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

534. Subject: Message to Brezhnev in Support of Pentecostalists. Ref: State 10429.2

1. (C—Entire text).

2. Immediately on receipt of reftel, DCM delivered President’s letter to MFA USA Division Chief Komplektov with request that it be [Page 417] immediately passed on to President Brezhnev. DCM emphasized that the letter was couched in humanitarian terms. That it contained no polemics of any sort, and that it described a proposal which offered a way out of the problem. Komplektov said he would do so and would not comment on the letter itself. But he did have some remarks to make on the Pentecostal issue. Komplektov then, in a tone which was insensitive even for him, said that the Pentecostals were entirely a responsibility of the U.S. Embassy and the Soviet Government had no responsibility in any way. He called the proposal offered in the President’s letter—which the DCM had discussed with his deputy the week before—“not a proposal, but a condition.” The DCM disagreed, saying that it had taken the families several months to agree on such a plan and that it offered a good possibility for solving the problem. Returning to the attack, Komplektov said that the prior emigration of the family members was certainly a pre-condition. He said that the Soviet position was clear and consistent: the families should go back to Chernogorsk and apply for emigration permission there. In closing he asked sarcastically what were our plans for releasing the President’s letter. DCM assured him that the letter would not be released because we wanted to provide the best possibility for resolving this case. Disbelieving, Komplektov said “we will see whether the U.S. side leaks the letter.” In closing, he reiterated that he was not commenting on the President’s letter itself and that it would be transmitted to President Brezhnev.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Head of State File, USSR: General Secretary Brezhnev (8190211, 8290012). Confidential; Immediate; Nodis.
  2. See the attachment to Document 129.