252. Editorial Note

On the evening of September 30, 1971, President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger met with Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko at the Soviet Embassy for two hours. First, Kissinger wanted to ensure that President Richard Nixon had correctly [Page 909] understood what the Foreign Minister had told him the previous afternoon regarding the cessation in arms deliveries, the withdrawal of Soviet troops, and Soviet participation in guarantee arrangements (see Document 251). After Gromyko had assured him that he had indeed made those points, the two of them discussed the complications of trying to establish a link between an interim and a final settlement. Kissinger said that there was “no possibility of implementing a final agreement” before the Presidential election, since “no American President could engage in the pressures that might be necessary” to achieve it. But Kissinger suggested that they might be able to “get the interim settlement out of the way” by the time of the Moscow Summit in May, where he thought Nixon and Brezhnev might privately agree on the nature of an “ultimate settlement.” After Gromyko declared that their discussion had been “very positive” Kissinger informed him that he was prepared to begin talks with Dobrynin in three weeks. (Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIII, Soviet Union, October 1970–October 1971, Document 344)