335. Statement Agreed by the United States and the Soviet Union1

Interpretive Statement

In clarification of interpretation of the provisions of the Protocol to the Interim Agreement With Respect to the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms, signed on May 26, 1972, the United States understands that:

the aggregate levels of ballistic missile launchers on submarines (SLBMs), established by the Protocol for the United States and the USSR (950 for the USSR and 710 for the US) include ballistic missile launchers on all nuclear-powered submarines and launchers for modern ballistic missiles which may be deployed on diesel-powered submarines;
launchers for older ballistic missiles on diesel-powered submarines are not included in the above-mentioned levels and therefore cannot be used for the purposes of replacements as defined in the Protocol;
a “modern” ballistic missile on a submarine is a missile of the type which is deployed on nuclear-powered submarines commissioned in the USSR since 1965;
for purposes of replacement as defined in the Protocol the first replacement submarine for the USSR is that modern ballistic missile submarine that carries SLBM launchers in excess of the 740 SLBMs on nuclear-powered submarines referred to in the Protocol; when such a submarine begins its sea trial and for all subsequent ones, the dismantling of an equal number of launchers of ICBMs of older types or launchers of ballistic missiles on older submarines as defined above, must have begun and will be completed in the shortest possible agreed period of time.

The Soviet side has indicated its agreement with this interpretation.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 494, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 12. Top Secret. According to a July 20 memorandum of conversation prepared by Kissinger, he told Dobrynin that the Nixon administration agreed to the statement and that it should be signed as soon as possible. Dobrynin stated that he preferred that Kissinger, rather than Smith, sign it so that it would not appear in the newspapers. (Ibid.)