66. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Ambassador Anatoliy Dobrynin
  • Mr. Henry A. Kissinger

Ambassador Dobrynin came in as we had agreed at the dinner on April 7th,2 to get answers to two questions: (1) whether we wanted the summit talks handled through a visit by Kosygin to the United Nations as Head of the Soviet Delegation, and (2) how we proposed to handle the SALT talks. In the latter connection, Dobrynin had told me that it would help him if he could get some advance information so that he could show that he is in direct and close contact on SALT matters with the White House.

I told Dobrynin with respect to the first question that if a summit meeting were to take place this year, we would prefer to handle it outside the United Nations and as a separate initiative. Of course, we would not preclude the Soviet Prime Minister coming here but, on the whole, we would like to take it as a separate initiative.

With respect to the SALT talks, I told Dobrynin that we would present a very comprehensive proposal at Vienna, including qualitative as well as quantitative restrictions. On the other hand, we did not exclude a simple agreement this year. The best way to handle it would be for the Vienna talks to concentrate on comprehensive measures, while he and I would try to work out a limited agreement in the interval. One way might be for a recess to be taken after a few months in Vienna, during which time the President and the Soviet Prime Minister could break a deadlock and then meet to ratify it at a summit. Dobrynin said he understood and he would let me have an answer when he returned.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to SALT.]

  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box TS 36, Geopolitical File, Soviet Union, Chronological File, 3/69–6/70. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. Printed from an uninitialed copy. The meeting took place in Kissinger’s office. Kissinger forwarded the memorandum of conversation to Nixon under an April 18 covering memorandum that summarized the conversation. The covering memorandum bears the handwritten comment: “This should have sensitive handling.” For the full text of the memorandum of conversation, see Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XII, Soviet Union, January 1969–October 1970, Document 152.
  2. See Document 64.