206. Memorandum From Stephen Larrabee of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Brzezinski)1


  • Possible Meeting with Romanian Foreign Minister Stefan Andrei

During Matt Nimetz’s recent visit to Romania, Romanian Foreign Minister Stefan Andrei expressed an interest in meeting with you personally when he is in the States next week for the opening of the UN General Assembly.

Andrei is presently scheduled to meet with Secretary Vance on September 26 in New York. However, a number of factors suggest that a meeting with you might also be useful.

Ceausescu’s deep concern over the impact of the Pacepa affair on U.S.-Romanian relations (as Christopher’s memo to the President on Nimetz’s visit makes clear, Tab I)2

—Romania’s more exposed position since the Hua visit.

—Recent indications of Soviet chagrin over Ceausescu’s policy. (Brezhnev was highly critical of Ceausescu at the Crimean meetings with East European leaders in July and allegedly told Kadar that he intended to intensify contacts with other Romanian leaders.)3

A meeting with Andrei would give you an opportunity:

—to reassure Andrei of the President’s interest in good relations with Romania and his intention not to let the Pacepa affair interfere with the improvement in relations that has taken place over the last few years;

—to get a firsthand report of Hua’s visit and sound out Andrei on the Romanian regime’s intentions vis-a-vis China; and

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—to explore possible ways in which Romania could play a constructive role in the Middle East after Camp David.

I realize that the Romanians tend to want high-level treatment more than is always justified. However, for reasons outlined above, the relationship could legitimately stand a little stroking at this point and a meeting with Andrei would provide a useful opportunity to do this. I discussed this matter informally with Matt Nimetz shortly after his return and he concurs with this view.

If you do decide to see Andrei, the meeting should be arranged quietly in order not to alert other foreign ministers who will also be in New York and who might want similar treatment.


That you meet with Andrei when he is in the States at a time to be arranged.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Country File, Box 66, Romania: 6/78–3/79. Secret; Sensitive. Sent for action.
  2. See footnote 6, Document 207.
  3. In telegram 5542 from Bucharest, August 9, the Embassy reported that the Romanian media described the Crimea meeting between Brezhnev and Ceausescu as “‘an exchange of views’ in a ‘sincere’ atmosphere, perhaps the least flattering terms in Romanian interparty rhetoric.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780325–0657) Brezhnev also criticized Ceausescu during his meeting with Todor Zhivkov, stating that Ceausescu’s policies were moving Romania out of step with the rest of the Warsaw Pact countries. (Information on conversation of the Secretary General of the CC of the CPSU (Leonid I. Brezhnev) with the Bulgarian Head of State (Todor Zhivkov) in Crimea, August 14, 1978, Bulgarian Central State Archive (TsDA), Sofia, Fond 378–B, File 495)
  4. Brzezinski approved, adding in the margin “if he wants to come here. I will not go to NYC.” Bartholomew wrote under the recommendation: “ZB: Steve makes a good case. But frankly, seeing you may simply give Andrei & the Romanians another crack (at you) on pushing on Pacepa. Better to let Vance turn the page on all this in his N.Y. meeting with Andrei. And you have real and ample grounds to plead scheduling problems, and I don’t in any event think Andrei will take it amiss. RB.” See Document 208.