139. Transcript of Telephone Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) and the Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs (Stoessel)1

WS: Hello Henry. I saw Vorontsov yesterday about CSCE.2

HK: Right.

WS: And he was complaining [about] slow progress and so on. I told him about our concern about their stand on human contact issue and that this has bothered our allies and this is stiffening them about the inviolability issue.

HK: Right.

WS: And ah—well, he took this all down and asked, well, you don’t have anything specific to suggest? And I said no—you should talk to the allies. Now Dobrynin called me this afternoon, saying he had heard what I had told Vorontsov and he was very surprised and he asked had I heard from you? I said no, all I knew was that Ken Rush had talked to you and told me that Vorontsov would be seeing me about this CSCE meeting—that’s all I knew. And Dobrynin said “Oh, I have to call Henry because what we want is a very confidential exchange,” and I gather, you know, he wants to agree on some language. I said well, I don’t know anything about that.

HK: Well, that is what they have in mind—they do want a very confidential exchange—now I am not sure I would agree to agree on some language—

WS: I’m afraid of that because we’ll get into a nutcracker again with the allies.

HK: But if you can call them along a bit.

WS: Yeah, well that is what I was trying to do—I complained about this Orin (sp?) statement about human contact. I said I felt we were really on the verge of working on—

HK: But the intention was that there would be some preliminary talks between you and them.

WS: Uh huh.

HK: To see whether we could narrow the differences a bit—

WS: Yeah, yeah. Well, I can see him again. As I say I am reluctant to get into actual language because of a—

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HK: They have a central committee meeting next Monday—I wonder whether you can’t stall them through that.

WS: Sure. Yeah. You mean hold off any further contact—

HK: No, tell him you have since talked to me and you are willing to have, you know, some exchange, but I wouldn’t agree to anything final—and you can tell him that it was agreed that the final decision, if any, would be made by Dobrynin and me.

WS: Yeah. Should we suggest illustrative language or—

HK: Well, if you think you can sell it.

WS: Yeah, or maybe we can be a little more specific on the points that bother us.

HK: Yeah, I think that would be my first step.

WS: Yeah, because I really think it is for the allies, mainly the French and the Italians, they are very concerned; they think something can be worked out in Helsinki, but the Soviets have got to give a little. And then on this inviolability of frontiers, it is not ourselves that are holding the thing up, I think it is the Germans, and they are prepared to move, but they want some give from the Soviets on the human contacts.

HK: Well why don’t you explain that problem to them and say we are willing—but it is also partly between them and the allies—but show you have had some instructions to be helpful. Can you do that?

WS: Sure, sure, sure.

HK: Good, thank you.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Henry A. Kissinger Telephone Transcripts (Telcons), Box 19, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. No other record of this meeting has been found.