262. Message From Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev to President Nixon 1

Dear Mr. President,

We have hard information that the Israeli forces are now fiercely attacking by tanks and naval crafts the Egyptian port of Adabei on the Western bank of the Suez Canal with obvious intention to capture this port in gross violation of also a new cease-fire decision of the Security Council.

At the same time the Israeli armed forces are fiercely fighting Egyptian forces on the Eastern bank of the Southern Suez Canal.

These defiant actions have been taken by the presumptuous leaders of Israel only several hours after the last confirmation by the Security Council of its decision about an immediate cease-fire and after your firm statement that the United States takes full responsibility for implementation by Israel of a complete termination of hostilities.

So what is happening—hardly have we reached an understanding and received from you very solemn assurances concerning its implementation, when gross defiance occurs of both this understanding of ours and of decisions of the Security Council.

We, naturally, have questions as to what is behind all this. I wish to say it frankly, Mr. President, that we are confident that you have possibilities to influence Israel with the aim of putting an end to such a provocative behaviour of Tel Aviv.

We would like to hope that we both will be true to our word and to the understanding we have reached.

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I will appreciate information on your steps towards Israel’s strict and immediate compliance with the decisions of the Security Council of this October 22 and 23.2

Respectfully,

L. Brezhnev 3
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 69, Country Files, Europe, USSR, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 20, [October 12–November 21, 1973]. No classification marking. A notation on the message states that it was delivered from the Soviet Embassy at 1:15 p.m. The message is attached to a note from Dobrynin to Kissinger stating that he was sending him the message he told him about that morning over the telephone. See Document 258.
  2. Regarding Nixon’s reply to Brezhnev’s message, see footnote 2, Document 258.
  3. The original bears this typed signature.