360. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • USSR
    • Andrey A. Gromyko, Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • Mr. Kornienko, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
    • Mr. Sukhodrev
  • US
    • The President
    • Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
    • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counsellor, State Dept.
    • Walter Stoessel, U.S. Ambassador to the USSR


  • Foreign Minister Gromyko’s Call on The President

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than MBFR.]

Gromyko: First, under the general heading of European affairs, I wish to express the satisfaction of our leadership and of Leonid Brezhnev [Page 1060] personally that a significant step was taken in Europe with the holding of the European Security Conference. The General Secretary said this to you directly, but I too want to express my appreciation for the cooperation between the US and the Soviet Union in preparing for the conference and bringing it to a successful conclusion.

Now, about the Vienna talks on force reductions. No substantive progress has been made as yet. I don’t want to go into the details and maybe Dr. Kissinger will talk about this. However, no cracks have yet appeared in the sky because of the lack of progress. We will do our part, but one side cannot guarantee success. We hope that both sides will make efforts to achieve success.

The President: I appreciate your kind words about our position concerning the Security Conference. I fully supported the agreement and defended it in the US. I feel the spirit in which we entered it—if fulfilled—can bring fruits in the coming years.

I am glad you mentioned the Vienna talks. There has not been enough progress there. You feel, and we do also, that we can bring this to a point where there can be an agreement on a reduction. I hope the negotiators in Vienna on both sides will take actions toward this end.

I assure you the US will do so.

Gromyko: I appreciate your words, Mr. President.

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than MBFR.]

The President: Mr. Foreign Minister, the world would be safer if the arms race could be discontinued on a world-wide basis. Perhaps the best way to lead in this direction would be for us to conclude a SALT agreement and MBFR. This would show the good faith of both of us and would show the way toward ending the arms race. It would be an example and would lend credibility to what we want to see in the world as a whole.

[Omitted here is discussion of matters other than MBFR.]

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Kissinger and Scowcroft West Wing Office Files, Box 32, USSR, Gromyko File (30). Secret; Sensitive. The meeting took place in the Oval Office. According to the President’s Daily Diary, the meeting took place from 3:45 to 7:12 p.m. (Ibid., President’s Daily Diary) In an attached memorandum to Scowcroft, Sonnenfeldt wrote: “Attached is the memcon on the President’s meeting with Gromyko. We have made no distribution here.” 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.