112. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Leonid I. Brezhnev, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU
  • Andrei A. Gromyko, Foreign Minister
  • Anatoli F. Dobrynin, Ambassador to the USA
  • Georgi M. Kornienko, Chief of USA Division, Foreign Ministry
  • Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Interpreter
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, NSC Staff
  • Winston Lord, NSC Staff
  • William G. Hyland, NSC Staff
  • Jonathan T. Howe, NSC Staff
  • John D. Negroponte, NSC Staff

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than the European security conference or MBFR.]

Brezhnev: On the European Security Conference, there is a certain measure of agreement reached: Interim consultations on the timing of multilateral consultations are to start on November 22 in Helsinki. We can register general agreement in Helsinki on an understanding that we will make every effort to achieve productive results, and then continue bilateral consultations.

So, if Dr. Kissinger has no objections we will register agreement on this basis and make every effort to insure that the Conference is held in the first half of 1973. And naturally we will continue contacts through our channel. Does Dr. Kissinger agree with this?

[Page 341]

Dr. Kissinger: Not completely.

[Dobrynin and Gromyko begin explaining to Brezhnev that there is more involved and he should read the rest of his notes. Brezhnev understands and continues.]2

Brezhnev: So, there is a second half. We agree that about three months after the start of the consultations (for CSCE) consultations could begin on procedural matters on reducing forces and armaments in Europe. We are prepared to enter into these consultations with a view to holding a conference after the completion of the European Security Conference. But there is no linkage between the timing, the venue and participants.

Dr. Kissinger: We can agree with this in principle. Let me be specific: We do not think it a good idea that these two consultations take place in the same place. We accept, and prefer, that they not be physically together. Indeed, to prevent the issues of MBFR from being introduced into CSCE, we want the procedural meeting on MBFR before the actual CSCE. We want a preparatory meeting on force reductions before CSCE, but three months may be a little long. It would be most expedient to have them at the end of January, 1973; for the preparatory talks on MBFR, the last week in January might be appropriate. The actual conference should be after the completion of CSCE if it starts at the end of June, the MBFR Conference could be about the end of September—somewhere in September–October. If these principles are agreeable we will then agree to the November 22 starting date for CSCE preparations. We can tell you later how to manage this bureaucratically.

Brezhnev: Let us agree.

Dr. Kissinger: I will need a proposal from your side while we are here, and an unsigned proposal to take up with our allies. After consultations we could then announce our agreement at the beginning of October.

Brezhnev: I agree, that it is all on this.

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than a European security conference or MBFR.]

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 74, Country Files, Europe, USSR, HAK Trip to Moscow, Sept. 1972, Memcons. Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The meeting took place in the Council of Ministers Building in the Kremlin.
  2. Brackets are in the original.