428. Telegram From the Mission in Geneva to the Department of State1

12348. Subject: Approach to Soviets on Protocol II of Treaty of Tlatelolco.

1. Since Soviet CTB negotiator Morokhov also has major responsibility in Soviet Government for non-proliferation matters, Ambassador Warnke took opportunity of Morokhov’s presence in Geneva for trilateral CTB negotiations to convey information to Soviets regarding Argentine intention to ratify Treaty of Tlatelolco and to encourage Soviet adherence to Protocol II. Warnke’s presentation, made at bilateral meeting on December 15, drew on points set forth in para 2 below. After listening attentively to Warnke’s presentation, Morokhov expressed gratitude for report on Argentine developments. He said that he was not now in a position to provide Soviet reactions because issue of Protocol II adherence was currently being reviewed in Moscow. His government was also presently in process of carrying out consultations with other countries on this issue. He nonetheless regarded Warnke’s presentation as “useful and important.”

2. Warnke’s presentation follows:

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(A) During Secretary Vance’s recent trip to Argentina,2 the Argentine government announced its intention to ratify the treaty of Tlatelolco.

(B) We understand that Argentine ratification, unlike its signature of the treaty several years ago, will not be accompanied by an interpretative statement that the treaty permits its parties to develop nuclear explosive devices for peaceful purposes. We also understand that Argentina would negotiate a full-scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA providing for safeguards against any military or nuclear explosive use.

(C) However, Argentina is not prepared, at this time, to waive the preconditions specified in the treaty for entry into force. Thus, Argentina will put itself in the same legal position as Brazil and Chile, which have both ratified but not waived the entry into force conditions. Twenty-two Latin American states have ratified, waived the conditions, and are therefore already bound by the treaty.

(D) When the remaining conditions are met, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile would automatically be bound by the treaty, and would be obligated to conclude a full-scope safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

(E) At present, the only remaining conditions are U.S. ratification of Protocol I (we signed in May 1977),3 French signature and ratification of Protocol I, Cuban signature and ratification of the treaty, and Soviet signature and ratification of Protocol II.

(F) Therefore, our two governments are both in a position—through our own actions and through encouragement of steps by others—to help bring the Treaty of Tlatelolco fully into force.

(G) Let me underscore the great significance of what could lie ahead. Argentine and Brazilian adherence to the treaty would be one of the greatest boosts for non-proliferation in a long time. Those two countries clearly pose a serious threat in the non-proliferation area. Given their unyielding attitude toward the NPT, the Treaty of Tlatelolco is our best, and perhaps our only, opportunity to get them to accept formal restraints against the development of nuclear explosives.

(H) For our part, now that the president has signed Protocol I, we hope to have it ratified within the coming year. We have also urged the French to reconsider their position toward Protocol I, and we have indications that they are doing so.

(I) In addition, through our newly opened Interests Section in Havana, we have directly raised the issue of the treaty of Tlatelolco with the Cubans at various government levels. We have received inquiries from [Page 1076] the Cubans about various aspects of the treaty and its zone of application.

(J) We hope that the Soviet government will seriously consider adhering to Protocol II in the near future and will join us in encouraging other states (Cuba, France) to take corresponding steps.the Cubans about various aspects

(K) We recognize that you have had certain reservations about the Treaty of Tlatelolco on legal grounds, especially regarding the questions of PNES and freedom of the high seas. We shared those concerns, but have studied those issues intensively and have concluded that they are not a problem. When we ratify Protocol I, we will make an interpretative statement regarding these issues, and would be happy to discuss them with you further.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770471–0113. Confidential. Sent for information to Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Mexico City, Moscow, and the Interests Section in Havana.
  2. See Documents 426 and 427.
  3. See footnote 2, Document 414.