183. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between Secretary of State Kissinger and the Soviet Ambassador (Dobrynin)1

K: Hello, Anatol.

D: Hello Henry. How are you?

K: How are you?

D: Yes.

K: I just talked to the President.2

[Page 520]

D: Yes.

K: And he wanted me for the benefit of your leadership to know two things—to tell you two things. One, we are now engaged in an airlift as you know of equipment to Israel.

D: Is it heavy equipment or consumables?

K: It is mostly at this point consumables and we are keeping some restraints at the moment on heavy equipment. Considerable restraints on heavy equipment and a little but very little. We are prepared to stop the airlift immediately after a cease-fire if you are prepared to stop your airlift. But if not we can first of all increase it considerably and include heavy equipment. I mean we are not going at our maximum capacity or anywhere near.

D: No, I understand. It is not that you will continue intermittently.

K: Well, if it goes on we will be forced into it sooner or later. As you know, we are already as you know under massive pressure on the Phantoms. We are sending a few but not like anything that we are asked to do.

D: Yes, I understand. Yes.

K: You know those were the major items he wanted me to . . .

D: At the beginning you said you begin an airlift, yes?

K: Beginning—it is in process. It is beginning now. Yes.

D: Well, that is a matter of information.

K: Well, it is a matter of information ________ proposal. If you are prepared to stop your airlift after a cease-fire, we are prepared to stop ours immediately.

D: Alright, but it is connected with the cease-fire you mentioned, yes.

K: In connection with the cease-fire, yes.

D: O.K. I’ll pass it on right away.

K: You know, Anatol, we all know now what is at stake because if this goes on much longer, . . .

D: Well, ________ if you had a chance to read my telegram what I sent yesterday it was exactly what I am told.

K: No, no I . . .

D: I make my own reservations of course, but it was a direct quotation everything you said. It is not only fair, but it is important for them to know the mood. At a certain point of our usual thing, I don’t do direct quotations, but a summary, I make it. But yesterday I was rather in a detail of what you said because this is what I feel and . . .

K: But also I give you advice. I have kept press guidance for today to an absolute minimum and we will say nothing but . . .

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D: For press, you mean.

K: Well, we will just say we are doing something but starting tomorrow as I have already explained to you we’ll be forced to say something.

D: Yes, I understand. I am already make it clear for tomorrow after this you might say something unless maybe there are some other things.

K: Well, unless we know where we are going.

D: Yes, I understand. I will telephone tomorrow.

K: O.K., good.

D: O.K. Tell me, do you expect ________ 4:00, for 4 hours?

K: I don’t expect we will do anything between 4 and 8.

D: Nothing. Yes, because I just wanted to see you—to go and then come back.

K: No, no.

D: O.K.

K: Good.

D: Bye, bye.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Kissinger Telephone Conversations, Transcripts (Telcons), Chronological File, Box 23. No classification marking. The blank underscores indicate omissions in the original.
  2. See Document 182.