219. Letter From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Ford1

Dear Mr. President,

I have just received your letter of November 16.2 I would like to say from the outset that we also are concerned by the state of affairs developing recently in the relations between our countries, particularly in connection with a problem which we both consider as a first and foremost problem. I have in mind the working out on the basis of the Vladivostok agreement of a new Agreement on strategic arms limitations [Page 858] which, as it was agreed, should be signed during my visit to the United States.

We share your opinion that it is necessary to make energetic efforts to resolve remaining questions which delay the completion of the preparation of this Agreement. On our part we are ready to continue discussing these questions in constructive way. At the same time we are entitled—in the light of major steps made by us—to expect that the American side also will display a necessary constructive approach to finding out of mutually acceptable solutions.

These are the very considerations which urged me to send to you my letter of October 27.3 We, of course, are ready to receive Secretary H. Kissinger in Moscow to discuss the questions of strategic arms limitations, as well as to exchange opinions on the whole complex of the Soviet-American relations. The most convenient time for this would be December 18–19.

Beside the problem of strategic arms limitations there are, of course, other major problems of international character for the solution of which both of our countries can do a great deal. There are questions of bilateral nature which await their solution. We are in favour of moving ahead along the whole range of the Soviet-American relations, moving ahead in the interests of further development of these relations, in the interests of strengthening the process of relaxation as a whole.


L. Brezhnev4
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 6, SALT, Nov.–Dec. 1975. No classification marking. Marginalia indicate the letter was received from the Soviet Embassy at 6:45 p.m.
  2. Document 217.
  3. Document 212.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.