369. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • USSR
    • Andrei A. Gromyko, Member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU; Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR
    • Vasiliy V. Kuznetsov, First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • Georgiy M. Korniyenko, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs
    • Anatoliy F. Dobrynin, Ambassador to the U.S.
    • Vasiliy G. Makarov, Chef de Cabinet to the Foreign Minister
    • V.G. Komplektov, Acting Chief of USA Dept., MFA
    • Valerian V. Mikhailov, Deputy Chief of USA Dept., MFA
    • Oleg Grinevskiy, Deputy Chief of Middle East Dept., MFA
    • Oleg M. Sokolov, Chief of International Affairs, USA Dept., MFA
    • Viktor M. Sukhodrev, Counselor, Second European Dept., MFA (Interpreter)
  • U.S.
    • Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, Secretary of State
    • Amb. Walter J. Stoessel, Jr., Ambassador to the USSR
    • Helmut Sonnenfeldt, Counselor of the Department
    • William G. Hyland, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
    • Arthur A. Hartman, Assistant Secretary for European Affairs
    • Arthur R. Day, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs
    • Edward F. Fugit, Country Officer, Angola
    • Peter W. Rodman, NSC Staff


  • Middle East; Angola; Japan; China; Limitation of New Weapons of Mass Destruction; PNE Negotiation; MBFR

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


Kissinger: On the proposal last night with respect to Mutual and Balanced Force Reductions,2 do you have the number from which the two-to-three percent is to be calculated?

Gromyko: The General Secretary set out our view of principle, and they give you the line along which we are thinking and which will be set out in detail. And when we submit the specific proposals after discussions resume in Vienna, we will have specific considerations to set forth, and we are now giving deliberation to that aspect.

Kissinger: Because we can’t give a reply until we know what your number is.

Gromyko: We are now giving thought to that aspect and we feel in the very near future we will be able to give a definite reply. It certainly would be a good thing to give a new lease on life to the work in Vienna.

Kissinger: We will study it carefully. I’m not too optimistic, as I told the General Secretary.

Gromyko: So you are not taking away optimism on this?

Kissinger: I’ll have to see your concrete proposal before I make a final judgment.

Gromyko: All right. As long as you don’t carry away pessimism from Moscow on this question.

Kissinger: I think we should make progress this year on mutual force reductions.

Gromyko: That would be good. China will certainly have a lot to blame us for. If there is success. Mostly us.

[Page 1088]

Kissinger: China will certainly be very angry. China will certainly be very angry if there is success in SALT.3

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

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Office of the Counselor, Entry 5339, Box 7, Soviet Union. Secret; Nodis. The meeting took place at the Foreign Ministry in the Tolstoy House. 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.
  2. See Document 368.
  3. On January 25, Kissinger reported to President Ford on his visit to Moscow in a conversation at the Oval Office. A memorandum of their conversation reads in part: “President: Anything on MBFR? Kissinger: Yes. They rejected Option III. They proposed a 3% cut in overall forces, taken from U.S. and Soviet forces.” (Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 283, Memoranda of Conversation, Presidential File)