125. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

149573. Subject: Chernyayev and Enger Cases: Soviet Nonpaper.

Following is text of nonpaper given to the Secretary by Dobrynin June 5.

Begin quote. We are concerned about the situation around Chernyaev and Enger in connection with the so called “case” when they are [Page 418] charged with espionage.2 Their indictment in the court of Newark has shown that we deal here with a judicial farce the outcome of which is predetermined. Charges against them are unfounded and the facts cited in the indictment cannot serve even as circumstantial evidence of their guilt. Some facts given in the indictment, which under certain circumstances could be regarded as evidence, are obviously invented.

The US side should, in particular, be well aware of the facts that on May 20 Ziniakin3 did not receive any materials from anybody. The assertion itself that a damage was caused to the security of the United States cannot stand any criticism because according to American press reports actions of the so called “naval officer” were directed by the FBI. The fact should be also noted that the US press is fanning anti-Soviet campaign around this “case,” thus exerting influence on its outcome.

These and other circumstances give reason to state that in this case the trial is being staged for political motives. In this connection attention should be drawn to the attacks on the Soviet Embassy and the Ambassador personally which the judge permitted himself during the hearing of the case on June 6.

Besides, in spite of the promises from the Department of State to try to obtain the reduction of the bail the judge confirmed the unprecedented amount of 4 million dollars set earlier.

The Soviet side continues to insist on a significant reduction of the bail, the release of Chernyaev and Enger on bail with the subsequent termination of the prosecution against them. Otherwise the Soviet side will be compelled to take appropriate measures in response. End quote.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Cables File, State Department Out, Box 112, 6/1–15/78. Secret; Immediate; Nodis. Printed from a copy that indicates the original was received in the White House Situation Room. Drafted by Sherrod McCall (EUR/SOV); cleared by Curtis Kamman (S/MS), Luers, and in S/S–O; approved by Anderson. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840128–2186)
  2. See footnote 6, Document 109.
  3. Vladimir Zinyakin, attaché to Soviet Mission at the United Nations.