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


  • My Meeting with Ambassador Dobrynin, July 2, 19812

I called Dobrynin in primarily to stress the importance of the initiatives on Afghanistan and Poland. I told him that the EC conference proposal was a serious one, not an anti-Soviet gesture, and stressed that the U.S. was prepared to help find a solution to Afghanistan. The essential factor was that we would not agree to a puppet regime in Kabul that ignored the reestablishment of a non-aligned Afghanistan. On Kampuchea, I said we also viewed the forthcoming international conference as a serious initiative and thought the Soviets should either participate or come to the UN with a proposal of their own. What was needed on both issues were constructive approaches from the Soviets, which might include proposals for transitional arrangements pending full settlement.

Dobrynin described the mood in Moscow as one of growing doubt as to where our relationship was headed and said my forthcoming meeting with Gromyko was viewed as a benchmark in determining whether there was to be any future to the U.S.-Soviet relationship. He said he needed to know whether we were saying that Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan was an absolute condition for any future relationship with the Soviet Union.

I reminded Dobrynin that we had already broken TNF out of the complex of issues facing us and had agreed to negotiations, and that in due course we would have something to say about a future long term grains agreement. Dobrynin said that he had heard that we were planning to try to isolate the Soviets economically. I denied that this was so, but said that future trade relations would of course be affected by Soviet conduct in other matters. I added that it should be clear that the pace of our dealings with the Soviets in all areas would be affected by their conduct on the Afghanistan and Kampuchea issues—and also by their conduct in two other areas of crucial importance, Iran and [Page 191] Poland. It was vital to any future relationship that there be no Soviet intervention in either of these countries.

Dobrynin made another reference to the Soviet Persian Gulf initiative by saying it was essential that we talk about that area with Gromyko in September. I told him there was no possibility of any concerted U.S.-Soviet action concerning either the Persian Gulf or the Middle East so long as the Soviets remained in Afghanistan.

On arms control issues, Dobrynin asked about our plans for Threshold Test Ban Treaty and Peaceful Nuclear Explosions Treaty, and how we saw the relationship between TNF and SALT. He was told that all these issues were under review.

Dobrynin also raised the subject of our relations with China. I am sending you a separate memo on this subject.3

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Pipes Files, Chron 07/02/1981–07/07/1981. Secret. Pipes forwarded the memorandum to Allen on July 7, with an undated covering memorandum from Allen to Reagan. On the uninitialed covering memorandum from Allen to Reagan, Allen wrote: “Except for the demarche on China (which is discussed in a separate memorandum) this is rather routine diplomatic stuff.” (Ibid.)
  2. See Document 66.
  3. See Document 69.