18. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers1


  • Scientific and Technical Exchanges with Eastern Europe

With reference to your memoranda of December 24, 1969 and July 29, 1970,2 with President agrees that there is much scope for increased scientific exchanges and some cooperative technical projects in Eastern Europe.3 However, we should emphasize only those cooperative projects which do not exceed the limitations of current East-West trade legislation. In other words, we would not want to initiate scientific projects we can foresee leading to requests from the participating country that would require changes in our legislation or our refusal to implement a previously agreed program.

The President has noted with approval the proposed program for the National Science Foundation. He agrees, moreover, that an agency such as the Foundation should be equipped with funds for international scientific programs sufficient to respond effectively to initiatives and to use the leverage of the United States scientific and technical strength to serve foreign policy interests. (It is understood that the proposed increase of $500,000 for exchanges with Eastern Europe is within the Foundationʼs FY 1972 budget ceiling.)

The President has noted that the additional funds in the range suggested will be directed primarily towards Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria in that order of priority, thereby introducing a new dimension in our scientific relations with these countries. The President has directed that cooperation with Yugoslavia continue to be pursued vigorously. This, of course, does not mean that useful initiatives involving Poland should be ignored.

The Department of State should continue to work closely with the National Science Foundation in allocating resources among the Eastern European countries. If the Romanians press for an expansion of scientific exchanges during negotiation of a new two-year exchanges agreement this autumn, we should respond positively.

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Activities with respect to Eastern European programs should also be coordinated with my office and, in their scientific and technical aspects, with the Office of Science and Technology. Periodic progress reports should be forwarded for the Presidentʼs information.

Henry A. Kissinger
  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 667, Country Files—Europe, Eastern Europe. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Directors of the National Science Foundation, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Office of Science and Technology.
  2. Neither printed. (Ibid.)
  3. Nixon initialed an October 22 memorandum from Kissinger, authorizing the instructions contained in the memorandum. (Ibid.)