. We understand your position; your position will be to eliminate. We can’t yet state this in a document. Our position is we do not exclude it; you are free to discuss it, but we want a more flexible phrase. “Overcome the dangers” is all right. But we do not want to be told at the first meeting of the Conference that we have already agreed to elimination of it.

This will be well received in America. Therefore unless we are forced into it, if you don’t give any explanation, we won’t give any explanation.

We may have to give an internal explanation to our government, but not publicly. I don’t think it will come up at a press conference, but if it does, I will say the meaning of “overcome” will be determined by negotiation.

Gromyko: I told you we won’t give any explanation. We will use the word “ustranyenie.” To make it stronger we would use the word “liquidate.”

[Page 981]

Kissinger: Is there a weaker word?

Stoessel: “Preodolyenie.”

Dobrynin: That makes no sense.

Gromyko: We cannot just play games in Russian. We will take the most flexible expression which shows a tendency and direction. Our intention is liquidation of the danger.

Kissinger: What you desire we understand. But this is a joint document. We understand what position you will take in the negotiation.

Dobrynin: That is why we agree to a weaker word.

Gromyko: We won’t give any official interpretation. But our intention is to act for peaceful purposes.

Kissinger: I don’t know what the Russian will say. But the record could not be clearer. You are free to give your interpretation.

Dobrynin: The Foreign Minister said he won’t give any interpretation.

Kissinger: All right. We accept.

Gromyko: I suggest the following: “Joint Statement,” while we just delete the subtitle which follows.

Kissinger: I agree.

Gromyko: I will just read it through in Russian. [He reads it through aloud quickly in Russian.]

Kissinger: “Have agreed on the following: To advocate . . .”

Dobrynin: Infinitive.

Gromyko: “The United States of America and the USSR . . . to advocate.” It doesn’t make sense.

Hyland: “Have agreed on the following:”

Kissinger: You can say what you want in Russian.

Korniyenko: “Effective” instead of “broadest.”

Gromyko: Let us say “effective.”

Kissinger: “Most effective measures possible”? That is fine.

Gromyko: “To advocate the most effective possible measures,” I repeat “most effective possible measures to overcome the dangers of the use of environmental modification techniques for military purposes.”

Kissinger: I suggest one modification. “Most effective measures possible.” It reads better.

Dobrynin: We are for elegance.

Gromyko: All right. How about, instead of “experts” in the next paragraph, putting “representatives.”

Kissinger: All right. I shouldn’t agree so easily.

[Page 982]

Gromyko: It is not too late to withdraw! Maybe scientists, diplomats.

Kissinger: It is more inclusive.

Dobrynin: Maybe one of his assistants will go.

Kissinger: I want to send my assistants to be observers of the nuclear tests.

The only thing is—it is purely stylistic—instead of saying “they decided,” “they agreed,” we will just say “to advocate,” “to hold,” and “to discuss.”

Gromyko: All right.

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: Mr. Secretary, our opinion—I don’t know what is your opinion—is maybe it is worthwhile to sign this document at the highest level.

Kissinger: I agree. That means all the documents tomorrow will be signed at the highest level, except the SCC.

Gromyko: Yes.

Kissinger: And SALT.

Gromyko: Maybe the angels will be invited too.

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: Now the technical verification.

Kissinger: Our Ambassador will consult with Korniyenko.

Gromyko: All right.

Kissinger: On the Consultative Commission, are the technical papers all done?

Dobrynin: All purified in Geneva.


Kissinger: All right. The Communiqué. [Tab D]8

Mr. Foreign Minister, there are a few stylistic things which the translators have found. We won’t discuss here; we will only discuss the substance. Just to give an example, in paragraph 8, “the first U.S.-Soviet meeting in May 1972,” we don’t need “first.” Because there were other U.S.-Soviet meetings. I won’t bother you with that.

Gromyko: The Communiqué. The first page, nothing. On the second page, there was an American suggestion which we accepted. “Security and peaceful coexistence.” It is now combined.

Kissinger: Why do we have a paragraph 9A?

Dobrynin: We will eliminate the numbers. This is a working paper.

[Page 983]

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: Page 3, no remarks.

Kissinger: Just to show you the technical points, we took out “previous” and added “in 1972 and 1973.”

Gromyko: Point four, beginning of second chapter. Something on strategic. Did you prepare the text?

Kissinger: Let’s decide what we want to say.

Gromyko: Right now I think it is clear; the time is not ripe for signing some document here. Let’s come to an idea put by you yesterday. It is not going against our desire. I wouldn’t say we are filled with enthusiasm, because this is a direction. Aside from the desire to carry out a negotiation and find a common language, it seems both sides have it. So let us say so in an appropriate way in this paragraph: “The sides are completely determined to carry out negotiations to reach a long-term agreement.” “Long-term,” without specifying what we mean; maybe it will indicate it will be up to 1985; and further we will say . . .

Kissinger: Should we mention 1985?

Gromyko: This is just a suggestion to discuss.

Kissinger: I am not opposed.

Gromyko: “Both sides are convinced this would meet the interests of the two powers, the interest of further improvement of their relations, as well as the interest of further international détente and strengthening world peace. The sides agree to immediately begin negotiations with the purpose of concluding such an agreement, having in mind to reach agreement before the termination of the present agreement.”

Kissinger: That means before 1977.

Gromyko: Right. This is a three-year period. This will seem enough time to carry out serious negotiations. In this we don’t have any one-sided interest whatever.

Kissinger: My problem with this formulation for the United States is, first, it is a tremendous step backward from last year when we said we would conclude an agreement in 1974. Now we are saying we are going to conclude an agreement before 1977.

Gromyko: Let’s say “not later than.”

Kissinger: But that makes no difference. Secondly, it is in the Interim Agreement already. I suggest we say, “to conclude a ten-year agreement within a year.”

Gromyko: When does that period begin? The departing point?

Kissinger: From 1975. From 1975 to 1985. Ten years starting next year.

[Page 984]

Dobrynin: Then we will continue the Interim Agreement.

Kissinger: We can either replace the Interim Agreement or say that on the conclusion of the Interim Agreement, the next eight years will be governed by a new one.

Dobrynin: We can’t write both variants.

Kissinger: It is not an issue of principle for us. We can say, “to conclude next year an agreement for a ten-year period.”

Gromyko: If we specifically mention 1975, it would be unrealistic. Doesn’t it bother you?

Kissinger: It depends. I don’t know if you had a chance to discuss the idea I proposed to you.

Gromyko: That will be the subject of further discussion.

Kissinger: Because if something like that were in mind, we could negotiate something fairly quickly. The idea I gave your Ambassador this morning. Not the figures, but the idea.

Gromyko: I mentioned the same idea. Yesterday evening we began to discuss it.

Kissinger: Right. We have this problem—how what we do here will be interpreted in the United States. It can be interpreted as meaning there is a total deadlock and we have simply agreed to replace the Interim Agreement in 1977. Some have said the Soviets will never settle until 1977 and let’s just have a race until 1977. It won’t give us a basis to attack the Jackson group. And therefore we have no basis for a domestic debate this year. Or we can lay out a more concrete perspective, like saying a ten-year program, to be concluded next year, to replace the Interim Agreement.

Gromyko: You can say it; we can’t say it. “The sides will make efforts to conclude it next year,” or “will do their best.”

[The U.S. side confers.]

Kissinger: I am trying to decide what it is that we can say we have achieved here or that we have agreed here. If we would say “we will immediately begin negotiations to replace the Interim Agreement with new arrangements through 1985,” then “keeping in mind,” and so on and so forth. I think something like that . . .

Gromyko: So it will be concluded in 1975?

Kissinger: We don’t have to say that.

Gromyko: Would you say it is possible? We don’t have any one-sided interest.

Kissinger: I understand.

Gromyko: We will say what we have in mind.

Kissinger: Give me five minutes to edit this.

[Kissinger works on the draft in front of him.]

[Page 985]

I have looked into the deployment of B–1. The device isn’t finished yet that plays the national anthem automatically of the country it’s flying over. If you were smart, you would require in the SALT agreement that we deploy the B–1 as rapidly as possible; we would go bankrupt.

We will get this retyped [the draft of the SALT paragraph] and we’ll go to other subjects.

Gromyko: I just read carefully this joint statement on environment. There is one stylistic correction. In the third paragraph it says, “to establish such measures.” There arises a question of what kind. It has in mind the measures in paragraph one. In between there are two paragraphs, so we should say “the measures provided for in paragraph one.”

Kissinger: I agree. “Referred to in paragraph one.” But I don’t like the word “establish.” “To bring about.”

Sonnenfeldt: “To institute.”

Gromyko: Measures can’t be instituted; they are brought about.

Kissinger: I would also propose taking out the word “also.” “To discuss what steps may be carried out to bring about the measures referred to in paragraph one.”

Gromyko: We need “also” because there are other steps.

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: So, to the Communiqué. On page five, there are American and Soviet texts on the underground.

Kissinger: Our paragraph 18.

Dobrynin: Yes.

Kissinger: Yes, 18. What is the problem?

Gromyko: Would you take the end of this paragraph?

Kissinger: No.

Gromyko: What would you take?

Kissinger: “Comprehensive.”

Dobrynin: There is no difference.

Kissinger: If there is no difference, we reject it on stylistic grounds. If there is a difference, we reject it on substantive grounds.

We don’t mind including all weapons; we do mind making an appeal to all countries.

Gromyko: “Comprehensive” means . . .

Kissinger: All weapons.

Gromyko: All right. We agree.

I will read the insertion on underground.

Dobrynin: This is new.

[Page 986]

Gromyko: “Desiring to contribute to achievement of this goal, the USA and the USSR concluded, as an important step in this direction, the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests . . .”

Kissinger: All right. I agree. You just changed the reference to an agreement before the end of the year.

We will improve the English a little bit but we accept the substance.

Gromyko: Non-proliferation. American and Russian texts. Let’s take ours. It expresses the position as it was demonstrated several times, not only by the Soviet Union but the United States.

Kissinger: May I make a suggestion? Your Ambassador has a checklist; he tries to predict what I will do. Then he grades himself. We can accept your text, including the reference to Article VI, except the last clause. Up through “increasing its effectiveness.” We agree with the principle but just don’t want to express it in a document.

Gromyko: China again?

Kissinger: France, as always.

Gromyko: All right, let’s end it with “its effectiveness.”

Kissinger: We should have a talk on non-proliferation outside this room. Because we are serious about it.

Gromyko: All right. Outside.

Kissinger: Then 19.

Dobrynin: About environment.

Kissinger: Do we need it? Let Korniyenko and Sonnenfeldt redo it in the context of the statement.

Gromyko: All right. [He reads aloud paragraph 20 on chemical weapons, in Russian.]

Dobrynin: “Dealing with” or “banning.” The old story. [They confer in Russian.]

Gromyko: Good. We take it. Although we don’t share that cautiousness, we stand ready to accept this.

Kissinger: “Dealing with.”

Gromyko: Yes. But the words “as a first step” should be inserted before “international convention.” Just stylistic.

Kissinger: What are you saying in Russian for “dealing with”?

Gromyko: “Kasayushchiisya.”

Kissinger: You don’t want to put that into the Joint Statement on environmental warfare?

Dobrynin: Paragraph 31, second part.

Kissinger: Please.

[Page 987]

Gromyko: Let us make it this way, approximately to express what we already discussed before. “Both sides proceed from fact . . .” This was said last year.

Kissinger: How can they proceed from the fact that isn’t a fact yet?

Gromyko: Last year. Maybe it is not perfect in English.

Dobrynin: Henry, last year it was said, “both sides proceed from the assumption . . .” Both ways. You will repeat “assumption;” we will do it the same in Russian.

Kissinger: All right.

Zaitsev: “We proceed from the assumption that . . .” in English.

Gromyko: Now we take the second page out.

Now, the Middle East. [Paragraph 36] I would like to ask what kind of doubts are caused by our text?

Kissinger: I want to consult the Consul-General of the PLO on my staff. You know Mr. Saunders?

[Kissinger goes out to confer privately with Saunders, and then returns.]

Our objection to your draft is that “well known UN resolutions” may raise questions as to which UN resolutions are more well-known. “Legitimate rights of the peoples of the area” introduces a nuance which we have tried to avoid. Those are the most important reasons.

Gromyko: Is that all?

Kissinger: Yes.

Gromyko: Let’s make a decision. Let’s take your text and correct it: “in which should be taken into account the legitimate interests . . .”

Kissinger: All right. Provisionally, yes. [He studies it.]

Gromyko: You have doubts about your text?

Kissinger: As long as it was drafted by the Arab wing of the State Department. [Kissinger confers with Saunders.] He thinks Arafat will like it.

Gromyko: He will, because there is no mention of 242, while there is mention of 338.9 We drafted it together.

Kissinger: All right. Fine.

Gromyko: Now, you know about the Geneva Conference.

Dobrynin: He is speaking about paragraph 38.

Gromyko: Did you order a coffin already for the Conference?

Kissinger: We had a very constructive talk on reconvening it.

[Page 988]

Korniyenko: Just “close review”?

Gromyko: Something like this: “As co-chairmen of the Conference, the Soviet Union and the United States consider that this Conference should be convened,” or “should resume its work as soon as possible, with the participation of all sides concerned, including representatives of the Palestinian people.”

Kissinger: Some nuances are not fully acceptable, like the Palestinians.

Dobrynin: You prefer “the Arab people of Palestine?”

Kissinger: This is your full text?

Gromyko: “Main purpose of the Conference is the achievement . . .” No, that “it should promote on the basis of known decisions of the United Nations a just and stable peace in the Middle East which would secure . . .”

Kissinger: No sense repeating all of that. It is said above.

Gromyko: No, the task of the Conference is set. “To promote a just and stable peace in the Middle East.” “In the Middle East,” period, and add one more phrase: “It is agreed the Soviet Union and the United States will maintain close contact . . .”

Dobrynin: That is already agreed. Paragraph 37.

Gromyko: What is bad in this text?

Kissinger: You know, first, it’s the Palestinians. But you didn’t expect me to accept it, so we won’t have a big fight about it. We accept the sense of it otherwise, and if you give me the text, we will edit it and give it back to you at the end of the plenary session.

Gromyko: Just a minute. I will give it to you. [He edits the English text.]

Kissinger: By the end of the plenary session I will give you a version. I am sure we will settle it in 15 minutes.

Gromyko: Maybe you can accept it, its beauty.

Kissinger: I just don’t want Sadat to make a rapid movement twice a year. To shift sides.

Gromyko: Perhaps you know a bit better how to do it.

Kissinger: No.

Gromyko: Indochina. On our text: 13, no, 14 no, 15 no.

You know, as far as the Communiqué is concerned, we have nothing to do further.

Kissinger: SALT. It is here. [He hands over a new U.S. draft, Tab E. Gromyko reads it.]10

[Page 989]

Gromyko: “Replaced” shows a long shadow already over the agreement.

Kissinger: “Superseded.”

Gromyko: Let’s talk about the new agreement. This is first. Then “based on the principle of equality and essential equivalence”—it gives grounds for doubts, for discussion and doubts. It is unnecessary specification for this communiqué, unnecessary details. The same can be said about [the reference to] SLBMs.

Kissinger: What do you want to say?

Gromyko: A more general formulation.

Kissinger: It doesn’t give any percentages.

Gromyko: Even the man in the street will get a headache reading it. [He reads over the U.S. draft.] “The two sides will energetically pursue negotiations leading to completion of a new agreement well before expiration of the present agreement.” Then, “their delegations will reconvene in Geneva on the basis of new instructions growing out of this summit.” What means “new instructions”? It is too complicated for this particular case. I tell you frankly. It is not possible. Let us express it in a more general form. Not the text, but let me try. [Korniyenko passes him a paper.]

Kissinger: Korniyenko was just sitting at the typewriter and it came out.

Gromyko: This a text: To give you an idea how we understand the task.

Zaitsev [reads:] “In the course of the talks both sides subjected to a thorough and deep review the question of possible conclusion of a long-term agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States on a further limitation of strategic arms. They expressed their determination to achieve an appropriate agreement before expiration of the Interim Agreement on Certain Measures with Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms signed in Moscow in May 1972. They hold the common view that a new agreement will correspond not only to the interests of the Soviet Union and the United States but also to the interests of further relaxation of international tensions and of universal peace. It was agreed that talks with this aim in mind will be started immediately.”

Gromyko: 1985 should be in it.

Kissinger: You can add it in yours. It has to be added.

I think it will be interpreted by our press as a total stalemate in light of what we have said. And we wanted to be more specific, without saying anything, at least to cover the topics they know we were discussing.

[Page 990]

Gromyko: It will be a telling blow to an agreement. Everyone on the street would just say: They gathered together and just blew up this agreement.

Kissinger: I understand. I don’t have your text in front of me, but I wonder if it is not possible to combine your text with ours. Specifically, I don’t object to your first sentence, if we have 1985 in it.

Gromyko: OK, we can do that.

Kissinger: That is fine. I think as a minimum. First, we don’t need “replace;” we can say “follow-on.”

Zaitev: That will follow on the Interim Agreement.

Kissinger: So we don’t use the word “replace.” We don’t insist on the word “replace.”

Gromyko: Preliminary we will.

Kissinger: What we do want is the sentence I underlined here, which at least explains what the agreement is about. It basically says nothing. [He hands over another copy of Tab E with the sentence underlined, “Such a new agreement shall include limitations on the numbers of ICBM and SLBM launchers for each side, as well as on numbers of those ICBM and SLBM launchers that may be equipped with MIRVs.” They study it.]

Gromyko: We can use your last phrase, except for the word “new.” It should say “instructions growing out of this Summit.”

Kissinger: All right.

Gromyko: We are talking only about the last phrase.

Kissinger: But the problem is, Mr. Foreign Minister, we are going to be asked what is this new agreement going to be about.

Gromyko: You can say this is what the negotiation is about.

Kissinger: The headline will be “total collapse of SALT negotiations.” This is the only conclusion possible.

Gromyko: I don’t draw that conclusion. There are not grounds.

Kissinger: There may not be grounds, but that is what the conclusion will be.

Gromyko: No one will understand it.

Kissinger: For Americans it will give the impression of great precision. No one knows the difference between SLBMs and the New York subway.

Gromyko: You know the number of issues being discussed; the abbreviations you discussed do not take into account all of these. All this is a gross oversimplification.

Kissinger: I tell you, as an expert on our publicity, that this will give the impression of a total failure of the negotiation, leading us to look for an entirely new basis. Which is not entirely untrue.

[Page 991]

I don’t insist on the last sentence—that sentence we discussed.

Gromyko: Where it says in our text “further limitation of strategic arms,” with an indication of concrete measures. But I will have to report.

Kissinger: How about including “both numbers and technical characteristics”?

Gromyko: Mr. Kissinger, that it is not necessary to say. Regarding specific categories or types of strategic arms, without naming them, there are a lot of factors which cannot be put in this Procrustes Bed.

Kissinger: That is why I say “including numbers of strategic weapons as well as their technical characteristics.” We said that last year.

Gromyko: “Which would embrace both qualitative and quantitative aspects of these arms.” “Which would concern the qualitative and quantative sides of these arms.” Like that?

Kissinger: I would like to say it more precisely.

Gromyko: If you say that, I would like to put it down and think it over: “Concerning the qualitiative and quantitative sides of these arrangements.”

Kissinger: Could I see your text?

[Korniyenko gives him the paper. Kissinger reads it.]

Gromyko: Do not consider it a proposal. It is just a suggestion.

Kissinger: Let us take it and work alone on it for half an hour. We can’t make progress here. We will meet again here afterwards.

There are two things: the Middle East, which shouldn’t be difficult, and this. Otherwise it is agreed.

Gromyko: This a working paper. I came here without a single word.

Kissinger: I know that. I understand. I don’t consider you bound by it. I don’t consider this a formal proposal. I just want to take this, recognizing you might not accept all the Soviet language. I would like to do it more reflectively.

Gromyko: We will have it retyped, and have it ready in two minutes.

[Sokolov runs out to get it retyped.]

Kissinger: So, Mr. Foreign Minister, we will leave you now and see you after the meeting.

Korniyenko: We will bring you the text when it is typed.

[The meeting then ended.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 77, Country Files—Europe—USSR, Memcons, Moscow Summit, June 27–July 3, 1974. Secret; Nodis. The meeting was held in St. Catherine’s Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace. Brackets are in the original.
  2. A draft of the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests is attached but not printed. See Document 199.
  3. See Document 193.
  4. Jackson arrived in Beijing on July 1 for a 6-day visit.
  5. See Document 199.
  6. A draft of the Protocol to the Treaty on the Limitation of Underground Nuclear Weapon Tests is attached but not printed.
  7. A draft of the joint statement on environmental warfare is attached but not printed. See Document 199.
  8. Attached but not printed. See Document 199.
  9. See footnote 6, Document 142. Yasser Arafat was the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
  10. Attached but not printed.