200. Editorial Note

On April 23, 1974, Counselor Sonnenfeldt forwarded to Secretary of State Kissinger a paper containing talking points for an upcoming meeting with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin. With regard to “CSCE: Basket III Compromise,” the paper reads: “We have proposed preambular language for Basket III to the Soviets which is consistent with earlier agreed language emerging from Helsinki, and which would make reference to respect for ‘legislative and regulatory’ systems in the Basket I declaration of principles. The Soviets appear to have accepted [Page 610] our noninflammatory wording in lieu of their preference for preambular language which would give Basket I a special and higher status than the rest of the final CSCE document. Last week, Korniyenko again urged Stoessel to engage the US in handling a major share of the tactical burden of tabling this compromise in Geneva, specifically suggesting that the US either table or arrange with our Allies or the neutrals to table both the preambular and ‘legislative and regulatory’ language. We have resisted this in the past on the grounds that our tabling of the compromise or parts thereof would surprise and annoy our Allies, and would be more productively done by the Soviet side as a substantial gesture which would facilitate overall CSCE drafting. In addition, we are, of course, reluctant to get out in front on this subject so as not to accelerate the pace of the conference prior to the USUSSR summit. Consequently, we have assured the Soviets that if they table or arrange for the tabling of the compromise, we will then make a major effort with our Allies to ensure its acceptance.” Sonnenfeldt recommended that Kissinger “continue to resist drawing the US into taking the lead in tabling this compromise.” (National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 8, Soviet Union) No record of the meeting with Dobrynin has been found.