124. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Henry A. Kissinger
  • Anatoliy F. Dobrynin

I told Dobrynin that in regard to SALT the President had decided the following: We were prepared to make an ABM agreement, provided it was coupled with an undertaking to continue working on offensive limitations and provided it was coupled with an undertaking that there would be a freeze on new starts of offensive land-based missiles until there was a formal agreement in limiting offensive weapons. There might be some special provision that would have to be made for submarines, but we would have to leave this to detailed negotiations. I told Dobrynin that if he were prepared to proceed on this basis, I would be prepared to talk to him about it on behalf of the President. We could settle the basic issues in February. Prior to the resumption of the SALT talks2 there could be an exchange of letters or public statements between the President and the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The SALT talks in Vienna could then concentrate on implementing the agreement in principle.

Dobrynin asked how I understood “limitations” on submarines to operate. I said I had no specific proposal to make, and I mentioned it [Page 386] only in case we wanted to raise it later so that he would not feel that he had been misled. I thought, however, that the question of equality was recognized in principle. Dobrynin said he would have an answer when he returned.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 78, Country Files, Europe, USSR, SALT. Top Secret; Sensitive. The NSC staff extracted this discussion of SALT from a memorandum of conversation of the entire meeting, which covered a range of topics. Both the extract and the memorandum were sent by Kissinger to Nixon under a January 25 summary memorandum. (Ibid., Box 490, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1971, Vol. 4) The memorandum of conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIII, Soviet Union, October 1970–September 1971, Document 90.
  2. The fourth round of talks was scheduled to resume in Vienna in March.