254. Memorandum From the Counselor of the Department of State (Sonnenfeldt) to Secretary of State Kissinger 1

Mr. Secretary,

I have prepared an up-date for your luncheon with Dobrynin on the following:2

  • Tab A—The Trade Bill
  • Tab B—Moscow talks on nuclear issues
  • Tab C—CSCE
  • Tab D—MBFR
  • Tab E—Chemical Weapons
  • Tab F—Environmental Warfare
  • Tab G—The Grain Deal
  • Tab H—UN Financing
  • Tab I—The EXIM Bank Bill


Tab C3


CSCE continues at a snail’s pace. We informed the Allies October 2 that we will support the Nine in calling for a first reading of the Basket III texts. But the Soviets may not ever agree to a first reading of texts which they say are propagandistic, and the Europeans probably do not have the stomach to face a prolonged deadlock in the Conference. So the Nine in Geneva are already looking for ways to fall back gracefully, perhaps to a compromise package deal on human contacts like the one that broke the Basket III preamble impasse in July.

For your amusement, Van Well talked to the Soviet Ambassador in Bonn a few days ago and was told that the Soviet formulation on peaceful change given by Gromyko to Genscher was the official one. You remember Vorontsov assured us that he had checked with Gromyko and that the version given to us was the correct one. And to compound the mischief, the Soviets have added commas to what they gave Genscher here. To recapitulate:

As given to us, the translated formulation reads:

The participating states consider that their frontiers can change only in accordance with international law, by peaceful means and by agreement.

As given to the Germans here, it reads:

The participating states consider that their frontiers can be changed in accordance with international law only by peaceful means and by agreement.

As given to Van Well in Bonn, it reads:

The participating states consider that their frontiers can be changed, in accordance with international law, only by peaceful means, and by agreement.

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In any event, the Western delegations in Geneva are fully aware of the differences in the texts and Sherer is telling the Germans that we expect them and the Soviets to sort out the confusion. I told Vorontsov the same thing.

I don’t see any point in your pushing Dobrynin on CSCE until you decide how we want to play the issue of linkage with MBFR. As you asked, we have initiated a discussion of linkage at NATO and should soon begin to get instructed responses from the Allies.

Tab D4


There has been no movement in Vienna since the talks resumed September 16. Meanwhile we are working with our Allies in NATO on the introduction of air manpower into the talks (in accordance with the NSDM).5 In view of your recent go-around with Gromyko on MBFR,6 there seems little more that can usefully be said to Dobrynin before you leave for Moscow.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 8, Soviet Union, October 1974. Secret; Eyes Only. Kissinger wrote at the bottom of the first page, “List of participants.”
  2. Tabs A–B and E–I are attached but not printed. No record of Kissinger’s luncheon meeting with Dobrynin has been found.
  3. Confidential; Exdis.
  4. Secret; Eyes Only.
  5. Document 351.
  6. See Document 248.