257. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Leonid Il’ich Brezhnev, General Secretary and Member of the Politburo, CPSU Central Committee
  • Andrey A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Member CPSU Politburo
  • Anatoly Dobrynin, USSR Ambassador to the United States
  • Andrey M. Aleksandrov-Agentov, Aide to General Secretary Brezhnev
  • Georgiy M. Korniyenko, Chief, USA Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Oleg Sokolov, USA Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Second European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Interpreter)
  • Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Walter J. Stoessel, Jr., U.S. Ambassador to USSR
  • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counselor of the Department, Department of State
  • Arthur A. Hartman, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs, Department of State
  • Winston Lord, Director, Policy Planning Staff, Department of State
  • William G. Hyland, Director, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Department of State
  • A. Denis Clift, Senior Staff Member, National Security Council


  • Secretary Kissinger’s Visit to USSR, October 1974

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


Brezhnev: One last matter affecting us is that of the All European Conference. If you have any reproaches regarding our position I’m sure you will make them. There are no hidden dangers in the USSR position, no one-sided advantages. The Conference must serve the interests of all the participants. But, how is the United States acting?

I don’t want to criticize your President. But, in practice, we don’t feel that at Geneva the United States is acting vigorously with the Soviet [Page 749] Union to bring the Conference to a successful conclusion. I am sure that if the United States and the President wanted to act, agreement would be achieved rapidly. The United States and Soviet Union would not be showing hegemony, but would be safeguarding peace in Europe. If the United States took a stand, your friends would act. Now we have new delays, another interval. Then they will say it is too cold, then too hot. It is being dragged out. We feel the United States is far too passive. In words, the United States says it wants to act. At the conference, the United States sits in silence. France takes one position. The FRG has its position. We think the United States should take a resolute position. The Netherlands, Turkey and others are dragging it out. But, when questions regarding our territory to the Urals are raised, then European Security is really not the subject.

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

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 8, Soviet Union, October 1974. Top Secret; Nodis; Sensitive. Drafted by Clift. The conversation took place in the Old Politburo Room in the Council of Ministers Building in the Kremlin. The full text of the memorandum of conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XVI, Soviet Union, August 1974–December 1976. Secretary Kissinger visited the Soviet Union October 23–27, as part of a longer trip to the Soviet Union, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Romania, Yugoslavia, Italy, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Israel, and Tunisia from October 23 to November 9.