346. Editorial Note

Before his luncheon with German State Secretary Bahr on March 28, Assistant to the President Kissinger met Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin in the Map Room at the White House to discuss the upcoming summit in Moscow. (Record of Schedule; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box 438, Miscellany, 1968–76) No substantive record has been found. Dobrynin briefly described the discussion in his memoirs. (Dobrynin, In Confidence, p. 242) During the meeting, Dobrynin delivered a letter to President Nixon from Soviet Communist Party General Secretary Brezhnev. The letter, which included an exchange of views on the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Middle East, and Vietnam, first addressed the importance of the Berlin agreement and of ratification of the Eastern treaties in the Bundestag:

“Both in public statements and confidentially we repeatedly outlined our views and put forward certain specific proposals concerning Europe. We understand the readiness expressed by you to a confidential exchange of opinion on this score, in such a way that in the course of the preparation for the meeting appropriate specific considerations will be expressed by the American side as well.

“You, Mr. President, noted on a number of occasions the great significance of the quadripartite agreement on West Berlin. Such is our appraisal of that agreement, too. Its entry into force will indeed make a major step on the way to strengthening the détente and ensuring security in Europe. It is clear at the same time that the agreement on West Berlin is inseparable from other European problems and, above all, from the entry into force of the treaties of the Soviet Union and Poland with the FRG. We therefore believe it very important for all the participants of the quadripartite agreement on West Berlin, including the United States, to actively facilitate, with all the means at their disposal, completion of the ratification of the above treaties with West Germany.

“I want to use this occasion to emphasize anew the positive significance of the fact that both the Soviet Union and the United States have worked hard enough to make their contribution to the attainment of the above agreement on West Berlin.” (National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 493, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger, 1972, Vol. 10)

The full text of the letter is scheduled for publication in Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, volume XIII.