103. Telegram From Secretary of State Rogers to the Department of State 1

Secto 74/3233. Bonn for Embassy and Under Secretaryʼs Party. Memorandum of Conversation: FM Leskinen (Finland). Part II of V: European Security; October 5, 1971; 12:15 PM, 35A Waldorf.

Participants: Finland–FM Leskinen, Ambassador Jakobson, Ambassador Munkki, Finnish Ambassador to Washington, Dr. Hyvarinen, Foreign Minister; US—The Secretary, Mr. De Palma, Mr. McCloskey, Mr. Waring (reporting officer).
Summary: At Leskinenʼs request, the Secretary reviewed our position on the relationship between the Berlin Agreement2 and a CES. He also reviewed our thinking on a CES and MBFR, noting that the Soviets did not seem to have a clear picture of what they wanted. He also stated that we shied away from multilateral preparatory talks. Regarding the Finnish proposal to have a Finnish representative have bilateral talks separately with interested parties in Helsinki the Secretary said it was too early to pass judgment and moreover that NATO consultations were required. Leskinen noted that he had settled with Scheel the problem of recognition consultations with the two German states.
Congratulating the Secretary on the talk which he had delivered to the UNGA,3 “which was excellent in all respects and had even found a good reaction on the part of the Soviets,” Leskinen asked if he could have Mr. Rogersʼ views on such matters as Berlin and a security conference. The Secretary replied that both we and the Soviets believe that the Berlin Agreement will be completed. He noted that our relations with the Soviet Union had made progress. There existed of course differences, but there were much less polemic in exchanges. As for a CES, nothing much could take place until the 4-Power Agreement on Berlin was implemented. He anticipated that this would be around the first of the year. Preparatory talks should be on a bilateral basis, the Secretary thought. We shy away from multilateral preparatory talks, as these have the tendency to take on a form of their own. However, we are not adamant in this respect. The Secretary added that we did not know exactly how the Soviets related MBFR with CES. Would be [Page 255]difficult without MBFR. Perhaps both could take place simultaneously, but in different forums. We had an open mind on the matter.
Leskinen asked the Secretaryʼs views about so-called multilateral-bilateral talks after the Berlin Agreement is implemented. He had in mind a Finnish official talking individually to the parties concerned. The Secretary replied that it was too early to pass judgment on such a procedure. In any event NATO consultations were required. Reverting to CESMBFR, the Secretary observed that while neutral countries could and should be present at a CES, he did not see their place in a MBFR, as the Soviets seemed to wish. He asked Leskinen if Finland were interested in reducing its armed forces, and Leskinen observed that Finland just did not have enough to be interested in such a matter.
Leskinen then mentioned his conversation with FRG FonMin Scheel, noting that he had cleared up the difficulties with Scheel regarding eventual recognition of both German states. (Scheel had informed the Secretary about the same matter on October 1.) The Secretary remarked that he thought that this was a good idea.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL FIN–US Confidential; Priority. Repeated to Helsinki and USNATO, and priority to Bonn. Rogers was in New York attending the UN General Assembly meeting.
  2. For text of the Berlin Agreement, signed September 3, 1971, see Documents on Germany, 1944–1985, pp. 1135–1143.
  3. October 4; for text, see Department of State Bulletin, October 25, 1971, pp. 437–444.