161. Editorial Note

On June 19, 1973, President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs Kissinger sent President Nixon a memorandum updating him on the negotiations between the U.S. and Soviet delegations on the final communiqué for Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev’s visit. With regard to the European security conference and MBFR, Kissinger’s memorandum reads:

  • “The Soviets want the communiqué to say that the final stage of the European Security Conference should be held at the summit level. Several of our Allies object to any such commitment at this time, as do we. The possibility of a concluding summit meeting might provide the West with some leverage during the earlier stages of the Conference. For the communiqué, we have tentatively proposed to say that if progress in the Conference warrants it, the idea of a summit level final stage may be considered.
  • “We have, however, tied this possible concession to the Soviets to their accepting a date certain for the beginning of MBFR talks—October 30. Thus far the Soviets have refused to set this date, although they had earlier agreed to the start of MBFR in September/October. It is important for Congressional reasons that we should get a fixed starting date. Consequently, we are holding out, in the communiqué negotiations, for a trade-off between our vague commitment to the possibility of a summit-level final stage of CSCE and the setting of October 30 as the start of MBFR.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 68, Dobrynin/Kissinger, Vol. 18)