304. Minutes of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meeting1


Secretary of State Kissinger—Chairman
P Mr. Sisco
E Mr. Robinson
T Mr. Maw
M Mr. Eagleburger
C Mr. Sonnenfeldt
AF Mr. Mulcahy (Acting)
ARA Mr. Rogers
EA Mr. Habib
EUR Mr. Hartman
NEA Mr. Atherton
INR Mr. Hyland
S/P Mr. Lord
EB Mr. Boeker (Acting)
S/PRS Mr. Anderson
PM Mr. Stern (Acting)
IO Mr. Blake (Acting)
H Mr. McCloskey
L Mr. Leigh
S/S Mr. Springsteen
S Mr. Bremer

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

Secretary Kissinger: Art?

Mr. Hartman: Our position in the CSC conference this week is one of appearing helpful but not pressing and not trying to round up a lot of people to get the thing over with, because I think otherwise we’re going to get in the middle here. Our allies will accuse us of having made a deal, of trying to end it in July, and trying to get everybody pushed to make a position. And our Delegation understands that. And, as of now, I would say it’s not going to happen.

Secretary Kissinger: End of July?

Mr. Hartman: Yes.

Secretary Kissinger: How do you interpret the Brezhnev speech Saturday on foreign policy?2

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Mr. Hyland: I thought that speech, plus all the leadership speeches that preceded it, revealed a fairly conciliatory line on general foreign policy. But he was a little careful on specific relations with the U.S., as were all of his leaders. But then in his informal remarks yesterday, he said he’s coming to the United States after the CSC. So he’s still got, I think, in the back of his mind a linkage to that and SALT.

In fact, we got a CIA report3 saying that after Gromyko met you, he prepared a report for the Politburo saying we were toughening our line on SALT and linking it to the CSC, and the tactics were to get SALT concessions. And Gromyko recommended that the Russians stand tough themselves and be prepared for some deterioration of relations. But I thought the speeches that were conveyed were in an optimistic mood.

Secretary Kissinger: That Gromyko is a menace, an absolute menace. He doesn’t understand a damn thing about it, and he turns it into one of these negotiating ploys.

Mr. Hyland: Brezhnev talked as if he didn’t really expect a CSC in July. He said this year—

Mr. Sonnenfeldt: It was going out of his guidance because I had correspondence from him last week on this CBM business.4 He said that “Everybody is trying to blackmail us on CSC, and we’re just not going to accept it. And maybe we should wait until next year with CSC.” Mr. Hyland: There was one interesting speech in all this. The whole leadership spoke, you know, in the last two weeks. Andropov, as the head of the KGB, made a pretty vicious attack5 without relating them to CSC. But he took up freedom of information, freedom of movement, and freedom of ideas and so forth—gave each one of them very hard, which is presumably his job. It stood out like a sore thumb. I don’t think he would have made such a speech unless—

Secretary Kissinger: What is the situation, Art—that if they don’t settle by the end of this week we can’t do it any more?

Mr. Hartman: 20 is roughly the last day. It can go on to maybe the 24th. But there are just so many little loose ends that I really don’t think it’s possible.

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Secretary Kissinger: Then the Europeans will cave over the summer.

They’ll accept 250 kilometers. Of course they’ll accept it. It’s one of these grandstand plays.

I wanted the Conference in the fall, to begin with, so it doesn’t bother me particularly.

Mr. Hartman: We should tell Genscher today the position that we’ve taken with Sauvagnargues on the rights, because the Germans have been told by the French that we have been appealed to again to change our position and the Germans have continued to maintain their objections to what Sauvagnargues is trying to do.6

Secretary Kissinger: Well, our position is basically to do what the Germans want.

Mr. Hartman: Yes. And also to point out to them what our concerns are.

Secretary Kissinger: Well, why don’t you show him the letter?7 That’s the easiest.

Mr. Hartman: Yes.

Secretary Kissinger: Will you have it there for me?

Mr. Hartman: Yes.

Secretary Kissinger: O.K.

(Whereupon, at 9:00 a.m., the Secretary’s Staff Meeting was adjourned.)

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Transcripts of Secretary of State Kissinger’s Staff Meetings, 1973–1977, Entry 5177, Box 7, Secretary’s Staff Meetings. Secret.
  2. Telegram 8264 from Moscow, June 13, reported on Brezhnev’s election speech of the same day: “He [Brezhnev] made passing reference to CSCE, noting that conclusion is almost at hand. On MBFR, he said that progress can be made if both sides approach talks ‘honestly and objectively’ without attempts to achieve unilateral advantage.” (Ibid., Central Foreign Policy Files)
  3. Not found.
  4. It is unclear to what correspondence Sonnenfeldt is referring.
  5. In a speech on June 9, Soviet KGB chief Yuri Andropov said that “unnamed adversaries in the West were attempting ‘ideological sabotage’ against the Soviet Union under the guise of calling for democratic reforms there.” (Christopher Wren, “K.G.B. Chief Says Foreign Foes Lie,” New York Times, June 9, 1975, p. 11)
  6. As reported in telegram 9593 from Bonn, June 14, the West Germans still saw some difficulties with the Belgrade formula and did not like it because “they did not want to ‘relativate’ responsibilities.” When the Embassy pointed out that the only thing in the formula that was restricted was “responsibilities,” the Germans said their fear was that the Soviets would argue that only those QRR’s that were recognized in the QA would be in effect and not the tripartite allied responsibilities concerning Germany as a whole (since the Soviets did not recognize that there is such a thing as responsibilities for Germany as a whole). The Embassy also reported that Sauvagnargues told Genscher he had asked the United States to reconsider its opposition to the French-Yugoslav formulation. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files) Sauvagnargues’s letter to Kissinger, June 12, is in the Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Europe and Canada, Box 3, France (5).
  7. Kissinger was apparently referring to a draft version of his letter to Sauvagnargues, transmitted in telegram 139951 to Paris, June 16. It reads in part: “In response to your question, the difficulties we expressed with your formula stemmed, in part, from a different appreciation of the quadripartite agreement and the quadripartite declaration. We view neither document as providing a comprehensive definition of our responsibilities.” The letter goes on to propose possible revisions to the Belgrade formula: eliminating the word “responsibilities” altogether, qualifying the word “responsibilities” differently, or possibly substituting another formula, such as the CSCE agreement “cannot and will not affect their rights, obligations and specifically defined or recognized responsibilities, or the corresponding treaties, agreements and arrangements.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy Files)