197. Editorial Note

On March 29, 1974, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Arthur Hartman and Counselor Helmut Sonnenfeldt briefed the North Atlantic Council on Secretary of State Kissinger’s visit to Moscow. Telegram 1747 from USNATO, March 30, summarized the briefing: “Counselor Sonnenfeldt and Assistant Secretary Hartman consulted with Allies in restricted NAC session March 29 about Secretary Kissinger’s discussion with Soviet leaders in Moscow. Reviewing substantive discussions item by item, U.S. reps reported that General Secretary Brezhnev discussed CSCE at some length, expressing desire to complete all three stages of CSCE by early summer and to complete third stage of CSCE at summit level. U.S. had pointed out that pace of work could probably not match Soviet timetable. Allies asked whether evident Soviet desire for rapid conclusion of CSCE would be reflected in positive Soviet moves in Geneva. U.S. reps replied that some signs of movement had already occurred in Geneva talks and that NAC should now promptly consider in each basket what a reasonable and acceptable outcome would be for the West. Responding to further Allied questions, U.S. reps said U.S. had not committed itself to Soviets on level of participation in CSCE Stage III and would reserve judgement until [Page 604] contents of final agreement became more clear.” The telegram continued: “Hartman said Brezhnev had brought CSCE up in his introductory remarks, and he had come back to it several times. He commented on the length of time that conference was taking, and referred to ‘trivialities’ being pressed by others for Basket III. Brezhnev referred to domestic legislation each time he harked back to Basket III items. Brezhnev was also quite concerned about confidence-building measures, in particular the view of others that they should apply to all of the European USSR, and there would have to be ‘a little Pentagon’ if advance notification were expected to apply to military movements. He did say, however, that if there were a maneuver around Kiev, perhaps that could be notified. The Soviets had asked what a reinforced division was, with reference to the UK draft CBM text. They were rather negative on troop movements, as opposed to maneuvers. Soviets had also stressed importance of principle of inviolability of frontiers. They were willing to accept ‘peaceful,’ or ‘voluntary’ change, but not coupled with inviolability. They suggested that this principle might instead be linked with text on sovereignty. On Basket III issues, the Soviets had said they were interested in enhancing East-West contacts. Soviets had referred to exchanges of publications, tourism and cultural exchanges. They had referred once to easing the plight of separated families. There was always a reference in speaking of such matters to domestic laws. Only in his opening remarks had Brezhnev also mentioned limitations of customs and traditions in connection with Basket III issues.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files, 1974)