220. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin
  • Under Secretary Eagleburger


  • Proposal for Upcoming Shultz/Gromyko Bilateral

Summary. Ambassador Dobrynin met at his request with Under Secretary Eagleburger and passed on a Gromyko proposal that as a positive measure the second Shultz-Gromyko meeting would agree on some topics that the two sides would follow-up in later lower-level confidential, informal meetings. Areas mentioned were nuclear non-proliferation, restrictions on conventional arms sales, chemical weapons, Indian Ocean, and the Nuclear Test Ban. Dobrynin emphasized this was a non-inclusive list with the US free to add or subtract from it. End Summary.

1. Ambassador Dobrynin met at his request on Friday, October 1, with Under Secretary Eagleburger. He said that Foreign Minister Gromyko was looking ahead to the upcoming second Shultz-Gromyko bilateral2 and was thinking of what positive results could come of it. “Off the top of his head” there were a few areas where Gromyko thought something could be done. Dobrynin mentioned nuclear non-proliferation; the test ban treaty; the chemical warfare treaty; restrictions on sales of conventional weapons, and the Indian Ocean as some examples.

2. Dobrynin emphasized that these were just suggestions and that the Soviets were open-minded and would welcome any other suggestions that we wished to make. Gromyko’s idea would be that the topics could be briefly discussed in the Shultz-Gromyko meeting and agreement reached on which specific areas would be followed up. The follow-up would be done in a confidential, informal way at a lower level: perhaps by the respective Embassies in some instances; on the periphery of international conferences by experts in others, and so on. The method can be worked out; the point is to get agreement on what areas will be pursued.

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3. Under Secretary Eagleburger said that a point that bothered him was that all the Soviet suggestions were in the area of arms control. Dobrynin hastened to say that these were only rough suggestions and other issues could of course be suggested as well. He said that the Soviets did not expect us to agree to pursue all the Soviet suggestions. We were certainly free to state our objections on any of the topics. They wanted to throw out a variety of ideas for us to choose from.

4. The meeting ended with an agreement that Under Secretary Eagleburger would discuss the Soviet proposal with Secretary Shultz and get back to Dobrynin with a reply on Sunday night or Monday morning.3

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC: Country File, USSR (09/30/1982–10/07/1982). Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Montgomery; cleared by Eagleburger. The meeting took place at the United Nations.
  2. See Document 221.
  3. October 3 or 4.