132. Memorandum From Secretary of State Haig to President Reagan 1

SUBJECT

  • My Meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko in Geneva January 26

We have remained flexible up to now on whether or not to proceed with the meeting with Gromyko originally scheduled for the two days of January 26–27. There have been powerful pros and cons on both sides of the question. After considering them and taking into account the encouragement to go ahead I have been getting from the Pope and the Europeans, I believe on balance that I should go ahead with the meeting, and use it to register our outrage at continuing repression in Poland and the fact that we will not be conducting business as usual while it goes on.

As a preliminary signal, I am reducing the duration of the meeting to one day instead of two, and this will be clear when the two sides make their announcement Thursday.2 At the meeting itself, I will focus on Poland, Cuba and other egregious Soviet breaches of decent behavior and international comity. (I will also follow up on your letter to Brezhnev about the Pentecostalist families in our Moscow Embassy.) My point will be that the Soviet Union has been tearing down the whole structure of political relationships built up since the War, thereby raising serious questions as to the durability of that structure.

  1. Source: Reagan Library, European and Soviet Affairs Directorate, NSC 1983–89. Secret. Reagan initialed the memorandum, which Clark sent to Reagan under cover a January 23 memorandum in which he wrote: “Al intends to take the Soviets to task on a number of outstanding issues in the meetings, and I believe this session with Gromyko can be useful in conveying to the Kremlin our current concerns about Poland, Cuba and other problems.”
  2. January 21.