39. Message From the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig)1

Hakto 13. After over seven hours with Brezhnev this evening on lend-lease we have following situation.2

1. He says he absolutely cannot go above global figure of 725 million dollars.

2. He says their balance of payments problems due to grain purchases, shipping and other commitments for balance of their present five year plan are so severe that he cannot accept compressed pipeline payments of 24 million each in 1972 and 1973.

First question is whether 725 million global figure would be feasible for us. Payments would still be arranged to conclude in 2001.

As regards second problem above, two possible compromise suggestions have occurred to us:

First possibility.

1. Soviets pay their regular pipeline installment of 11 plus million dollars this year. As you know they have been ready to do so but we have agreed to hold up from month to month pending resolution of lend-lease negotiations.

2. In 1973, they would pay a 24 million dollar pipeline installment.

3. Beginning 1974, assuming MFN some time in 1973, they would begin regular payments stream to 2001 on global sum, except that part of each payment would be on account of pipeline.

Second possibility.

1. Pay pipeline installments for four years, 1972–75 of 11.5 plus million per year to retire pipeline debt.

2. Balance of global sum, after deducting pipeline, would be paid in equal installments beginning 1976 through 2001. I suspect in this variant we might ask for somewhat higher global sum. If so, how much should it be?

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3. Because of delayed beginning of regular lend-lease installments, this variant would contain no postponement rights or perhaps only one.

I urgently need for use tomorrow morning Peterson’s and Flanigan’s reaction to these propositions or any other precise alternative he can come up with. I recognize time pressures, but any supporting arithmetic—such as size of annual installments under variants and global figure and rationale for Congress—would be extremely useful.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 24, Trip Files, HAK’s Germany, Moscow, London, Paris Trip, Sep. 9–15, 1972, HAKTO 1–35. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only; Flash. A stamped notation indicates it was received at 9:29 p.m. on September 11.
  2. Document 38 accounts for a 4-hour discussion Kissinger had with Brezhnev regarding lend-lease. No records of other meetings on September 11 were found.