329. Note From the Soviet Leadership to President Nixon1

The Soviet side proceeds on the basis that the aggregate levels of SLBM launchers, established for the sides by the Protocol to the Interim Agreement,2 cover SLBM launchers of any type, including those on the diesel-powered submarines (known in the US as “G-Class” submarines). In this connection ballistic missile launchers on older submarines may be used for the purposes of replacement as defined in the Protocol to the Interim Agreement.
The Soviet side also proceeds on the basis that a first “replacement” submarine for the USSR is that first modern ballistic missile submarine that carries SLBM launchers in excess of the 740 SLBMs on nuclear-powered submarines refered to in the Protocol. When such submarine begins its sea trial and for all subsequent ones, the dismantling of an equal number of older ICBMs or older SLBMs must have begun and will be completed in the shortest possible agreed period of time.

As regards the question of specifying the commencement time of the replacement process, the Soviet side proceeds on the basis that national means of control make it possible to determine the commencement of sea trial of a new ballistic missile submarine, and, according to the agreed statement of the USSR and the USA delegations in Helsinki, notification thereof will be accomplished under procedures to be agreed in the standing consultative commission. In view of the above, additional specification in regard to this question is not required at this time.

The Soviet side proceeds on the basis that a “modern” ballistic missile on a submarine is a missile of the type which is deployed on nuclear-powered submarines commissioned in the Soviet Union since 1965.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 494, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 12. Top Secret. A handwritten notation on the note indicates that Vorontsov handed it to Kissinger at 8:15 p.m. on June 14. According to a transcript of a telephone conversation between Kissinger and Dobrynin at 7:52 p.m., Kissinger asked Dobrynin to send Vorontsov over. Dobrynin replied, “Ok. If you have a question or anything please tell him then and then if you have some comment to make, then I will make a report or—but I am really prepared to come anytime to you after if you need or tomorrow morning.” (Ibid., Kissinger Office Files, Box 14, Chronological File)
  2. Document 318.