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12. Memorandum of Conversation1

SUBJECT

  • Arms Control Issues: SALT, ASAT, Conventional Arms No. II of IV

PARTICIPANTS

  • US
  • The Secretary
  • Marshall D. Shulman
  • USSR
  • Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin

Dobrynin came in Monday afternoon, October 17, at the Secretary’s request. The meeting lasted from 4:00 to approximately 6:15.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to anti-satellite capabilities.]

2. Anti-Satellite Systems—The Secretary said he wanted to let Dobrynin know that a proposal would soon be transmitted to the Soviet Union regarding limitations on ASAT systems. He underlined the importance of the subject, saying that in his recent testimony before the Congress2 on SALT, he had been interrogated at length about the continuing capability of the US to monitor compliance with the SALT agreement by satellite observation. He had replied that this was very important and this had led to the question of the effect on satellite monitoring of the development of an ASAT system. Dobrynin asked whether the American communication would add further concrete thoughts and suggestions. The Secretary replied in the affirmative and said that this would have a significant bearing on the ratification of the SALT agreement.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to anti-satellite capabilities.]

  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, Dobrynin-Vance, 10/17/77. Secret; Nodis. Drafted by Shulman; and approved by David Anderson (S/S) on October 31. The meeting took place at the Department of State. The memorandum is printed in full in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. VI, Soviet Union, Document 53.
  2. Vance testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about SALT and negotiations in the Middle East on October 13.