201. Message From the Soviet Leadership to the U.S. Leadership1

It is with great concern that Moscow received the news regarding an armed putsch aimed at a forced overthrow of the lawful Govern[Page 1023]ment of the Republic of Cyprus headed by President Archbishop Makarios,2 who had been elected to that post as a result of the free will expression by the people. There are conflicting reports about the fate of the President.

Besides being very deplorable by themselves, these developments, having in mind the history of the Cyprus problem, can bring about a dangerous aggravation of the situation in all the region adjacent to Cyprus and, indeed, beyond it. And that would be contrary to the present tendency towards the relaxation of international tensions and would in no way contribute to the strengthening and deepening of that tendency.

Everything indicates that the criminal armed putsch against the lawful Government of Cyprus was organized by the Greek military and that the responsibility for it is placed upon the Government of Greece.

Moscow would like to hope that in connection with the actions taken by Greece the US Government, guided by the wide considerations of the necessity of preventing an exacerbation of the situation in the Mediterranean, will, on its part, also urgently take appropriate steps, aimed at putting an end to the external interference into the internal affairs of Cyprus.

It goes without saying that we proceed from the assumption that the United States of America, as well as other countries, will not under any pretext take steps that may further aggravate the situation on and around Cyprus.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Office Files, Box 70, Country Files—Europe—USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 24. No classification marking. The covering July 16 memorandum from Vorontsov to Eagleburger stated that Dobrynin had discussed the two attached texts with Kissinger during their phone conversations on the evening of July 15 and the morning of July 16. This message is the first of the two attachments. The second is Document 202. Kissinger and Dobrynin spoke on the telephone at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. on July 15. The transcripts are printed in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXX, Greece; Cyprus; Turkey, 1973–1976, Documents 83 and 84. They spoke again on July 16 at 9:50 a.m. That transcript is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Telephone Conversations (Telcons), Box 28, Chronological File.
  2. On July 15, a coup d’etat, sanctioned by the Greek Government, ousted Archbishop Makarios, President of Cyprus. Turkey intervened militarily on July 20. A de facto division was created with Turkish Cypriots controlling the north end of the island and Greek Cypriots controlling the south. For documentation on the coup and the U.S. and Soviet response, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XXX, Greece; Cyprus; Turkey, 1973–1976, Documents 79 ff.