272. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Andrei A. Gromyko, Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
  • Andrei Vavilov, Interpreter
  • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State and Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
  • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff


  • CSCE; Cyprus; Middle East; Economic and Energy Consultations; Europe; MBFR


Gromyko: I would like to summarize some things, and on what questions we would be awaiting your considerations or replies. Questions that have been opened.

First, the question of Confidence-Building Measures. You promised you would give a certain formulation.

Kissinger: I told Hartman to meet with Kovalev this afternoon and see if you can work it out.

Gromyko: You promised to give formulations and to consult with allies. When you are ready, you can use the appropriate channel. When can we expect them?

Kissinger: After I talk to Hartman. Within the next two weeks.

Gromyko: Fine. Then you understand the sooner the better.

The second question is peaceful change of frontiers. You said you would be talking with Schmidt. But you are going to Paris, not Bonn.

Kissinger: I will write to him.

Let me sum up: You are prepared to put the phrase either in the section on sovereignty or on inviolability of frontiers.

Gromyko: We will consider it. When approximately can you do this?

Kissinger: Within ten days. I hope. It will give the Germans a sense that they accomplished something.

Gromyko: This question is not agreed on at all, and we want a definite answer and we will consider it. If some frictions remain, we will go back to our previous position.

Kissinger: I understand.

Gromyko: With respect to the date of the ending of the European Security Conference, I have put forward our views on the dates but I expressed a negative attitude on June and July. You promised to consult and reply next Monday.

Kissinger: By the end of next Monday.2

Gromyko: The third question is the question of correlation of principles. You promised to think it over and express your views to us.

[Page 804]

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


Kissinger: On the Vienna negotiations on force reductions, we are now considering some reduction of new nuclear weapons and aircraft,3 but which has the positive side of not only a reduction but of a ceiling.

And I wondered if it is of interest.

Gromyko: Of course, certainly. It is one of our ideas.

Kissinger: If the principle interests you, we will then proceed to inform our allies.

Gromyko: We are interested.

Kissinger: Then we will present it to our allies.

Gromyko: It depends on the nature of the proposal and the relation to other elements.

Kissinger: Of course. But we are considering it in addition to other elements.

[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. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Rodman. The conversation took place in the Secretary’s suite at the Intercontinental Hotel. The complete text of the memorandum of conversation is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XVI, Soviet Union, August 1974–December 1976.
  2. February 24.
  3. See Document 357.