55. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Andrei Gromyko, Foreign Minister of the USSR
  • Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador
  • Victor M. Sukhodrev, Interpreter
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff


  • Europe; Nuclear Understanding; Jackson Amendment; Middle East

[The conversation began over cocktails in a room adjoining the dining room.]

Dr. Kissinger: When I tell people that I find you pleasant and amusing they think I have been totally corrupted by my visits to Moscow. [Gromyko reacted to this with his best deadpan expression.]

FM Gromyko: It is very interesting what is happening with the Chinese and Japanese. You know you have much better relations with the Chinese than we do, and of course you have much better relations with the Japanese than we do.

Ambassador Dobrynin: So when you refer to your Asian ally we can’t be sure who you mean!

Dr. Kissinger: Frankly, I think the Japanese have been much too eager the way they have been going about it. There was no need for them to do it this fast.2

FM Gromyko: Orientals are like this. They have a different sense of time than western countries. With western countries—with the British, with the French—the sooner you reply the better. When one makes a proposal it is a good thing to reply quickly. With orientals it is just the opposite. They may wait a week or a month or six months and not respond. They feel it is inconsistent with their dignity to reply quickly.

Dr. Kissinger: Your Vietnamese allies also have a strange negotiating technique. A few months ago they proposed a series of principles. With some slight changes, making the obligations mutual instead of unilateral, we accepted them. A week later they came back with a [Page 188] wholly new set of principles. We accepted those, too. But then a week after that they rejected them all completely, saying we didn’t need any principles.

[The group then went into the next room for lunch.]

FM Gromyko: All three of my leaders, Mr. Brezhnev, Mr. Podgorny and Mr. Kosygin, asked me to convey their regards to you.

Dr. Kissinger: Thank you. I have the warmest recollection of my visit to the Soviet Union3 and the way I was treated.

FM Gromyko: And our talks were very good.

Dr. Kissinger: Our last talks were very good. We have the whole Jewish community after us as a result!4 Seriously, we will handle this. We will not raise the subject again. Liberal journalists in this country who used to criticize us for years for being too tough with you now criticize us for not being tough enough. But this is simply amusing for our domestic politics; it has no foreign policy significance.

[Luncheon was then served.]

Dr. Kissinger: The reason Anatoliy is so successful is that he controls my supply of caviar. I can always tell the state of Soviet/US relations by how forthcoming he is.

Ambassador Dobrynin: Then more supply is needed.

Dr. Kissinger: I hear that the supply is a problem now.

FM Gromyko: It is true. I have heard that the fish in the Caspian Sea are going more over to the Iranian side, perhaps because there is less pollution. You know we have a big fish called the Beluga. One fish can give a 100 kilos of caviar. These fish are in the Volga in Siberia, and in Lake Baikal. You know Lake Baikal is very beautiful.

Dr. Kissinger: Yes, Anatoliy showed me a film about that once. It was very beautiful.

Ambassador Dobrynin: If you go there we will make another film of it, with you there. We will call it “Lake Baikal and Henry”—or “Henry and Lake Baikal,” whichever you prefer.

Dr. Kissinger: I may bring a movie star with me next time to the Soviet Union. General Antonov5 will be pleased.

Ambassador Dobrynin: There is a story about Hammarskjold and Khrushchev.6 Khrushchev invited Hammarskjold to come out in a boat. [Page 189] This was at Pitsunda on the Black Sea. Hammarskjold thought it would be a big boat where he could sit on the bridge and drink his cocktail; it turned out to be a two-man row boat. Not only did Hammarskjold have to row—this was probably the first physical thing he ever did in his life—but also there was no room for an interpreter. So the two of them were out there alone for almost an hour and could not speak a word. When they came back Hammarskjold said it was an excellent conversation!

There is also a story about Kosygin and Castro7 who went out in a small boat. Their interpreter had to swim along behind them! But the interpreter was a cowardly bureaucrat and did not admit that he could not swim. So the interpreter would push his head above water and translate—glub, glub—and then disappear again beneath the water!

FM Gromyko: It was simultaneous translation!

Dr. Kissinger: You knew Roosevelt, didn’t you? You were at Yalta. What was your impression of his health?

FM Gromyko: He was healthy but tired. He had a very far away look.

Amb. Dobrynin: What were the relations between Roosevelt and Stalin?

FM Gromyko: Once when we were at Yalta, Stalin, Molotov8 and I visited President Roosevelt at Livadia Palace, which the President was using as a residence. When we were leaving and going down the stairs Stalin said to us, “He is a very good and very able man. Why has nature punished him?”

Dr. Kissinger: You know, before his paralysis he was a very frivolous man. He had the reputation of being a playboy. Mr. Foreign Minister, you have an astonishing range of experience in your career.

FM Gromyko: At Yalta, Stalin was having dinner with us. We were all sitting around a table like this. Beria9 was sitting here, and Molotov and myself. We were at the Yusupov Palace. Stalin turned to Beria on his right and said, “You know, you are a Russian Himmler”, and everybody laughed. Stalin laughed, Molotov laughed, I laughed.

Dr. Kissinger: Did Beria laugh?

FM Gromyko: Yes!

Dr. Kissinger: He loses either way, if he agrees or if he does not agree!

[Page 190]

FM Gromyko: This was often the style of Stalin’s humor.

Ambassador Dobrynin: How did Stalin prepare himself for these meetings? Do the papers exist?

FM Gromyko: I don’t know. They are probably in the files.

Ambassador Dobrynin: Did he order papers from the Foreign Ministry? He did not have good relations with Molotov.

FM Gromyko: Probably. I was in Washington and I was not yet his deputy.

Ambassador Dobrynin: The Foreign Minister was Ambassador at age 33.

Dr. Kissinger: It is not unusual to want to promote able young men. The problem is how to come to someone’s attention. How did this happen?

FM Gromyko: Stalin knew me. When I was first appointed Minister-Counselor to Washington, Stalin heard about it and called me for a conversation. So later he knew me.

Dr. Kissinger: I was always enormously impressed with Stalin’s foreign policy after the war. Russia had suffered tremendously, and we had the atomic bomb. Russia was enormously weak but managed to create the impression of great strength.

FM Gromyko: But we never had so many tanks and other equipment as we did at the end of the war.

Dr. Kissinger: But it took great strength of will on Stalin’s part to create the impression.

FM Gromyko: Stalin’s main aim was to keep the obligations with the allies. We could have taken Western Europe in a few days. But his main obligation all the time was to keep the obligations he made with our allies. And the main obligation of the allies was to keep Germany peaceful.

Dr. Kissinger: What was his greatest quality?

FM Gromyko: There were two things. A very powerful and deep intellect.

Dr. Kissinger: I believe it.

FM Gromyko: And a very strong character and will.

Dr. Kissinger: That’s enough. That is a powerful combination. I think his foreign policy before the war was correct, from the Soviet point of view. The treaty with the Germans.

FM Gromyko: We all thought at the time and afterwards that it was correct. After all, what did we agree to with the Germans? We agreed not to attack. Who can object to that?

Dr. Kissinger: But you were not ready for a war in 1939.

[Page 191]

FM Gromyko: The result would have been the same. But yes, it would have been more difficult.

Where were you during the war?

Dr. Kissinger: I was in a very lowly position. First in the Infantry then in the Counter Intelligence Corps. In Hannover during the occupation I put up a poster that all of those who were interested in police work should come to us. So one day a man came to me, and I said “What were you doing during the war?” He said, “I was with the Staatspolizei.” I didn’t think this was significant, so I said jokingly, “The Geheime Staatspolizei? He said, “Sure!” So I arrested him. He was very hurt. He said, “What do I have to do to show you that I really want to work for you?” I said, “Tell me who your colleagues are.” He said, “Sure.” So he went out and rounded up 45 of his Gestapo colleagues! I was decorated for this but I didn’t do any of the work; I just gave him a driver and a police escort. Most of them were not Nazi, he said. And I believe him. It just shows their bureaucratic mentality.

FM Gromyko: What rank did you have?

Dr. Kissinger: I was a Sergeant when the war ended.

Ambassador Dobrynin: You would have been a General but unfortunately the end of the war intervened!

What is your protocol rank now?

Dr. Kissinger: I am equivalent to an Under Secretary. I could have it changed but it is not worth it.

Ambassador Dobrynin: If you go to Vietnam you could be a four-star General.

Dr. Kissinger: Anatoliy is always trying to get me to go to Vietnam.

Ambassador Dobrynin: In Vietnam if you were going to be a member of the Coalition Government the North Vietnamese would drop their proposals for a Coalition Government.

Dr. Kissinger: Each side can appoint whomever it wants! This is North Vietnamese technique, seriously; even when we agree on some points they never agree on any agreed language; they always come up with some entirely new document with new language which we have never seen before. It makes it impossible to agree on anything or to make any progress.

Ambassador Dobrynin: No, Henry, I have always meant to explain this to you. What they are trying to do is to come up with a paper that you will look at and then accept all at once. Now you always have to think it over so long.

Dr. Kissinger: This is the decisive stage in the negotiation.

Ambassador Dobrynin: What will happen?

Dr. Kissinger: We will make one more serious effort.

[Page 192]

[The Foreign Minister began speaking in Russian.]


FM Gromyko: On the question of the rights of the four powers, the formula that our Ambassador received from you [U.S. draft of September 18, Tab A]10 is something that simply cannot be discussed. It cannot be discussed. I can’t imagine who it was prepared for. Let’s agree this way! With regard to the admission of the two Germanies to the United Nations—this is why the matter of rights and responsibilities was raised in the first place11—the matter of rights and responsibilities simply is not touched upon; it does not arise. This is the best formula for us and for you. So as not to create the impression that it was discussed. Otherwise someone might develop a taste for reviewing these matters, and in some years from now they may want to review them.

Dr. Kissinger: I don’t understand. How does it differ from what you said?

Ambassador Dobrynin: Yours said [shows copy of Soviet text handed over in Moscow, Tab B]12—it mentions all sorts of things about a peace settlement and unification and so forth.

Dr. Kissinger: Unification? Where does it say that? Peace settlement? We can take that out. [He puts brackets around the clause “which they retain pending a peace settlement for Germany”].

FM Gromyko: First, the word “Germany” is mentioned. We do not know such a phenomenon. Second, a peace treaty is mentioned; this cannot be. Third, everything is in terms of whether these rights exist or they do not exist, whether we respect rights or do not respect them. We think all three points are not justified. We should not create the impression that this is being discussed, or else three or five years from now someone will develop a taste to take up the matter of rights and responsibilities.

[Page 193]

Dr. Kissinger: I can see your point with respect to the clause “which they retain pending a peace settlement for Germany.” Two of your points apply to this clause; that can be deleted. Let me tell you that the main operational difference between your version and our version, in our mind, was that we added the phrase about practices and procedures to the clause about rights and responsibilities. That was the important part for us. Your third point is about whether we should affirm these rights and responsibilities at all. On this there is a difference of opinion. The reason we feel we must have it is because by entrance into the United Nations the GDR acquires a character of sovereignty which up to now we have not admitted, and transit rights across a sovereign country are not the same as transit rights across a country whose sovereignty we did not admit.

FM Gromyko: But the strongest possible guarantee of your and the British and the French position is our wording “does not affect the question of.”

Dr. Kissinger: The real difference is that our version says, “does not affect the rights.” Your version says, “does not affect the question of the rights.”

FM Gromyko: The difference is that ours does not imply anything about substance.

Dr. Kissinger: I would say just the opposite. To affirm the rights is not to detract from them. The implication of yours is that the question is still open. So sometime in the future or someone—for example your German allies—could take advantage of this. If you affirm that it does not affect the rights and the responsibilities, then the only question open is what are these rights. The answer is in the Berlin Agreement.

FM Gromyko: But we are saying that the question can never be raised. In connection with UN membership. The phrase “does not affect [nye zatragivayetsa] is in the sense of is” not involved.”

Dr. Kissinger: What is your objection to the other language?

FM Gromyko: It means that we are discussing the question of rights and admit the possibility of changing them.

Dr. Kissinger: I understand. It is an interesting point. Let me think. Now if we agreed to drop this clause about a peace settlement and if we agreed to add the phrase “the question of,” would you agree to add the phrase about practices and procedures?

Ambassador Dobrynin: Why do you need that? What does it mean?

Dr. Kissinger: If it is not affected, what difference does it make? Of course, this whole thing has already been discussed with our allies and we will have to discuss it again. Now if we take your phrase we are [Page 194] saying that the whole complex of the Berlin machinery is not affected. Is that right?

FM Gromyko: The whole question is not affected.

Dr. Kissinger: That I am willing to concede. But we will place great stress on this phrase with respect to what has developed in the body of arrangements on Berlin. I can understand that you don’t want to affirm them individually, but we need some reference to the whole body.

FM Gromyko: But which “procedures”? Several questions arise from this phrase. Do you mean multilateral, bilateral?

Dr. Kissinger: But all we are saying is that they cannot be challenged on the basis of UN membership. We are not codifying them for all eternity. Our concern is not to create new pressures as a result of voting for UN membership.

FM Gromyko: Maybe we will give thought to it.

Dr. Kissinger: We will give thought to it. We ought to handle it like the Berlin thing. I understand your point exactly, and I think you understand mine. I’ll talk to Stoessel. We will give you a document which you won’t find acceptable, but we will agree ahead of time on how it will come out.

FM Gromyko: When can we get a final result?

Dr. Kissinger: What I have given you is what the allies want. We will try to nudge them in the direction of what you want. Would you consider something like “procedures, decisions and practices?”—we’ll leave out “procedures”—if we dropped out the clause about peace settlement and added “the question of”?

FM Gromyko: It creates difficulties for us.

Dr. Kissinger: What I am proposing will create difficulties for me too. Home13 came to me and you told him that you didn’t think any declaration at all was required. Or so he thought you meant. He said to me Britain would not go along unless there was some declaration that rights and responsibilities were not affected. I will talk to Stoessel tonight and tell him what we want. I wanted it to develop more slowly, but let’s get it done. I don’t think we can do less than what I have told you. We can insert the phrase “question of,” but we need “decisions and practices.”

FM Gromyko: What decisions? Joint decisions?

Dr. Kissinger: Yes.

FM Gromyko: Decisions of the four parties?

[Page 195]

Dr. Kissinger: That’s right. You will still get a document that looks a bit different. Then we will handle it like the Berlin negotiation. You make a counter proposal.

FM Gromyko: Not unilateral decisions, just multilateral decisions.

Dr. Kissinger: Right.

FM Gromyko: Why do you want to lay yourselves at a future time open to some review?

Dr. Kissinger: I don’t. All I am doing is to describe the body that cannot be reviewed, if we put in “question of.”

FM Gromyko: Then it is “the question of the rights, responsibilities, agreements, decisions and practices is not involved.”

Dr. Kissinger: Right.

FM Gromyko: Please think it over.

Jackson Amendment

Dr. Kissinger: Ziegler made a statement today about the Jackson Amendment.14 I will send it to you. The question we had asked was, does the President’s signing of the Jackson Resolution mean it is now obligatory? He said, no. The obligatory part is the treaty signed by the President and General-Secretary Brezhnev. The Jackson Amendment is advisory, but of course we will take it very seriously. [Ziegler text at Tab C]15

Ambassador Dobrynin: This was a lot of trouble. Why do you think Jackson did it?

Dr. Kissinger: Well, because he wants to be a candidate in 1976. And also he had a commitment to parts of the ABM.

Nuclear Understanding

FM Gromyko: Now the nuclear.

Dr. Kissinger: I told Anatoliy that your allies in Asia are unhappy with your UN initiative.16 They will like this even less. I haven’t asked their opinion.

[Page 196]

FM Gromyko: No one knows about this.

Dr. Kissinger: Except the English. I also mentioned it very vaguely to Bahr, but I didn’t show him anything.

FM Gromyko: And his comment was?

Dr. Kissinger: He didn’t know enough about it to say anything. But he was quite positive. Incidentally we are having him over here and having pictures taken, before the German election.

Our biggest problem still is with the nature of the document—whether it is a treaty, an agreement, or a declaration—and secondly, the nature of the obligation that should be stated. We think we have made some progress in the second paragraph.

Ambassador Dobrynin: I like that, we took it from his declaration and he says it is progress!

Dr. Kissinger: Frankly, between the President’s attention to the campaign and my attention to Vietnam, we have not had as intensive a time to devote to other matters as we wished. On Vietnam, since no one else knows anything, I have to do it. What we have done is—it is still in the form of a declaration, but we can discuss this. We have taken into account your concerns about actions by third countries. This is paragraph 1. [He hands over U.S. draft at Tab D. Gromyko and Dobrynin read it.]

We have added a new sentence. We “intend to work toward the establishment of binding obligations whereby the use of nuclear weapons would be effectively precluded.”

FM Gromyko: But it still only a goal. It is only “intend.”

Dr. Kissinger: We can strengthen it, to make it “will.” [Marks on his own copy.]

FM Gromyko[to Dobrynin in Russian]: It is not right, it is completely not right. This is sad. [To Dr. Kissinger in English] Let me be frank. It looks like the President and you are changing. This is certainly not in the spirit of the preliminary exchange between the President and the General-Secretary in Moscow. It is weaker than the basic declaration signed in Moscow.

Dr. Kissinger: Our intention was not to be weaker but to make a step forward. The President will tell you this. The problem is we have difficulty going as far as you want.

FM Gromyko: It is weaker.

Dr. Kissinger: Then that is bad drafting. It was certainly not our intention to make it weaker.

[Page 197]

FM Gromyko: But nothing is done. There is no obligation, there is not the slightest sign of our Article 117 reflected in this. [To Dobrynin in Russian] Nothing of it remains.

Dr. Kissinger: That was not our intent. I think that a declaration that we intend to establish a binding obligation is a step forward. This was certainly not in the basic principles.

FM Gromyko: I think not, because it means that now they are afraid to undertake an obligation. This is tantamount to justifying the use of nuclear weapons.

Ambassador Dobrynin: Why is it so difficult for you to accept this? Do you intend to use it?

Dr. Kissinger: Obviously not. Because our allies are more dependent in their conception on the use of nuclear weapons in their own defense.

Ambassador Dobrynin: But this is covered by Article 3 about existing alliances.18

Dr. Kissinger: Article 2 is a considerable improvement.19 Let us do the following: I understand your point. You think that anything that does not create a binding obligation is not a great advance. Instead of playing around with Article 1 we should consider the basic idea of Article 1—the binding obligation—and put the qualifications in the other Articles. I know you are not inviting qualifications, but your point is that if it is worth doing at all it must have a binding obligation in it and if we need qualifications we should propose those and put them in elsewhere. That’s what you are saying.

FM Gromyko: Absolutely right.

Dr. Kissinger: If so, we have been looking at it in the wrong way. We have been trying to modify Article 1. We should see if we can essentially accept Article 1 and then go through the rest of the document.

[Page 198]

FM Gromyko: There are plenty of qualifications already in the document.

Dr. Kissinger: I know you are not inviting qualifications. I prefer if you would not consider this as our formal reply.

FM Gromyko: You’ll have a new paper before I leave New York?

Dr. Kissinger: No. You must realize that this is a big step for us.

FM Gromyko: What should I say in Moscow?

Dr. Kissinger: You can say, as the President will say to you, we will still consider it very seriously. You have answered many of our concerns. We have not had an opportunity to devote much time to it, so we now have to face Article 1. There is no way around it.20 What you have now given us makes it easier for us to consider Article 1.

FM Gromyko: When do I get a definite answer?

Dr. Kissinger: Early November.

FM Gromyko: In November.

Dr. Kissinger: Definitely in November. Frankly, it depends on when I can get a day or half a day with the President alone to go over the details with him. There are many other issues on which I have wide latitude because I know his views. But on this one, I will have to discuss it with him.

Middle East

FM Gromyko: Alright. Now the Middle East. I would like to listen to you. I remember what you said to the General-Secretary and the Prime Minister.

Dr. Kissinger: As I told Anatoliy, we think we know how we might get a settlement with Jordan, but we don’t think it is a good idea to have a separate settlement with Jordan. So we think a settlement with Egypt is the heart of the problem. We have not spoken with anyone. We are not aware of any secret Israeli plan, whatever you may read, or any secret Israeli/Egyptian talks.

Our view is that it is important to make an initial major step with respect to Egypt. I was never wild about the idea of an interim settlement but I believe the biggest problem is to get Israel to make an initial step back. The longer it stays the way it is, the harder it will be. Therefore, we should try to get the situation into a state of flux. Without a final determination, we should approach the problem from a standpoint of security, of security zones, without raising the issue of sover [Page 199] eignty. For example, the notion that Egyptian sovereignty extends up to the 1967 borders but for a certain period the Sinai will be divided into zones—one zone where both sides can station their forces, other zones where there can be some patrolling but no stationed forces, and maybe a buffer zone between them. Thus, for example, Sinai could be divided into five regions. In that event Egyptian civil administration would extend immediately to the borders.

I doubt Israel would accept this. In fact I am sure Israel would not accept this without massive pressure. If it is conceivable we could perhaps apply something like it to the Golan Heights. The major problem is to get some movement, or else the situation will be frozen so no movement can ever get started. Once movement starts, other pressures can continue to work.

FM Gromyko: I have two questions. First, does the United States accept the principle of withdrawal from all occupied territory? Second, does the United States accept the principle of a package deal? An all-embracing settlement?

Dr. Kissinger: When you say all-embracing, you mean Syria, because we can get the others.

FM Gromyko: I mean vertical as well as horizontal. I mean that the Suez Canal cannot be separated from withdrawal and the Palestinian question and Gaza and . . .

Dr. Kissinger: We would like to separate out the question of the Canal, but I see that the others are related to each other. But in my view the only justified solution is one all sides can accept. We would like to make progress towards a settlement. If it can be achieved only by a global approach, we will consider a global approach. Our view up to now, which has not changed, is that we should see if we can get a settlement on the Suez Canal first.

FM Gromyko: But Egypt will not accept this.

Dr. Kissinger: So we will look at the other approach. My own view, as I have told Anatoliy, is that a global approach will lead to no settlement. This is what Israel would prefer, because it means no settlement will occur. They would love to discuss this.

FM Gromyko: What nonetheless do you think practically can be done? Before November, or after November.

Dr. Kissinger: After November we should take the principles we agreed on in Moscow and apply them concretely to each area, to Egypt, to Jordan and to Syria. And then discuss how one tries to implement the right solution—whether to pass a UN resolution or apply direct pressure. If pressure is ever to be applied to Israel, it is better to do it earlier in the Administration.

[Page 200]

FM Gromyko: We have talked with some Arabs in New York, and they have indicated again, they have reiterated, that they can’t accept a partial settlement without it being part of a global settlement and without withdrawal of Israeli forces. Then am I right that you are not prepared now to discuss this in a concrete way?

Dr. Kissinger: To discuss what?

FM Gromyko: The whole problem.

Dr. Kissinger: The only thing I mentioned was security zones. I have said I could not come up with a very concrete plan by now. What we should discuss is what do you mean by a concrete proposal.

FM Gromyko: Speaking concretely, what do you think about withdrawal? Are you in favor of complete withdrawal or not? Second, on the question of a partial or all-embracing settlement, it is a fact that without an all-embracing settlement a partial one won’t give results, because the Arabs reject it. As for Sharm el-Sheikh you know our position: Egyptian sovereignty plus a temporary stationing of UN personnel. With respect to the Gaza, the people there must determine their own destiny.

Dr. Kissinger: All this is in the paper you gave us.

FM Gromyko: There must be some solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees. On Suez, Egypt is prepared to allow peaceful passage of Israeli shipping. With respect to Israel’s independence and sovereignty and existence, we agree to this, and the Arabs too, although without enthusiasm! With respect to guarantees, we are prepared to join with you in the most rigorous way possible, that is in the United Nations Security Council. Well, if we agreed on this, then we together could bring the necessary influence to bear on the parties concerned.

In short, what is your advice to me? What should I report to the General-Secretary on your views?

Dr. Kissinger: On the problem of guarantees, the history of UN guarantees does not create confidence that they operate when they are needed. This is the President’s view: We will work for a common position we can agree to, on the basis of the principles we reached in Moscow. But at some time, it is essential to recognize realities. The Arabs may recognize Israel’s right to exist, but the same was true of India and Pakistan before the war. The peculiarity of the Middle East is that war arises among countries who are already at war; everywhere else war arises among countries who are already at peace! What we need is some concern for security. We are prepared to bring pressure on Israel short of military pressure. We will not allow outside military pressure. Economic or moral pressures we are willing to do.

FM Gromyko: You did not reply. What should I tell the General-Secretary?

[Page 201]

Dr. Kissinger: On some of the proposals you have suggested, we disagree. On others we agree; on others we should discuss.

FM Gromyko: When?

Dr. Kissinger: Early November, after the election. Say the 15th or the 14th or the 13th.

Amb. Dobrynin: You will need one week after the election for celebration!

[At 3:45 the meeting ended. Dr. Kissinger had to return to the White House and would come back to the Embassy at 4:15 to pick up the Foreign Minister and the Ambassador and accompany them to Camp David.]

Tab D

U.S. Draft21


Guided by the objectives of strengthening world peace and international security:

Conscious that nuclear war could have devastating consequences for mankind:

Motivated by the desire to bring about conditions in which the danger of an outbreak of nuclear war could be reduced and ultimately eliminated:

Proceeding from the basic principles of relations between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics signed in Moscow on May 29, 1972:

Proceeding from their obligations under the Charter of the United Nations regarding the maintenance of peace, refraining from the threat or use of force, and the avoidance of war, and in conformity with the various agreements to which either has subscribed:

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America have agreed the following:

Article I.

The United States and the Soviet Union solemnly declare that their goal is to create international conditions and obligations that will re [Page 202] move the danger of nuclear war. Accordingly they will work toward the establishment of binding obligations whereby the use of nuclear weapons would be effectively precluded.

Article II.

The United States and the Soviet Union agree that the fulfillment of the undertakings referred to in Article II presupposes effective elimination of the threat or use of force in international relations generally: and, in particular, the effective elimination of the threat or use of force in relations between themselves, by one party against the allies of the other and by either party against third countries.

Article III.

Consistent with Articles I and II, the United States and the Soviet Union will make every effort to ensure that actions by third countries, including military conflicts involving states not parties to this Declaration, will not result in a nuclear war.

Article IV.

Nothing in this Declaration shall affect the obligations undertaken by the parties toward other states, or any obligations assumed under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. Nothing in this Declaration shall affect the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense as provided in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 495, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 13. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting took place at the Soviet Embassy. Brackets are in the original.
  2. A reference to the joint statement issued on September 29 by Japan and the People’s Republic of China announcing the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two nations.
  3. Kissinger visited Moscow from September 9 to 15. See Documents 3739 and 4144.
  4. See Document 46.
  5. Sergei Antonov, General, KGB.
  6. Dag Hammerskjöld, Secretary-General of the United Nations from April 1953 to September 1961, and Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU from September 1953 to October 1964.
  7. Fidel Castro, Prime Minister of Cuba.
  8. Vyacheslav Molotov, Chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars from December 1930 to May 1941.
  9. Lavrentiy Beria, head of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs (NKVD) from November 1938 to January 1946.
  10. Attached but not printed at Tab A is the U.S. draft which reads: “The governments of the Soviet Union, Great Britain, the United States and France . . . have agreed to support the application for UN membership when submitted by the FRG and GDR and to affirm in this connection that such membership shall in no way affect or change the four power rights and responsibilities, which they retain pending a peace settlement for Germany, or the agreements, decisions and practices and procedures which relate to them.” Kissinger bracketed the phrase, “which they retain pending a peace settlement for Germany.”
  11. Reference to the Quadripartite Agreement on Berlin, signed September 3, 1971, by the United States, USSR, France, and the United Kingdom. The negotiations that preceded the agreement dealt with the status of West Berlin and access to and from the city. For documentation pertaining to the Berlin negotiations, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XL, Germany and Berlin, 1969–1972, Documents 136 and 215. For the text of the Quadripartite Agreement, see Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pp. 1135–1143.
  12. Attached but not printed. The text is contained in Document 44.
  13. Sir Alec Douglas-Home, British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
  14. On September 25, the Senate approved the Interim Agreement on SALT, along with a revised version of the Jackson Amendment (see footnote 2, Document 23). The White House endorsed Jackson’s amendment after he modified it by omitting the provision permitting U.S. abrogation of the agreement if any Soviet action threatened the U.S. nuclear deterrent. The White House and Jackson agreed to a substitute provision that if a U.S.–Soviet treaty on offensive nuclear arms was not negotiated by 1977, the United States could repudiate the Interim Agreement—a position that the administration had previously supported. (Congress and the Nation, Vol. III., 1969–1972, p. 897)
  15. Attached but not printed is the transcript of Ron Ziegler’s October 2 White House press conference. Ziegler stated: “The Jackson Amendment, as you know, and as we have discussed here before, is advisory in nature and will be, of course, taken into account seriously in the U.S. preparation of the SALT II phase, but it does not become a part of the interim agreement which was signed by the President.”
  16. See Document 52.
  17. Article I of the latest Soviet draft, handed by Dobrynin to Kissinger on September 21, reads: “The Soviet Union and the United States of America undertake not to use nuclear weapons against each other. Accordingly the Soviet Union and the United States will build their relations so that they should not contradict the obligation assumed by the sides under this Article.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 495, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/ Kissinger, Vol. 13)
  18. Article III of the latest Soviet draft reads: “Nothing in this Treaty shall affect the obligations undertaken by the parties toward other states, or any obligations under the Charter of the United Nations. The Treaty shall not affect the right of individual or collective self-defense, as provided for in Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations.”
  19. Article II of the Soviet draft reads: “The Soviet Union and the United States shall prevent such a situation when, as a result of actions by third states, they would find themselves involved in a collision with the use of nuclear weapons. In case of a military conflict involving states—not parties to this Treaty, the Soviet Union and the United States shall apply all efforts to prevent an outbreak of nuclear war.” (Ibid.)
  20. Sonnenfeldt forwarded a revised draft text to Kissinger on September 27, along with two other variants. (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 67, Country Files—Europe—USSR, Map Room, Aug. 1972–May 31, 1973, 3 of 3)
  21. Secret. The date is handwritten.