8. Letter From Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko to Secretary of State Kissinger1

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I received your private message which was handed through our Chargé d’Affaires ad interim in Washington.2 I was gratified to note the assurances in your letter concerning continuity of the US foreign policy and intention of President Ford’s administration to consistently pursue the line towards further improvement of Soviet-American relations.

We were also satisfied to know that you are going to continue your activity as the Secretary of State and as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. On this occasion I express to you my sincere wishes of success.

On my part I would like to express to you frankly some considerations in connection with your letter.

Much has been done in the development of Soviet-American relations; the success is obvious. At the same time it is clear that our countries face quite serious tasks, for the completion or solution of which we have yet to do substantive joint work.

As you have noted—and we agree with that—here we should not lose momentum in order not only to secure the success we have, but to proceed from this foundation further towards new frontiers, towards achieving new agreements and understandings.

I am sure that all this is quite attainable. Experience convincingly shows that when the USSR and the US act jointly, when they set before themselves realistic common objectives, then any, even most complex, problem turns to be quite soluble. If we ensure continuation of coordinating our efforts, if both sides act energetically and in the spirit of good will, then we undoubtedly will achieve even more significant results.

[Page 18]

On our part we are ready as before to do all what is necessary to facilitate further progress of the initiated big cause, to move consistently ahead along the road of mutually acceptable decisions in the interests of our countries, in the interests of strengthening peace and international security.

In conclusion I would like to stress that we appreciate businesslike confidential relations, which exist between us, and we are ready to develop them further.


A. Gromyko3
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Lot File 81D286, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Box 8, Soviet Union, Aug–Sept 1974. No classification marking. A copy of the letter in Russian is ibid. Kissinger’s office forwarded both the English and Russian texts to Sonnenfeldt on August 28 with a written request for a draft reply “if you believe that one is necessary.” Sonnenfeldt wrote on the note: “No answer needed.” According to marginalia, one of Kissinger’s special assistants thought “Dobrynin handed this to HAK but doesn’t know when.” Dobrynin probably gave Kissinger the letter during their meeting on August 12; see footnote 1, Document 7.
  2. Document 3.
  3. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.