341. Backchannel Message From the President’s Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs (Haig) to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1

WH29473/Tohak 3. Dobrynin just called from New York and stated that he had a technical and procedural question with respect to the Interim Agreement on Offensive Weapons. He stated that the Soviet Government would like to have our views on how to administratively set up the exchange between the two governments which confirms the mutual acceptability of the Interim Agreement. Such questions as who should sign the document, who the document should be addressed to and precisely the modalities that we would prefer and whether the exchange of whatever the vehicle might be, should occur concurrently with the formal exchange of the treaties.

I told him that we would get the best thinking of our experts and pass it to him as soon as possible but that I was sure we preferred a parallel arrangement so that both the Treaty and the Interim Agreement were handled at the same level simultaneously. I will talk to Sonnenfeldt and propose a game plan which I will then forward to you for approval. Dobrynin also merely reaffirmed that he knew we were moving to get the Treaty and the Interim Agreement through the Congress and that he is proceeding under the assumption that it will be ready next week.2

Warm regards.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 495, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 13. Top Secret; Exclusive; Eyes Only. Sent through Winston Lord.
  2. In a September 25 memorandum to the President, Timmons informed him that “the House today suspended the Rules and passed by 306–4 the Senate version of the SALT interim agreement, clearing the measure for your signature. The enrolling process will take a day so the agreement should be at the White House Tuesday [October 3]afternoon.” (Ibid., Box 883, SALT, SALT talks (Helenski) [sic], ending September–October 1972)