318. Memorandum of Conversation1 2


  • Henry A. Kissinger
  • Ambassador Dobrynin

I met with Dobrynin at his request. He began the conversation by saying the recent alleviation of trade restrictions had been noted in Moscow as a very positive development. He wondered, however, whether one could not reinforce those measures by easing some of the harassment of Soviet ships in American ports. He could assure me that the Soviet Union would reciprocate immediately if we eased our restrictions on Soviet ships in American ports. I told him I would look into the matter and let him know within two weeks.

Dobrynin then handed me a note which he had been instructed to give to the U.S. Government on the convening of a Five-Power conference with respect to nuclear disarmament. He asked me whether I could take official delivery of the note. I told him that since it would require a formal reply, I suggested that it be taken to the State Department. Dobrynin then added that it would make a very good impression in Moscow if he could deliver it personally to the President. It would not require a long meeting, and the fact that he was received by the President would be taken as a positive interest at the highest level. I told him I didn’t know what I could do on such short notice, but I would do my best.

Dobrynin then said that in view of the upcoming conversations with Brandt and Bahr, he wanted to let me have some formulations on Berlin (Tab I) which the Soviet side would find acceptable, and he hoped that I would use my influence with the Germans. I said I would have to study them. I also said I would talk to Bahr and Rush in great detail and have a brief meeting of Rush, Dobrynin and myself set up for Monday.

As Dobrynin left, he said he could not understand the motive behind the publication of the documents in the New York Times. As far as he could tell, it would hurt the Democrats a lot more than the Republicans except insofar as it might influence the McGovern/Hatfield vote. Dobrynin said that he continued to hold to his belief that the President’s domestic position was growing stronger.

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 491, President’s Trip Files, Dobrynin/Kissinger 1971, Vol. 6, Pt. 1. Top Secret; Sensitive. The meeting was held in the Map Room at the White House. A stamped notation on the memorandum indicated the President saw it. Kissinger forwarded the memorandum to Nixon under cover of a June 21 memorandum. (Ibid.)
  2. At a meeting with Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Kissinger, Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin presented the Soviet proposal for a conference of the five nuclear powers on disarmament.