105. Editorial Note

On August 16, 1972, Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev wrote in a letter to President Nixon with regard to a European security conference and mutual and balanced force reductions: “In the European affairs the questions of preparing and convening the All-European Conference are now moving to the forefront and demand practical solution. We believe the time has come to fix a concrete date for beginning the multilateral preparatory consultations. This would give more purposefulness to the preparatory work. With due account also of the [Page 324] considerations of the American side, it appears to be possible to take up such consultations in any case not later than November 1972 with a view that a meeting itself, as we have agreed with you, should be convened without undue delay. Now, a few words on the question of reduction of armed forces and armaments in Europe. We together with our allies have always attached importance to this problem, have undertaken appropriate initiatives and at the present time continue to contemplate the most appropriate ways of its solution. However, the questions of reduction of armaments in Europe should in no way—and as we believe, this is the essence of the understanding reached between us in Moscow on this question—be used for delaying and complicating the multilateral consultations on preparing and carrying out the All-European Conference.” (Memorandum from Haig to Kissinger, August 17; National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 495, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 13) The full text of the letter is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XV, Soviet Union, June 1972–August 1974.