184. Letter From President Carter to Soviet General Secretary Brezhnev 1

Dear Mr. President:

In connection with the discussion of telemetry encryption,2 I would like to reaffirm our adherence to the agreed common understanding on telemetry that has been recorded in the Joint Draft Text. It [Page 539] is very important that we share a common view of the meaning of the language so as to avoid disagreements on this issue in the future.

We both recognize that certain telemetric information is relevant to verification of the agreement because such telemetry provides information concerning compliance with the provisions of the agreement; and that the deliberate denial of such telemetric information, such as by encryption, is therefore prohibited.

We also both recognize that certain telemetric information is not relevant to verification of compliance with the provisions of the agreement and that the deliberate denial of that information which is not relevant to verification of the provisions of the agreement, such as by encryption, is therefore not prohibited.

It is my hope and expectation that the negotiating record on this issue may be considered complete and that with the agreed common understanding and this letter we can consider the telemetry issue as resolved.

This is another indication that we continue to make progress in settling the outstanding issues and that we can, in the near future, complete the agreement and have our long delayed meeting.

Sincerely,

Jimmy Carter
  1. Source: Carter Library, Brzezinski Donated Material, Geographic File, Box 19, U.S.S.R.—(Vienna Summit Briefing Book, 6/79) (1). No classification marking.
  2. See Documents 180 and 181.