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

9580. For the Secretary from Toon. Subject: Appointment With Brezhnev.

1. Following is my translation of letter for President handed me by Brezhnev at meeting in Kremlin this morning lasting one hour and forty minutes on which full report will be cabled soonest:2

Begin text.

Esteemed Mr. President:

I have received your letter conveyed by the American Ambassador to Moscow3 and for my part I would like to express the following thoughts.

I think that the conversations between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and the Secretary of State of the USA in May of this year in Geneva4 were in fact useful and in a practical way a necessary step toward working out a new agreement on the limitation of strategic offensive arms.

However, as you yourself note, the differences between the positions of the sides still remain substantial. In this sense the discussions in Geneva did not lead to a solution of a number of principal questions. From our side and in the course of these discussions steps have been taken which offer a possibility of a way to fair mutually acceptable solutions, but from the American side such equivalent steps up until the present time have not followed.

Noting the desire to overcome existing obstacles which you expressed in your letter, I would like to hope that in the development of this the American side will react in a constructive way to our proposals. Indeed in the final analysis the conclusion of a new agreement is necessary not only for the Soviet Union. To an equal extent—we are deeply convinced of this—it is necessary for both of our countries, for both of our peoples, as well as for all other countries and peoples.

It is possible and necessary to find solutions to the remaining questions which stand in the path to agreement. For this, as we have several [Page 155] times stressed, it is important at the outset to be guided in this matter by the principle of equality and equal security, to realize an identified mutually acceptable balance of interests, not trying to extract from the matter any sort of unilateral advantage. Only in this way is it possible to prevent a new spiral in the arms race with all the dangerous consequences flowing from this and with the inevitable political and other costs. It is also clear that any other development of events would remove us far from the goal of radical limitation and reduction of arms. I therefore call upon you once again to weigh the state of affairs with the conclusion of a new agreement and to apply the necessary efforts for the resolution of the remaining questions. For our part we as before wish and we are ready to bring the matter to the speediest working out of an agreement and its signature.

According to the mutual understanding which we have achieved we are ready to turn over for further discussion by the delegations in negotiations at Geneva a number of questions which have become ripe for this and will give appropriate instructions to our delegation on this account. The exchange of opinions on questions which will remain unresolved, as we have already agreed, will be continued in the course of meetings between A.A. Gromyko and C. Vance slated for September.

Now with regard to our meeting with you. We have already brought our considerations on this matter to your attention. Evidently therefore there is no need to repeat them here. I wish only to confirm my agreement that this question should be more concretely discussed by our two ministers in September.


Moscow, The Kremlin

30 June 1977

L. Brezhnev

End text.

  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, Brezhnev/Toon Meeting, 7/5/77. Secret; Cherokee; Niact Immediate; Nodis.
  2. See footnote 4, Document 34.
  3. See Document 29.
  4. See Document 28.