[Page 895]

348. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

156342. USEEC, USIAEA. Subject: USUSSR Non-proliferation Discussions—June 17.

1. Summary. Morokhov made lengthy statement including many points contained in statement at last London meeting.2 Major new point was proposal for joint top level USUSSR declaration outlined below. Nye deferred answer on top level declaration question but suggested London guidelines could be common suppliers declaration when guidelines finalized and publicized.3 US raised protocol II of treaty of Tlatelolco, pointing out relevance of Soviet action to possible movement by Brazil.4 Full scope safeguards were discussed and Nye urged USSR to announce a unilateral policy similar to US. Nye suggested Soviet proposals on stockpile limits and regional centers be considered in INFCE. Highlights follow. Full report will be pouched.5 End summary.

2. US team headed by ACDA Director Warnke and Deputy Under Secretary Nye met for 4½ hours June 17 with Soviet Delegation headed by Morokhov. Warnke opened meeting by referring to March agreement in Moscow to hold regular nonproliferation discussions,6 briefly reviewed several agenda items, reemphasized relevance of a CTB with no PNE loophole to non-proliferation, and asked Nye to handle de[Page 896]tailed discussions. Following Nye’s introductory remarks Morokhov delivered a lengthy statement (para 3 and 4).

3. Morokhov mentioned Brezhnev’s May 297 call for maximum non-proliferation effort and identified the following areas for joint USUSSR consideration:

—Enhancement of NPT; suggested joint action to encourage adherence by several conspicuous non-parties;

—Promotion of full scope safeguards as condition of supply, including efforts to secure such a condition on part of potential exporters of source material; (there was discussion of how to deal with French on this question);

—Moratorium on sensitive transfers—Morokhov said USSR supports and stressed that fuel services should be offered; USSR can expand enrichment capacity;

—Agreement among exporters on sanctions; suppliers should consult if recipient defaults on IAEA obligation including exploding nuclear device; exports should be halted and issue raised at IAEA and UN; USSR also ready to consider other sanctions;

—Limits on stockpiles of weapons usable material by requiring spent fuel return to supplier or to regional center; could be additional provision in London guidelines;

—Multinational centers for spent fuel storage and reprocessing;

—Regular bilateral and multilateral supplier consultations especially in cases of large transfers or when major new assistance is undertaken; also suppliers could exchange trigger list information;

—Strengthening IAEA safeguards; mentioned carrying out experts’ recommendation of safeguards evaluation unit, and urged stronger US support; said USSR puzzled by US “passivity” on ensuring effective agreements with EURATOM and Japan; suggested encouraging NPT parties to conclude agreements, and discussed SAGSI;

—Promotion of physical security convention; USSR studying US draft;8

—Suggestion of USUSSR declaration to be signed at top levels calling for universal nonproliferation regime, supporting peaceful international nuclear cooperation not contributing to explosive spread, full scope safeguards and additional NPT adherence and other supplier group type issues on sensitive transfers, sanctions, physical security; support for IAEA safeguards. Morokhov stressed that list of topics was suggestive only; essential element is joint character of declaration at highest levels.

4. Morokhov concluded statement by saying INFCE proposal will contribute to nonproliferation and USSR has no objection to pro-gram. They will consider participation of Soviet experts in technical discussions.

[Page 897]

5. Initial Nye comment on Soviet proposal for joint declaration was to defer any response re issuance at top level. Since list of topics parallels suppliers guidelines, he suggested that this purpose could be served by the joint suppliers declaration when guidelines finalized and published. Morokhov indicated proposed declaration would precede further and complement existing suppliers efforts and be wider in scope.

6. NPT and Treaty of Tlatelolco: Nye noted President Carter support for universal NPT adherence, but mentioned full scope safeguards and Tlatelolco as partial steps which are useful in specific situations (i.e. in India and Latin America). Nye reported some indications Indians may be willing to consider full scope safeguards and US impression Brazil might waive entry-into-force provisions of Tlatelolco if USSR signed Protocol II. Nye repeated US request for USSR to reconsider their Protocol II position. Soviets responded by reiterating their support for full scope safeguards and NPT. Timerbaev (USSR) said Protocol II position is being studied but remains unchanged for now. He suggested Tlatelolco approach too complicated to obtain full scope safeguards. Nye reported some preliminary indications Argentina might move towards acceptance of full scope safeguards.

7. Morokhov reiterated the suggestion for joint messages—perhaps along with UK—encouraging NPT adherence. NYE said US fully accepts spirit of this suggestion but sometimes best diplomacy lies not in such joint approaches, but in exchanges of information—such as the present one—regarding measures to strengthen nonproliferation regime.

8. EURATOM and NPT Safeguards Agreement: Morokhov said situation was dangerous,9 represented clear cut NPT violation, and asked if US would consider joint action at September board to urge EURATOM to conclude this matter speedily. Nye said US also concerned, that we have indicated our concern to EURATOM, and are prepared to do so again, but did not indicate willingness to act in IAEA board.

9. Full Scope Safeguards: To Soviet question on French position Nye said may have to consider fall-back in September if their position is clearly negative. Nye encouraged USSR to make public statement similar to US and others as way of moving French in this direction. Mo[Page 898]rokhov said such a unilateral approach is no problem but they doubt it would be effective. He said perhaps French could approach this like NPT, i.e. not a party officially but act as if they were. He indicated FRG waiting for French. Also said any hope of retroactive application unrealistic and should be abandoned.

10. Moratorium on Sensitive Transfers: Nye said US position to get statements country-by-country has some chance of success. Morokhov said while practicing such a policy they prefer to press for formal adoption in suppliers guidelines. He indicated French statement was not specific enough.10 Nye questioned whether full suppliers group was appropriate for this purpose since only a few members were suppliers of sensitive items.

11. Nuclear Materials Stockpiles and Regional Centers: Nye said these questions ought to be considered in INFCE rather than in London group. He elaborated on INFCE rationale and asked Morokhov for specific suggestions or reactions to US evaluation proposal, e.g. how should it relate to IAEA and should any of technical features be changed? Morokhov suggested this be deferred to next round of consultations.

12. Libya: Morokhov assured US Delegation that the fuel was enriched to only 20 and that all spent fuel would have to be returned.

13. Timerbaev announced that he and Warnke had come to agreement on opening of CTB talks in Geneva on July 13, and that there should be further nonproliferation bilaterals before September suppliers’ meeting. Soviets appear to have had impression that such talks might be in Geneva following CTB, but Warnke did not make this commitment.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770240–0291. Confidential. Sent for Information to Paris, London, Bonn, Brasilia, Brussels, and Vienna. Drafted by Rust (ACDA/NP/NX); cleared by Nye, Louis Nosenzo (OES), Oplinger, Nelson Sievering (ERDA), William Salisbury (EUR/RPE), Jon Glassman (EUR/SOV), and Giles Harlow (DOD); and approved by Charles Van Doren (ACDA/NP).
  2. The last meeting of the London Suppliers Group occurred on April 28–29. Morokhov’s statement is in telegram 106802 to London, May 11. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770166–0383)
  3. Reference is to the Zangger Committee of the London Suppliers Group’s Guidelines for which nuclear supplies could not be exported to Non-Nuclear Weapons States by members of the Group. These guidelines came from Article III of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which said that “source or special fissionable material and equipment or material especially designed or prepared for the processing, use or production of special fissionable material, to any non-nuclear weapon State for special purposes, unless the source or fissionable material shall be subjected to the safeguards required by this Article.” (Documents on Disarmament, 1968, pp. 461–465)
  4. Protocol II calls upon nuclear-weapon states to agree to respect the obligations set forth in the Treaty and to promise not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against Contracting Parties to the Treaty. See Foreign Relations, 1964–1968, vol. XI, Arms Control and Disarmament, Document 226.
  5. Not found.
  6. See Document 332.
  7. See “Address by General Secretary Brezhnev on French Television [Extract],” May 29, 1977, in Documents on Disarmament, 1977, pp. 357–358.
  8. Not found.
  9. In telegram 124488 to Brussels, May 28, the Department of State said that “there continue to be reports of major obstacles to the implementation by the IAEA of effective safeguards in EC NNWS [European Community Non-Nuclear-Weapon States]. In particular, there appears to be a continued unwillingness on the part of EURATOM to fully allow the independent verification activities by the IAEA which are called for in the IAEA/EURATOM safeguards agreement and which are essential for effective IAEA safeguards.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770191–1100)
  10. Not found.