155. 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

HK: Hello, Walt?

AS: Hello, Henry.

K: Dobrynin complains to me that our guy in Helsinki is leading the charge on the troop movement,2 now I promised Dobrynin, I promised [Page 479] Gromyko and I promised Brezhnev that we would get off troop movements and stick to maneuvers.

AS: Henry, we have and I just saw him this morning—indicated they have reached agreement there on a formulation which is satisfactory to the Soviets.

K: Oh really?

AS: Yeah, so I think we are okay, just a second, Henry, let me check this. Henry, I’m sure that is true.

K: Okay, I’ll tell him Monday.3

AS: Yeah, really it shouldn’t be a problem. They agreed to have the second phase study this question and make reports on it.

K: Now, look there is another idea—first of all can I get your comments on our draft communiqué4 soon?

AS: Yeah, we are working on that right now, we’ll get that over this afternoon.

K: Good, if I could have it this afternoon, I would appreciate it, because I may have a meeting on it tomorrow.

K: Now, here is another idea that I discussed with Dobrynin this morning5—has to do with the MBFR thing. They would consider setting a fixed date for the MBFR if we put into the communiqué a phrase saying that Brezhnev and the President agreed on the desirability of concluding the European Security Conference this year.

AS: Yeah, all phases.

K: On the desirability, you know. But I won’t see him until next week—can you think about that?

AS: Yeah, I think still this would cause some problems—we could just say on desirability concluding the CSCE as soon as possible.

K: That of course—

[Page 480]

AS: They were worried they were going to string this thing out and use MBFR to weigh the thing. Then we’ll think about that one.

K: Do you want to see if we can come up with something?

AS: Yeah.

K: Okay.

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

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry A. Kissinger Telephone Transcripts (Telcons), Box 20, Chronological File. No classification marking.
  2. No record of Kissinger’s conversation with Dobrynin has been found. Telegram 99029 to Helsinki, May 23, reported that Vorontsov had “raised the issue of prior notification of major military movements” in a conversation with Stoessel on May 22. Speaking for Dobrynin, Vorontsov said that Moscow assumed “that there is full understanding by the US of the Soviet view that such notification should not be included in the security mandate. It appeared still to be causing difficulties in Helsinki, however, and Moscow would like the US to do what it could to remove this stumbling block. Stoessel agreed that we had a clear understanding of the Soviet view on this subject.” (Ibid., RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)
  3. At 1:50 p.m. on June 2, Kissinger phoned Dobrynin. A transcript of their telephone conversation reads in part: “HK [Kissinger]: First on troop movements, I am told you don’t know what the hell you are talking about. They’ve already settled it. AD[Dobrynin]: In what way? I just received a telegram on Friday signed by Gromyko that I need to approach you, but you were in Iceland. HK: Our people tell me that on Saturday morning that they got a tele—they seemed to have settled it today. AD: You are just telling me what I am telling you but I am telling you what exactly what was yesterday or even today, so in what way is it settled? HK: I haven’t looked at it, but that they say they and you agreed on a formulation that’s acceptable.” (Ibid., Nixon Presidential Materials, Henry A. Kissinger Telephone Transcripts (Telcons), Box 20, Chronological File)
  4. Kissinger is referring to the draft communiqué for Brezhnev’s forthcoming visit to the United States. Regarding the final communiqué, see Document 163.
  5. No record of this conversation has been found.