82. Memorandum From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft) to President Ford1
- Letter from Brezhnev
General Secretary Brezhnev has sent you the November 5 message at Tab A2 responding to your message of October 24 (copy at Tab B).3 Your message was sent at the time of Secretary Kissinger’s visit to Moscow, and the General Secretary expresses his satisfaction with those talks—describing them as useful, fruitful and an important preparatory stage for his meeting with you later this month.
In his message, the General Secretary reaffirms the determination of the Soviet Union to work with the United States in “that really historic endeavor” of improving US–USSR relations. He expresses appreciation for the fact that you have so definitely stated that this is your intention. The General Secretary notes that the principal focus of his talks with Secretary Kissinger was on SALT—specifically, the further limitation of strategic offensive arms. He says that during these talks the Soviet side proposed a concept for a long-range agreement together with the components for such an agreement. He expresses the hope that you will give due consideration to these proposals, and he adds that he is willing to continue exploration of the SALT negotiations in this channel in the hope that it will be possible to reach an understanding on the major provisions of a new agreement at Vladivostok.
The General Secretary also tells you that he took the occasion of his talks with Secretary Kissinger to discuss current negative aspects of US–USSR relations, with the hope of removing difficulties and misunderstandings. In closing, the General Secretary says that he and his colleagues attach great significance to his meeting with you in the belief that it will provide a new driving force to Soviet-American relations.
No reply is required to the General Secretary’s message as it is in response to your earlier message.