317. Telegram 2686 From the Mission in Geneva to the Department of State1 2


  • CCD - Five-Power Nuclear Conference (FPNC): Soviet Views
SOV FPNC proposal has been subject of considerable corridor discussion during first week of resumed CCD session. Remarks in US opening statement about participation of all nuclear powers in disarmament efforts have been commented on favorably by a number of reps. CCD reps have taken these remarks as general expression of constructive US approach, and not as endorsement or rejection of Sov FPNC initiative, which reps understand is still under study in Washington. Following points of interest have emerged thus far regarding Sov views on FPNC:
SALT: In conversation with Neidle (Deputy US rep), Tcheprov (Deputy Sov rep and head of MFA disarmament section) took initiative to say he hoped US officials [Page 2] understood that Sov proposal of FPNC was in no way intended to detract from SALT. He emphasized that Sovs continue to regard SALT as talks of “extremely great value and highest importance”.
Non-Nuclears: Tcheprov said Sovs are seriously concerned about possible negative effects of FPNC on important non-nuclear countries that would be left out, particularly those not yet party to NPT. He said that this was reason Soviet Union would be willing to see a worldwide conference on disarmament take place. In separate conversation with UK and US Deputies, when UK Deputy asked about Sov assessment of reactions of non-nuclears to FPNC proposal, Tcheprov again stated that Sovs also support idea of worldwide conference.
CCD: Initial Sov comments on CCD appear designed to reassure non-nuclears, in light of FPNC proposal, about their continued participation in significant arms control talks. USSR Amb. Roshchin has been at pains in his various contacts to underline point made in his opening statement about continuing role of CCD. He told Mexican Amb at recent luncheon that China, Chile and Iran might well be added to CCD. At same luncheon, attended by most CCD reps, Roshchin made toast to “this important committee” which, he said, “has many applicants for membership”. (Comment: This is most unusual note for Sov rep to strike since there has been no discussion of enlargement of committee for some time.) Tcheprov also emphasized in talk with US Deputy that Sovs’ continue to value CCD which should be strengthened and maintained. He commented that arrangements for eventual participation of China and France in CCD would be “essential”.
FPNC agenda: Tcheprov noted that Sovs have some ideas in mind about what could be discussed at a FPNC, but might keep these ideas “up his sleeve” for time being. He indicated, however, that non-use of nuclear weapons and test ban question might be discussed. After stating that USSR does not rpt not have policy of requiring participation of all nuclear powers as [Page 3] condition for CTB, Tcheprov said that he personally thought test ban question could be discussed at FPNC in sense of urging China to adhere to Limited Test Ban Treaty.
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–1973, DEF–18. Confidential. It was repeated to London, Moscow, Paris, Hong Kong, USUN, and USNATO.
  2. The telegram reported that the Soviet proposal for a five-power nuclear disarmament conference was a topic of considerable corridor discussion at the CCD.