221. Summary of a Conversation Between Secretary of State Vance and Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin1

CV emphasized serious, no game, shock, bad for Admin, not aimed at Cuban NAM meeting went through talking points.


1) will report back and seek guidance.

understands our sensitivity

in his view, withdrawal will not be acceptable

but wants to find way to work through problem.

2) there has been no significant change in numbers since ’62 ( 500–1,000)

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3) there has been no change in mission of unit

4) mission is training Cuban officers in use (and maintenance) of Soviet equipment, and how to operate in unit-sized operations. not much contact with Cuban enlisted men.

5) while not acknowledging that the unit in question is a brigade, he said brigade is not an unusual unit in Soviet army and was very widely used in World War II.

added that organization structure is compatible with Cuban army organization.

6) numbers involved are small. (no threat to US)

7) does not acknowledge “combat” characterization of unit.

does not deny term, but will check.

refers to Soviet “military personnel”

8) emphasizes that Soviet Union has not sought to “test” or challenge the present administration; has done nothing to change situation in recent years.

9) Soviet Union has not violated the 1962 understanding and will continue to adhere fully to the existing understanding.

10) In response to a question, said he would check to whom the equipment now belongs.

  1. Source: 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 10, CV/AD Meeting 9/10/79. Secret. The date was written in an unknown hand in the upper right-hand corner of the summary.