8. National Security Decision Memorandum 212/Council on International Economic Policy Decision Memorandum 17, Washington, May 2, 1973.1 2



May 2, 1973

National Security Decision Memorandum 212

Council on International Economic Policy Decision Memorandum 17


  • The Secretary of State


  • Economic Policies for the Eastern European Countries

The President has considered the recommendations of the NSSM 163/CIEPSM 24 study and decided that the following general guidelines be observed in negotiations with the countries of Eastern Europe:

  • — With regard to the East European countries generally, progress in the economic area should be made contingent on satisfactory political conduct on international issues involving our interests and on a demonstrated willingness to solve outstanding bilateral political problems.
  • — In negotiations with those Eastern European countries not now benefiting from MFN, no commitments on MFN authority should be made until authorized by the President. This should not, however, preclude initiation at an appropriate time of negotiations on commercial and economic problems of interest to us.
  • — No legislation authorizing PL-480 agricultural sales for additional Eastern European countries will be sought at this time.

Within these guidelines, the following steps should be taken:

Expedite conclusion of consular conventions with Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria, aiming to ensure the fullest possible protection for U. S. citizens in those countries.
Continue to urge Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria to initiate promptly or to conclude negotiations on U. S. claims for nationalized property and defaulted bonds. Where appropriate, satisfactory settlement of these issues should be made a prerequisite for authorization of Export-Import Bank facilities.
Initiate negotiations on a cultural and scientific exchange agreement with Hungary. After conclusion of an agreement, proceed, if appropriate, to similar negotiations with Czechoslovakia and then at a later date with Bulgaria. In these agreements particular care should be taken to ensure that an equitable balance exists between the United States and is partner in the scientific and technological exchanges planned.
Begin negotiation of a commercial agreement with Romania. When they are completed or well advanced, negotiations may begin with Hungary. Equivalent timing in relation to Hungary should be governing for commercial negotiations with Czechoslovakia and in relation to Czechoslovakia for negotiations with Bulgaria. Commercial agreements involving the extension of MFN will not be concluded until there is a satisfactory settlement on U. S. claims for defaulted bonds.
Submit recommendations at an early date on the substance and timing of negotiations with Czechoslovakia on a package of financial issues, including claims, blocked accounts, and the return of Czechoslovak gold.
Submit separate recommendations on the GDR when negotiations on the establishment of relations have begun.
On appropriate occasions, give public indication of our readiness to negotiate resumption of diplomatic relations with Albania.


Henry A. Kissinger

Peter M. Flanigan [PMF initialed]

cc: The Secretary of the Treasury

The Secretary of Defense

The Secretary of Agriculture

The Secretary of Commerce

The Director of Central Intelligence

The Special Representative for Trade Negotiations

The Chairman,

  1. Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 364, Subject Files, National Security Decision Memoranda (NSDMs), Nos. 145-264. Confidential. Copies were sent to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Special Representative for Trade Negotiations, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The NSSM 163/CIEPSM 24 Study is Document 2.
  2. President Nixon issued general guidelines for negotiations with Eastern Europe that linked greater trade liberalization to satisfactory improvements in bilateral political relations with each country.