30. Telegram From the Embassy in the Soviet Union to the Department of State1

8749. For the Secretary from Ambassador. Subject: Appointment With Brezhnev.

1. Upon arrival in Moscow I requested appointment with Brezhnev to deliver message from President.2 We reminded Foreign Ministry of request this morning, stressing that President had specifically asked me to request meeting. We were informed this afternoon that Brezhnev is not available, but that Gromyko could see me in 25 minutes. I sent reply that my instructions are to deliver message to Brezhnev, and if this impossible I must report fact to you and request further instructions.

2. I see no point in discussing letter with Gromyko—particularly since a principal purpose of exercise was to facilitate access to [Page 141] Brezhnev—and therefore recommend that I reiterate original request to Foreign Ministry.

3. Frankly, I have been puzzled by delay in according me appointment with Brezhnev. I would have thought that the General Secretary—especially on eve of his visit to France would have been keenly interested in what President had to say. Fact that he has had a full week in which to arrange to receive me—and that during this period he managed to find time to see Indian Ambassador who passed message from Desai leads me to conclude that Brezhnev must be privy to contents of President’s message through other channels. Perhaps you can shed light on this for me.

  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 3, BrezhnevCarter, 6/30/77. Confidential; Cherokee; Niact Immediate; Nodis.
  2. See Document 29.