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


  • CSCE: The Maneuvers CBM

I called in Vorontsov at 5:30 to tell him we had tried our best all week with the allies at Geneva to sell Dobrynin’s suggested parameters of 250 kilometers, 30,000 men and 18 days for the CBM on notification of military maneuvers. I noted that Art Hartman had told [Page 867] Dobrynin earlier today2 that we were having difficulty with the allies on this issue, and that we had just received word from Geneva3 that it was not acceptable to either the allies or the neutrals.

I then gave Vorontsov our estimate that it would probably be possible quickly to wrap up this CBM, if Moscow could accept final parameters of 300 kilometers, 25,000 men and 21 days. I emphasized that this was not a formal proposal on our part, but simply an estimate of what others would require. I repeated that, for our part, we could accept the figures put forward by Dobrynin.

Vorontsov reacted with some theatrics to emphasize what he assumed would be a “very bad” feeling in Moscow about this turn of events. He said Gromyko would doubtless be very unhappy since he had thought that “agreement” had been reached with you on two parameters: a threshold of 30,000 men and notification time of 18 days.

I suggested that Moscow might want to consider shifting its position somewhat further just on the area involved but could not predict how this would be received by others in Geneva. I wanted to get this to you quickly since Dobrynin may be calling you about it at any time.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 7, Soviet Union. Secret; Exdis.
  2. No record of this conversation has been found.
  3. Telegram 4410 from Geneva, June 12, noted that “Austrian neutral caucus leader confirmed to us June 12 that neutrals are continuing to hold back proposed compromise on parameters for fear that they will be undercut by Western deal with Soviets on basis of ‘Washington parameters’” and that “neutrals will probably not move until reassured by Allies, in particular US, that no deal will be made on the basis of ‘Washington parameters.’” The telegram continued: “Since all progress on CBM’s is now held up pending Allied response to Soviets on Washington parameters, we would strongly recommend earliest possible reply to Soviets to effect that they will have to accept neutral package (300 km/25,000 troops/21 days) within next few days (preferably by close of business on Friday, June 13) if they still hope to have Stage III in July.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)