100. Telegram From Secretary of State Vance to the Department of State1

Secto 4123. For Christopher and Brzezinski from the Secretary. Pass DOD for Secretary Brown. Subject: April 20 Meetings With Gromyko.

1. I met for three hours with Gromyko this morning and one hour this afternoon with our full delegations.2 Participants on the Soviet side included First Deputy Defense Minister and Chief of Staff Ogarkov, his Deputy Koslov, Korniyenko, Dobrynin and Semenov. Following the afternoon session he and I met privately, accompanied only by interpreters.3

2. During the morning session I gave an overview and then presented our positions on aggregates, duration/dismantling, new types and principles. I suggested that we discuss Backfire privately. Lack-ing any response to Warnke’s Washington presentation on non-circumvention, I made only a brief reference to our previous position. I did not initially go into the exemption question.

3. Gromyko’s response in the morning session was a dusty replay of previous Soviet positions. He complained at length about U.S. positions and public statements. A few points were of interest:

A. He warned that the Soviets have to take decisions on “new programs” in the immediate future which depend on whether there is to be a new agreement, noted calls in the U.S. for new (military) appropriations, warned that for their delay in agreeing on SALT II could jeopardize arms control accomplishments already achieved, and urged that we should take account of each other’s interest.

B. On duration of the protocol and duration of the dismantling period, Gromyko after recapitulating their position said nevertheless that, provided agreement were reached on overall time limits for reducing aggregates, “thought could be given” to ways to give confidence in the early stages that systems to be dismantled and destroyed would be ruled out of operational employment. When I sought to clarify whether the systems would be rendered inoperable he was vague, saying that [Page 320] since by the end of the period the systems would be destroyed thought could be given to ways to provide confidence that that was being done.

C. He was firm on exception for single warhead RV, and Korniyenko told Warnke privately that there can be no agreement without such an exception.

D. He was also firm on range definition for cruise missiles, no use of transports for cruise missiles, and a bomber-type rule for counting ALCM-equipped heavy bombers.

E. He reiterated the Soviet position on Backfire despite my suggestion we discuss it privately.

F. He did not react to our new types definition proposal.

4. In view of the fact that he confined himself to going over old ground in the morning session and did not react to our movement, in the afternoon session I treated him to a lengthy recapitulation of the negotiations on some key issues in order to clarify the record. At the end he complained that he had heard nothing new and brushed aside our new types proposal. I pointed out that we had presented several new proposals but had heard nothing new from them, and said that I would respond to their exceptions proposal when they responded to my new types proposal. He quarrelled with our position on cruise missile carriers, to which I responded. He then asked whether I would be prepared to discuss levels in the context of a discussion of an exception from the new types rule. I said I would. At that point Gromyko proposed that we meet in private. That meeting is reported separately.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840153–1726. Secret; Immediate; Nodis.
  2. Memoranda of conversation for the 10:30–11:25 a.m. and 5:30–6:30 p.m. meetings, are in Department of State, Office of the Secretariat Staff, Special Adviser to the Secretary (S/MS) on Soviet Affairs Marshall Shulman—Jan 21, 77–Jan 19, 81, Lot 81D109, Box 8, Vance to Moscow, 4/20–22, 1978.
  3. See Document 99.