71. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Leonid Il’ich Brezhnev, General Secretary and Member of the Politburo, CPSU Central Committee
  • Andrey A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Member CPSU Politburo
  • Anatoly Dobrynin, USSR Ambassador to the United States
  • Andrey M. Aleksandrov-Agentov, Aide to General Secretary Brezhnev
  • Georgiy M. Korniyenko, Chief, USA Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Counselor, Second European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Interpreter)
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Walter J. Stoessel, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to USSR
  • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counselor of the Department, Department of State
  • Arthur A. Hartman, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Department of State
  • Winston Lord, Director, Policy Planning Staff, Department of State
  • William G. Hyland, Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State
  • Jan M. Lodal, Senior Staff Member, National Security Council
  • A. Denis Clift, Senior Staff Member, National Security Council

Introductory Remarks


Brezhnev: (Autographs photograph taken during first day’s meeting for Secretary Kissinger) I’ll write out the figures of the missiles we’re supposed to have and that you’re supposed to have. In the meantime, I’ve received another complaint about you from the President! I think that that augurs well for Vladivostok.

Kissinger: At least you and the President are united.

Brezhnev: Yes, we’re agreed.

Kissinger: One item for the communiqué is agreed.

Brezhnev: Basically. Now, we agreed that at this meeting we would talk about specific figures. You have named the main figures on your side, figures based on your own plan rather than as you said they [Page 238] would be based on the possibilities of our plan. Well then, in that case, how many warheads are in your arsenal, and how many are we supposed to have in ours?

Kissinger: That depends on how many warheads you put on your missiles.

Brezhnev: Well, you put five or six on yours; we will put two on ours.

Kissinger: That’s up to you. Since each side is to have the same number of missiles, there is no reason why they should not have the same number of warheads. But, we would be prepared to discuss limitations on the number of warheads.

Brezhnev: Well, today, due to the lack of time, I was not able to talk these matters over either with Grechko or our other comrades. Therefore, I am talking on the basis of my own calculations which, however, I am sure are 99.99% accurate.

Kissinger: As I told the General Secretary, he opened a new approach to me on this subject last March.2 I am serious. He raised considerations I hadn’t even analyzed before.

Brezhnev: Which considerations are those?

Kissinger: There were two. First, I hadn’t analyzed the warhead problem sufficiently. Second, I hadn’t analyzed your deployment of submarine MIRVs in terms of the time period before our discussion.

Brezhnev: I don’t recall our discussion on that in too great detail.

Kissinger: No, no, but we mentioned it.

Brezhnev: You’re right in saying that that was the time it arose, when you learned that we, too, had the secret.

Kissinger: I knew it six months before.

Brezhnev: You’re a very penetrating man. I envy you. I can only be pleased with myself for having a good memory. And, my health isn’t too bad. Otherwise, I have quite a few problems, first with Dobrynin, then with Gromyko or Grechko, and Kissinger keeps coming up with something that causes me trouble. You won’t even let me die quietly.

Kissinger: We have an interest in keeping you alive!

Brezhnev: I realize that I may not be the best possible man to have across the table, but there can be worse. I have goodwill.

Kissinger: Seriously, Mr. General Secretary, you have demonstrated your devotion to improving US-Soviet relations. That is recognized and appreciated in Washington.

Brezhnev: If what you say were in the form of a winning card, you could lay any stake on it. Rockefeller wouldn’t stand a chance with you.

[Page 239]

Gromyko: You could live on the interest.

Kissinger: I’m not too modest. I will settle for what Rockefeller has.

Brezhnev: I’m not all that interested in the material side of things either. I’ve wanted to get a winter coat made now for the third year running, but I have no time for the tailor. Two years ago, I was having a jacket made by a tailor, but there was no time for a fitting. Now, for the meeting with the President I will need a new suit, but I’m not sure I’ll make it.

Kissinger: He’ll insist on a new suit.

Brezhnev: I’d like to have something, if I don’t (he looks at and fingers his suit) maybe this will do.

When I worked earlier in Moscow, at the Supreme Soviet, I had to meet the President of India—who was he, yes, Radhakrishnan. I put on a new dark suit, double-breasted were in fashion then and I never liked them. But, I had one made—it was in the summer—and we were driving from the airport in an open car with jump seats. And, you know the kind, the backs of the seats fold up and down. There was the movement of the car; we were standing; and the back of this seat was down. I sat down and tore my pants. I got worried about how I was going to get out of the car at the Kremlin. I had to hold the tear in my pants when I got out. I needed two suits (laughter).

Kissinger: Or two pairs of pants (laughter).

Brezhnev: And then what happens if you sit on another hook? Well, the facts of the situation are that the United States, at present, has a very big advantage in MIRVs. We will gradually be fulfilling our own program in that field, which you can readily conceive of. And, as the years go by, provided the United States does not go still further ahead in the development of the MIRV program, we may even out the situation.

But, here we must bear in mind one circumstance we cannot bypass. And, that is the fact that in calculating the number of missiles that we can install on our submarines, we are allowed a total of 950 warheads. To have this we will have to remove a certain number of land-based missiles and report to the United States that we have done so.

Now, if we accept your proposition (offers sausages and mustard to Secretary Kissinger), apart from those missiles we will have to remove to compensate for those we are installing on our submarines, we will also have to remove a certain quantity of land-based missiles. Therefore, not only from the arithmetic point of view but even from the point of view of the principle we have agreed upon, that is something we cannot do.

[Page 240]

And, this is not even to mention the question of third countries, for example, Great Britain, or the question of forward bases which appear to be a certain given quantity which up to now are not even mentioned.

Kissinger: Let me understand: The figures which we gave the General Secretary say that you have to dismantle missiles beyond those which already have to be dismantled?

Brezhnev: Yes, indeed!

Kissinger: But those would all be old missiles—and so do we have to dismantle missiles.

Brezhnev: Well, what rockets would you have to dismantle? You are modernizing your rockets and we have stated no objection.

Kissinger: . . . Under our proposal . . .

Brezhnev: You can’t dig any new holes, but neither can we.

Kissinger: No, no. But we would have to dismantle . . .

Brezhnev: At present, you have more bombers than we have.

Kissinger: We have 429 B–52s—maybe more counting those in storage. We would have to eliminate all of those under this proposal. And, we would keep—rather we would confine our B–1s to 250, not build more than 250.

Korniyenko: But, then, you would increase your missiles. Otherwise you wouldn’t get to 2,200. You have 1,700 missiles now. How do you get to 2,200?

Kissinger: By keeping our Polaris submarines when we put in Trident.

Korniyenko: So you would increase your numbers?

Kissinger: Yes, but without an agreement we are planning that anyway. By putting a limit on 1,300 MIRVs, we are putting a limit on the number of Tridents that can be deployed—by putting a ceiling on the number of MIRVs, a ceiling on the number of Tridents and keeping 10 Polaris.

(Brezhnev gets up, goes to the telephone.)

Gromyko: Comrade Brezhnev mentioned two factors, and correctly so: first, forward-based weapons, and second, third countries—many of your allies.

Surely we are entitled to raise the issue of compensation.

Kissinger: We are not asking compensation for your allies.

Gromyko: But you know that your question is wide of the mark, because our allies don’t have those means of warfare—as does, for example, Great Britain.

Kissinger: But you have allies which have these means of warfare.

Gromyko: That is a subject I am approaching. That does have to be taken into consideration. We will raise that. It’s O.K., if you wish, to [Page 241] joke, even with that ally, but take the year 1983 and the figures you propose. This would mean a reduction of our weapons and an increase of yours. You don’t say that the question of heavy missiles doesn’t exist? Let us discuss the question of heavy missiles. You introduced a second figure. You know the numerical figure you are suggesting. That is why Comrade Brezhnev says it is a double figure: one, submarine-based, and two, heavy air force. How can we be optimistic about that concept?

Kissinger: There are already limits on heavy missiles.

Gromyko: But now we’re dealing with new figures going beyond the provisional agreement. Surely, now we’re dealing with new figures going beyond the provisional agreement. Surely, now there is more to resolve since there are more factors involved, the time limit is longer, and there are a greater variety of combinations possible. You mentioned this when you were here with your former President. Now we are going beyond this and the figures are different.

Then there is the question of third countries—what about forward bases? Has that factor disappeared? If you took that factor into account in the first agreement, why not now? Has it disappeared? Surely forward bases haven’t disappeared. You haven’t reduced allies. If the situation has changed, it has changed in reverse—take Great Britain. The figures are different than when the first agreement was negotiated. The situation has changed for the worse for us. Try to look at the situation through our eyes. Try to sit in our seats and look through our eyes.

Kissinger: As a factual matter, Great Britain has not changed its force at all since the first agreement.

Gromyko: When we discussed the first agreement, we spoke in terms of Great Britain having two or three, now they have five or six.

Kissinger: The UK has four submarines and 64 missiles of an old type.

Gromyko: Our information is five or six.

Kissinger: I assure you that the UK has four submarines.

Gromyko: But, how many launchers?

Kissinger: Sixty-four. Just a minute. The UK has 64 missiles, and we could come to an understanding about not counting them MIRVed. They’re not MIRVed now.

Gromyko: Take the geographic factor; consider the distances involved—the distances your floating objects have to cover and ours.

Kissinger: Not your new missiles. They have a range of 4,300 miles. You can hit the United States from port. To me the miracle of technology is that the longer the range of the missile, the more complicated becomes the submarine to carry it—and it can fire from port!

Gromyko: But such miracles cannot happen overnight.

[Page 242]

Kissinger: We’re talking 10 years.

Gromyko: We’re talking seven.

Kissinger: The only thing to remember is that you have to remove the covering from the submarine before you fire from port. Geographic range is not important after 1980. Both sides will have missiles that can fire great distances. Why would you come all this way across the Atlantic?

Gromyko: This is a process!

Kissinger: I said 1980.

Gromyko: I’m sure you won’t say we could do it in a month’s time.

Kissinger: By 1980. By the time these numbers become effective, there will be no significant geographic advantages.

Gromyko: It’s not a convincing argument if for no other reason than the fact that all cannot be reduced to submarines.

Kissinger: No, but we’re talking about submarines.

Gromyko: That’s true. Then, of course, you are omitting from view the existence of different kinds of third countries. I have mentioned one; there may be others. You did, in fact, mention this as a factor in the past.

Kissinger: Let’s take the case of China. Right now, in the United Nations they attack you more than they do us—two unfavorable sentences for you to every one for us.

By 1985—or ’83 or ’82—that can change.

Gromyko: But the difference is that you are taking a hypothetical case. We are talking reality.

Kissinger: You can solve your nuclear problem with China by means of weapons that would not be counted in the agreement, shorter range weapons.

Gromyko: We understand, but you also know that the Chinese have a plan to build an underwater fleet—a big fleet.

Kissinger: We don’t know their plan. We have only seen one boat. We have been told that they may accelerate.

Gromyko: Maybe you’ve failed to collect the necessary information.

Kissinger: Our information is that we know of one submarine they are building that has strategic missiles. What is your information? Do you think they have more than one?

Gromyko: China has a very big program. Since that is so, surely our leadership has to take it into account.

Kissinger: If China is building a fleet—I’m not going to debate the point with you—that subject would be useful to exchange information on.

[Page 243]

Gromyko: That’s another question. But that is my reply to your remark about our using weapons other than strategic weapons against the Chinese.

Kissinger: It doesn’t make any difference how many submarines they have. If you have 2,000 missiles you can cover most of China.

Gromyko: That’s true, but we’re talking about Chinese submarines operating beyond Chinese territory. The types of weapons you are referring to wouldn’t do.

Kissinger: If you are planning to hit submarines with missiles, it’s a new approach to strategic warfare.

Gromyko: Well, they have to be based somewhere.

Kissinger: Yes, but you can hit the bases. (Looks at the U.S. side) Some of my colleagues may have heart attacks over this discussion.

Gromyko: In short, there are very serious problems involved that have to be answered, that have to be buttressed by weighty answers not brief replies, because they have to be based on material factors. We could broaden the list of third countries; I’m sure you know what I mean. Let me just mention . . .

Kissinger: I admit that the argument regarding the UK and France has validity, but to take countries like China and India, we should understand that they are equally dangerous to both of us.

Gromyko: Yes, but you have to consider them in combination with the state’s policy. There are no statements from China about war against the United States, but there are different kinds of statements about the Soviet Union. Surely the Soviet leadership, responsible for Soviet security, has to reckon with this.

Kissinger: On our side, as a practical matter it is politically impossible to agree to a final figure that either gives equality in numbers or that compensates for inequalities, for example in MIRVs.

On the other hand, our proposal has complicated aspects, but it permits certain advantages. For example, if you accept the various time limits we have given, you, for example, would be permitted to have 2,500 total systems until 1982. And, while we would have the same right, we could achieve an understanding that we wouldn’t build to 2,500. This is the reason why we put a bulge in the figure.

Gromyko: You didn’t comment on the proposal made earlier by Comrade Brezhnev on the difference of 400.

Kissinger: That’s out of the question.

Gromyko: But even that is less than enough; even that wouldn’t amount to a solution. The next question is that of heavy missiles.

Kissinger: Each side has its own realities. Your Ambassador would agree that it would be quite impossible for the United States to agree to [Page 244] such an inequality in numbers. The only basis on which we can agree to inequality in total numbers is if there is an inequality in other aspects such as MIRVs. You see, if there is no agreement, we will achieve equality in numbers in any event. Each side can do what we want.

Gromyko: Well, what you’re suggesting for the period up to 1985 is that we eliminate the numerical advantages that we have by way of compensation for the factors you mention.

Kissinger: We gave you a numerical advantage in the provisional agreement because it was provisional.

Gromyko: Not only because of that.

Kissinger: Secondly, as I testified before a Committee of the Congress, we had multi-warheads while you had only single warheads.

Brezhnev: Well, that is exactly why at that time you gave us a numerical superiority in launchers.

Kissinger: That’s correct. I said so publicly.

Brezhnev: You didn’t say so then.

Kissinger: But, you knew that we had been installing MIRVs since 1971.

Brezhnev: But, we didn’t know! We would have talked a different language.

Kissinger: I said so publicly in June 1972. It was in our budget, which your Ambassador studies more carefully than I do. It was part of a public debate which caused one of Ambassador Dobrynin’s friends to introduce a resolution banning MIRV testing—Senator Humphrey—and we have defeated him every year. So, it couldn’t have been unknown to you.

Brezhnev: We learned about it after the signing of the agreement. Your public statement was made after the agreement.

Kissinger: Whenever you learned about it, Mr. General Secretary—it must have been a slowness in the Soviet system—the fact is that we could afford a differential in numbers because . . . (Korniyenko brings a paper to Kissinger; they discuss the joint statement to be issued at the end of this session of talks) . . . Do you realize that our press says that you said the first day’s talks were constructive and businesslike and I said they were friendly. Now they say that you are taking a cooler approach than we are?

Gromyko: This will be unilateral, for the sake of atmosphere . . .

Kissinger: If I say friendly and you don’t they’ll say that I exaggerate.

Korniyenko: Let’s say nothing about atmosphere.

[Page 245]

Kissinger: We’ll take care of it at the lunch. We’ll have some correspondents there. (Again, looking at paper) This is fine. Everyone knows that if Sonnenfeldt is at a meeting it couldn’t be friendly. (Gromyko and Brezhnev consult for seven minutes).

Kissinger: (Aside to Sukhodrev) Lord has a Chinese wife.3 We have to be careful about Chinese submarines. He absolutely denies that they exist. You know, we get our press excited by bringing them over here and then not letting them in on the picture.

Brezhnev: If I might have a respite from these figures and return to a question: I want to get clear in my mind if we need an interim period until 1983, and then 1985, or perhaps just one phase until 1985. We would then rid ourselves of the need for further discussion.

Kissinger: We don’t insist on the end of 1983. We could say the summer of 1984. Let me explain our reasoning. The final level shouldn’t be reached at the same time that the agreement expires, because then there would be great uncertainty for the first two years of the agreement as to whether either side will, in fact, go down to the numbers agreed upon. It can be October 1984; that’s possible.

Dobrynin: October—three months?

Kissinger: Well, six months. When would the agreement lapse; the middle of 1985?

Brezhnev: There would be the same time period for both.

Kissinger: My idea is that the agreement should be signed when you visit the United States next year—May or June.

Brezhnev: Good.

Kissinger: It would then be approved by the Senate in July—that would take four-to-six weeks. So, the agreement would lapse in August or September, 1985. I’m just estimating. So, on that assumption, we could have the final level reached in October 1984.

Brezhnev: Well, what happens, in what way would it be bad if we reach the final levels in October 1985.

Kissinger: Because, for the whole last year there would be accusations about not reaching the final level. Then both sides might keep more missiles as insurance against the agreement lapsing. There would be no penalty once the agreement has expired.

Look, if you say you can keep 2,500 but in the last month you will pare down 300, at the precise moment you would be in violation the agreement would lapse. I don’t think we’re at the decision point for six to ten months. It depends on the factor of how big the bulge is. (To Dobrynin) We’re troubled by one thing. You propose 2,400 while we ac [Page 246] cept 2,350 by 1982. You say 2,400, and we say 2,350 by 1982. It’s not a huge difference. Since I have said that while we go down the road we might agree that when we reach the 2,200 level, we might then not exceed it.

Dobrynin: The problem is still third countries.

Kissinger: The British and the French together have 112 missiles. Our estimate is a total of five boats.

Dobrynin: They have four already.

Kissinger: Their boats will be obsolete. They are worse than our first Polaris boats.

We will have twice as many warheads on one Trident boat as the entire British and French warheads! If we go to war, these boats will make no difference. If we don’t go to war, they are useless.

Dobrynin: Doesn’t Great Britain have a special targeting role in NATO?

Kissinger: Look, you have told us we have 15,000 warheads. If we have a general war, what will be left to shoot at? France has a survival of exactly six minutes! (To Sukhodrev) Victor, please explain this to the General Secretary: My point is that he has asked for 2,400 and we have said 2,350—this difference is no problem. We are willing to have an understanding that we won’t go above 2,200 although we would have that right. So, you would have nine years to get down to that figure.

(A break for five minutes)

Brezhnev: Well, so by way of continuing, let’s assume we agree that as of October 1982, we could have a total number of launchers amounting to 2,400—ICBMs and SLBMs. What would the figure be for the United States?

Kissinger: 2,200. We would have to do it the way we did with President Nixon. That is, we had the right, but we didn’t exercise it. We would find some binding formula to express it. I would have to look into it.

Gromyko: It would be juridically valid?

Kissinger: Yes. We’ll find a formula—either as a letter or as part of the agreement.

Brezhnev: And, this could be incorporated in some way?

Kissinger: I will have to study this, Mr. General Secretary, but clearly as it goes beyond the Presidential term, there will have to be a written expression. If we agreed on the principle, we would find the formula, and we would let your Ambassador know prior to the Vladivostok visit.

If we agree on a final figure of 2,200, we will even include it as part of the agreement. But, I will have to check that.

[Page 247]

Brezhnev: Well, assuming that we pursue this line, what will be the situation regarding MIRVs?

Kissinger: The same number can be MIRVed by both sides.

Brezhnev: Any kind of missiles—land-based or sea-based?

Kissinger: Yes. Except with one exception. We will not put MIRVs on U.S. bombers, and there will be no USSR MIRVs on the SS–18—what we call the SS–18.

Brezhnev: I can’t suggest anything better for now than to announce a recess. The positions are so far, so very far apart I don’t see evidence of a desire to achieve equality for an agreement. In line with the question I asked yesterday: Why does the United States want to be stronger than the Soviet Union—to have an advantage? Even though Dr. Kissinger has replied skillfully, the situation hasn’t changed.

Kissinger: Mr. General Secretary, we are in no sense seeking superiority over you. I think we have gone quite far. Any analysis of the U.S. scene would show that I alone have kept open the possibility of an agreement. Every proposal made to you in the last year has been made by me against the opposition of the majority in the U.S. Government.

This is my third visit to the Soviet Union this year. If there is no progress now, it would without any question be described as a failure in the United States. We will certainly not make a more forthcoming proposal. My prediction is that there will be an interval while we both see what happens. I say this with great regret because I am dedicated to coming to an agreement. But, if you have a counter-proposal we are prepared to study it to see what we can do.

Brezhnev: I said yesterday that an agreement is necessary. But, I don’t think anybody could accept an agreement on this basis; we certainly cannot. Why shouldn’t I be allowed to put a MIRV on a certain type of missile? By what right am I denied the right of this possibility?

Kissinger: We are giving up the possibilities of air-to-surface missiles and heavy missiles.

Brezhnev: But you have no need for them.

Kissinger: But, you have asked us not to build air-to-surface missiles.

Korniyenko: Our proposal was that you not build air-to-surface missiles with a range in excess of 600 kilometers. Now you are considering 3,000 kilometers.

Kissinger: If we accept the principle, we can negotiate the distances.

Gromyko: I don’t understand, Dr. Kissinger, how you could have lost sight of the geographic factor and the factor of third countries even though we have drawn your attention to it. Because, if you take the Chinese factor, you say why do we need long-range missiles to parry [Page 248] the Chinese. But, if that factor is taken into account, we need numbers to counter the Chinese. What you say about military strategy is not appropriate. And also (he laughs wryly) to build that type of submarine in connection with the Chinese, we would have to make big outlays. It’s no pleasure for us.

Kissinger: There is no law of strategy which says if you are attacked by a submarine you have to retaliate with a submarine.

Gromyko: Yes, but I’m answering your argument as to why we need to build land-based missiles for use against submarines. It makes a certain degree of sense, but there are several components—land-based, sea-based and strategic air force.

Brezhnev: Now, before we recess, I would like to introduce another element. When we signed the first provisional agreement, we both agreed and mentioned in subsequent statements that both sides would convert the agreement into a permanent agreement. Now we are taking a different stance. We are prolonging the agreement. Who will believe us when we say we want to seek ways to limit dangerous weapons, thermonuclear weapons? Under the new agreement, the number of weapons will be higher and it will be another interim agreement.

Kissinger: The ceiling’s lower. Under the interim agreement, the ceiling for the Soviet Union is 2,350. We might be prepared to seek a longer agreement than 10 years. We are prepared to consider looking at it for 15 years.

Brezhnev: When you talk of levels and say they will be lower under the new proposal than they were under the interim agreement, you are leaving aside the question of MIRVs.

Kissinger: True, but we’re prepared to consider 2,000 if the General Secretary agrees. That would be significantly lower.

Dobrynin: The point he (Brezhnev) wants to make is that if you take the interim agreement and the new agreement, overall they offer nothing for public opinion.

Kissinger: When we talked to you in Yalta you were willing to give us a differential on MIRVs for a differential in numbers.4 Now you want a differential in missiles for an equality in MIRVs!

Brezhnev: A question: How many Tridents would there be under your program?

Kissinger: It depends on whether or not there is an agreement.

Brezhnev: Yes, under an agreement.

[Page 249]

Kissinger: If we do have an agreement, we can consider a limit on the number of Tridents.

Brezhnev: What, roughly, would be the number? If you’re going to spend so much money to build the Trident surely it wouldn’t be just two.

Kissinger: The Chinese have just one. Under the agreement we might limit Tridents to ten.

Brezhnev: As I see it personally—not speaking officially on behalf of my comrades—whatever kind of agreement, whether to your advantage or not, it would not be in line with our responsibility to assure the security of the peoples, our responsibilities to counter the possibilities of thermonuclear war.

(Brezhnev speaks again. Sukhodrev pauses, questions him concerning what he has said, then translates.) I trust you are familiar with a certain idea I put forward in my discussions with former President Nixon in the Crimea. Then, I discussed it at the Embassy (Spaso House) in your presence.5

Kissinger: Yes, I remember.

Brezhnev: Now, that would be a stroke of genius, because anything else we do or reach agreement on would merely look in the eyes of those who know like we are doing an arms balancing act. I had a general discussion with President Nixon on this. I don’t know if there was greater detail. If so, I would like to discuss it tomorrow in a smaller group—on our side, that is. Of course, you could have anyone you wish.

Brezhnev: Then, if I could suggest that we resume our conversation at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow?

Gromyko: There is too little time in the morning. Let’s have lunch (at Spaso House) at 2:00 p.m.

Kissinger: (To Sukhodrev) Do you think that if I presented my case well, you would accept 300 MIRVs in return for our 1,400?

Gromyko: We’ll stick to our original procedure. We’ll have the luncheon at 1:00 p.m.

[Page 250]

Kissinger: We’ll start the toasts the moment we get there.

Gromyko: Forty-five minutes for me; 10 for you.

Brezhnev: We’ll start at 11:00; a 1:00 p.m. lunch; and then we’ll proceed.

Kissinger: Should Korniyenko and Sonnenfeldt get together on the communiqué?

Brezhnev: Good.

(A U.S. text is passed to the Soviet side)6

Gromyko: How many pages, 16?

Dobrynin: We should publish all our figures in the communiqué (laughter).

Kissinger: I must say seriously that if the press sees the third trip as a failure it will have serious consequences. (To Dobrynin) You know this. We will have to say something on background.

Brezhnev: Dr. Kissinger, I would like you tomorrow to explain your thoughts as to the possibilities and versions of concluding an agreement for 15 years—to see what we can build.

Kissinger: (Laughs) I’ll do it, but I’m afraid that every time we meet we will extend the deadline. The next time it will be 20 years.

Brezhnev: I would agree in Vladivostok to speak in terms of 15 years.

Kissinger: Let me make some observations tomorrow.

(Meeting concludes)

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger Reports on USSR, China, and Middle East Discussions, 1974–1976, Box 1, USSR Memcons and Reports, October 27, 1974—Kissinger/Brezhnev Talks in Moscow (2). Top Secret; Sensitive; Nodis. Drafted by Clift. The meeting was held in the Old Politburo Room in the Council of Ministers Building at the Kremlin. Sonnenfeldt’s handwritten notes on the meeting are in National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 5, Misc. Memcons.
  2. See footnote 3, Document 64.
  3. Bette Bao Lord.
  4. See footnote 2, Document 2.
  5. Reference is to a tête-à-tête between Brezhnev and Nixon at the beach house in Oreanda on June 30. No record of the conversation has been found. In the third volume of his memoirs, Kissinger recalled: “On that occasion, Brezhnev had proposed that the two superpowers establish what would amount to nuclear tutelage over the rest of the world. A few days later, at a dinner Nixon hosted at Spaso House, the American Embassy residence, the President called me over and, with Brezhnev sitting beside him, described the Soviet leader’s proposal. In effect, it was that the United States and the Soviet Union should cooperate to quell the nuclear ambitions of any other country by agreeing to act together militarily against any country using nuclear weapons. Nixon called it an ‘interesting idea’ to be explored further between me and Dobrynin or Gromyko.” (Kissinger, Years of Renewal, p. 280) See also Kissinger, Years of Upheaval, pp. 1173–1174.
  6. Not found. See footnote 5, Document 74.