337. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Russian Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger

The meeting took place in an extremely cordial atmosphere.


Dobrynin began the meeting by a rather strong attack on the Jackson Resolution.2 He said it would be very difficult to understand in Moscow why such a measure should be pushed by the Administration. I said it was not pushed by the Administration, but indeed that we had declared our neutrality. Dobrynin said it would never make any sense in Moscow that Senator Scott would put his name on a resolution not supported by the White House. He thought it was very unfortunate and that we would pay a price totally out of proportion to any possible gain. He said that we should remember that Brezhnev and the President signed it jointly; how would we feel if the Soviets attached reservations on their part even if they repeated things that had already been agreed upon? I told Dobrynin I would have to see what could be done at this late stage. Dobrynin said that he had no official [Page 977] authority but he wanted to tell me that it really would make a great deal of difference if some progress could be made.

Nuclear Understanding

We then turned to my trip to the Soviet Union.3 Dobrynin said they expected some definite progress on the nuclear understanding,4 and they were prepared to sign it early in October when he thought it would do us a great deal of good. I said we would do our best, but that their present draft was not quite acceptable. He said it would help if I could give him a counterdraft. I said I would do my best. Dobrynin pointed out that he would return to the Soviet Union on August 14th for about two weeks, so that it would really be quite important to have such a draft available by then.

[Omitted here is material unrelated to SALT.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 495, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 13. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The luncheon meeting took place at the Soviet Embassy.
  2. The Jackson amendment to Senate Joint Resolution 241 on the Interim Strategic Offensive Arms Agreement, August 7, qualified Congressional support so that if a more comprehensive treaty were not achieved within the 5 years of the interim agreement, the United States was not bound to the levels established by the agreements. The amendment was revised on September 13. See Documents on Disarmament, 1972, pp. 547, 652–653.
  3. Kissinger visited Moscow September 10–14. Discussions covered numerous bilateral topics and those related to SALT concerned a resumption of negotiations under a second round, SALT II. A transcript of a news conference held at the White House on September 16 is in Department of State Bulletin, October 9, 1972, pp. 389–400.
  4. On July 21 Brezhnev wrote a letter to Nixon in which he called for an agreement on the mutual non-use of nuclear weapons. The letter is in the National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 494, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 12.