185. Briefing Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs (Burt) to Secretary of State Shultz1


  • U.S.-Soviet Relations: Your Meeting with the President, March 2, 1984, 2:15 p.m.

Your meeting with the President is designed to set the framework for our policy towards the Soviet Union for the rest of this year.2 You will want to get the President’s blessing on moving forward with the Soviets in your next talk with Dobrynin and in Art Hartman’s next conversations with Gromyko. It is also important that Brent Scowcroft have substantive things to say during his meetings in Moscow in ten days if he is to have credibility as a channel on nuclear arms negotiations.3 At this point, content is the key to whether we can move forward.

The material you sent the President for the meeting was changed quite substantively by Jack Matlock and Ron Lehman before Bud [Page 648] McFarlane sent it on to the President.4 Some of the NSC’s updating of the first paper is quite good. However, they also saw fit to gut the substance on START,5 eliminating the Framework paper in toto, and introduced some dubious conceptual comments, e.g. Chernenko “needs you more than you need him, and he knows it.”

The paper now reflects the better tone we have been hearing from the Soviets since Chernenko took over and the slight widening of opportunities Chernenko may represent. In a nutshell, the Soviets are reticent about helping the President this year, but they are keeping their options open, and under Chernenko the signs are multiplying that they could well decide to get something serious going with us before the election. It argues we should recognize that major breakthroughs are not in the cards and keep public expectations—including expectations of a summit—low at the outset.

But the paper states that we should also begin to put serious content into the dialogue all along the line, and be willing to go to the summit if the Soviets are willing to respond with concrete steps that take our concerns into account. If they are not, the fault will demonstrably be theirs, and not ours. If they are, we may get some agreements this year, and should lay a solid basis for some serious forward movement beginning in 1985.

On substance, the paper divides the issues and sets forward proposals in the four normal agenda areas. It also talks about channels and timing, noting that we need to organize ourselves for confidential, leak-proof substantive dialogue, through Dobrynin and Hartman, through Brent Scowcroft (when he goes to Moscow with the Dartmouth Group beginning March 8) and possibly through a visit to Moscow by you. And we need the kind of bureaucratic streamlining here that will “pre-position” us for movement on a whole range of issues. Your task in [Page 649] the meeting will be to obtain agreement for movement forward in all areas.

The fundamental flaw in the rewrite is that it eliminates any real substance on START and drops the separate paper on the Framework. As it stands now, there is little left to talk with the Soviets on nuclear arms control issues other than the vague suggestions of tradeoffs that we have offered in the past. The Soviets will not take such an approach as a serious one. During the meeting tomorrow or following it in a separate meeting, it will be important to get the President’s blessing on a more substantive approach.

The problem will be a critical one for your dialogue with Dobrynin and Scowcroft’s talks in Moscow. If Brent is sent to Moscow with no more than what is proposed in this paper, the Soviets will be confirmed in their suspicion that our talk of dialogue is no more than an election-year ploy. What he has to say will be a test case of “U.S. seriousness” for the Soviets. If there is nothing new, Brent will be discredited; even worse, you and the President will be discredited and the possibility of getting something serious going with the Soviets this year—including a summit—will not be realized.

Specifically, we believe that Brent should be authorized to convey to the Soviets just what sort of trade-offs we envision and how they might come together in a START package. At the very least, he will have to be able to say explicitly that we are prepared to trade our agreement to limit missiles and bombers together, as the Soviet Union has suggested, in exchange for Soviet agreement to sufficient limits on the ballistic missile capabilities that are important to us. He should be able to describe how such an arrangement could involve two parallel networks of limits and sublimits, one on delivery vehicles (as emphasized by the Soviet side), the other on warheads (as emphasized by the U.S.); and explain how such an approach would not require that we build identical forces. His pitch would be keyed to the need to find agreement on the principles of such a reductions scheme, which could then allow the two delegations in Geneva to hammer out the actual numbers and other details.

The attached suggested talking points (Tab A)6 are designed to allow you to shape the conversation to get the President’s blessing on putting substance, particularly on START, into the dialogue with the Soviets, obtaining a consensus on the bilateral, regional, and human rights steps discussed in the paper, and securing agreement on the ideas on timing and channels included in it. They include both the ideas of sending Brent to Moscow and a discussion of the framework. [Page 650] I leave it you whether you want to do this with others present or only with the President. A copy of the paper as it was sent to the President is also attached. (Tab B)

Tab B

Paper Prepared in the Department of State7


What are the prospects for U.S.-Soviet relations in 1984? What should be our approach?

I. Premise

Chernenko’s selection as General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party may provide an opportunity to put our relations on a more positive track. Even before Andropov died, there were signs that the Soviets were accepting the necessity for an intensified dialogue. Now they have started to diminish their hostile rhetoric somewhat and have indicated a readiness to examine privately proposals for solving some problems.

As a Soviet leader, Chernenko has many initial weaknesses. He may have come to power as the head of a relatively weak coalition, and his freedom to maneuver may be severely circumscribed. His public image is not strong, and he may well turn out to be only a brief transitional figure. Nevertheless, he probably does not view himself in that light, and we can assume that he will attempt to consolidate his power and put his own stamp on history. In that effort, an ability to improve relations with the United States would be an important asset to him, and to be seen publicly dealing with you as an equal would bolster his image greatly in the Soviet Union. In short, he needs you more than you need him, and he knows it.

This does not mean that he can sell the store. Crucial strategic decisions will continue to be made by a collective—essentially the same collective which ran things under Andropov. But it is likely that this collective had already begun to recognize the need for the Soviet Union [Page 651] to adjust some of its policies before Andropov died, and Chernenko’s accession could hasten that process. The change of the face at the top could make it easier to adjust policies, implicitly blaming past failures on the “previous administration.”

To say that these things could happen is, of course, not the same as saying that they will, or even that the odds favor them happening—The Soviets still harbor a deep and fundamental hostility to your Administration, are tough and cynical bargainers, and will be reluctant to do anything that they believe would facilitate your reelection and vindicate your policy of strength.

Your reelection is of strategic importance for the United States in establishing an effective long-term policy for dealing with the Soviet threat. This means that we must stress in public your call for dialogue and your desire to reduce tensions and solve problems. Tangible progress and a summit that produced positive results could be helpful if the Soviets decide to bite the bullet and adjust their policies sufficiently to make this possible. But if they continue to resist realistic negotiation, you must be in a position by late summer or fall to make clear that this is their fault, not yours.

For the next few months, however, we should carefully avoid raising public expectations for a summit or any specific accords with the Soviets. To do so would gravely weaken our negotiating leverage with the Soviets, and leave a public impression of failure if they refuse to deal with us realistically. In private, however, we should promptly begin to explore the possibilities for moving ahead in some important areas, and to test Chernenko’s willingness and ability to meet at least some of our legitimate concerns. If we play our cards right, we may well be able to induce Chernenko to pay something in advance for the improvement in relations and summit which would be very helpful to him personally.

On the Soviet side, one principal argument against meeting our concerns in some important areas is likely to be that your policy is so hostile that no accommodation is possible, and any attempt to negotiate seriously would only result in Soviet concessions without a deal. It is, therefore, in our interest to make it clear that we will negotiate seriously if the Soviets are willing to meet our legitimate concerns. Such a posture would not only maximize whatever chances exist for major agreements in 1984, but would provide a sound basis for rapid progress in 1985, if the Soviets are unable to get their act together until then, or if they hold back for fear of helping you get reelected. We should not, of course, attempt to stimulate their interest by making prior concessions of substance. This would only encourage them to continue on their track of trying to get concessions from us without making any of their own. Indeed, our aim should be to obtain some prior concessions from [Page 652] them, particularly if you are to agree to a summit. In this regard we should recognize that there are doubtless limits on what Chernenko can deliver; he can hardly pull Soviet troops out of Afghanistan or make major decisions of strategic significance. But he can deliver on such matters as human rights cases and Jewish emigration if he wishes.

All of this suggests that we should move rapidly to put more content into the dialogue; and to search for more efficient modalities. We should stick to the broad agenda set forth in your January speech, but need to concentrate particular attention on issues where the Soviets can find a direct interest in responding. Regarding modalities, we need channels which permit off-the-record frankness and which are isolated from leaks.

While concentrating on communicating with the leadership (whoever that may be at a given moment), we should also expand opportunities for more broad and effective contacts with a wider public, particularly persons now in their forties and fifties (the successor generation).

II. The Substance

It is difficult to predict where on our four-part agenda progress might be possible. In 1983 the Soviets sent a signal in the human rights field by releasing the Pentecostalists; this year it could be somewhere else. So we should keep pushing on all fronts, while keeping public expectations low unless and until something concrete materializes.

A. Regional Issues

In our dialogue with the Soviets on regional issues, it will be difficult at this stage to strike direct deals. Thus, our near-term objective would be to engage them in a frank interchange regarding the dangers of given situations. Such a discussion would massage Soviet amour propre by treating them as equals (of sorts). It might also serve to alert us and them to particularly delicate aspects which should be taken into account in policy making. Being seen in consultation with the Soviets on these issues helps allay public anxieties and can increase leverage with other parties. Conceivably, the process could lead to reciprocal unilateral actions which might defuse particularly dangerous aspects of regional conflicts, although this is likely to occur only if relations in other respects improve.

The regional issue most likely to attract genuine Soviet interest is the Middle East—Lebanon specifically. At this stage, we should steer away from tactical discussions and asking them to do favors, i.e., UNIFIL. Our objective should be to use a larger strategic discussion to stress the danger of events spiraling out of control of either of us and producing an Israeli-Syrian confrontation which would have serious dangers for both of us.

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There is also room for a broad discussion of European issues, where we could drive home some of the dangers for Soviet policy of their present “splitting” tactics. And in general we believe our emphasis on greater Soviet restraint in unstable regions indicates more routine, substantive exchanges among experts on various regions.

B. Arms Control

Strategic arms limitations represent the central arms negotiations between the US and the USSR. However, for the last three years, INF issues have set the mood for a number of negotiations. Having threatened to walk out of negotiations and to deploy “countermeasures,” the Soviet Union is now following through.

Sufficient face-saving formulas exist for the Soviet Union to return when they wish, although they will be very reluctant to return to INF. We should not make concessions to bring them back to START and INF, nor should we create obstacles to their return. Resumption of talks will be accelerated if our allies are firm, major defense programs proceed, walkout is not rewarded, and domestic pressures are controlled.

Nevertheless, the United States can and should take steps designed to enhance the prospects for arms control “windows of opportunity.” Resumption of more normal negotiations is most likely in multilateral fora or in low key bilateral negotiations such as the “Hotline” upgrade talks, especially if the United States is not perceived as gaining significant public diplomacy advantages. This is consistent with the current Soviet effort to keep political pressure on the Alliance and this Administration.

If, however, the new leadership in Moscow should decide that a major US/USSR arms control initiative might be in their interest, then START is the most likely arena for movement. Prior to the Soviet walkout from START we had indicated that we had some flexibility in basic approaches to trade-offs between areas of US and Soviet interest. Clarification of approaches to these trade-offs could play an important role in creating the climate for agreement in principle or a resumption of negotiations.

Although the Alliance is adamant that we should not make concessions in order to get the USSR to return to the INF talks, Moscow’s unwillingness to discuss Soviet LRINF systems presents it with a political vulnerability. The United States and its allies should continue to press on this issue. As long as the Soviet Union believes that it can put the West on the defensive with the public in areas such as INF deployments and space arms control, it will see less incentive to negotiate on other issues.

MBFR is important not because an agreement is likely this year or next, but because we have an opportunity to demonstrate that we are [Page 654] serious in our negotiating intent. Our opening position at the next round is thus crucial in conveying the overall message that we are prepared to negotiate seriously. The CDE, the CD in Geneva and bilateral talks on CBM’s such as the hot line will have a higher profile than hitherto.

C. Human Rights

While the Soviets will continue to make any discussion on human rights difficult, we should persevere. Last year the Soviets did move on the Pentecostalists in the context of improving relations, and we are once again hearing from official Soviets that they see some improvement. We should continue to focus on major cases like Shcharansky, Sakharov and Orlov, and on the need to reopen Jewish emigration. This is an area where deals may be possible if arranged through private, off-the-official-record contacts. If movement in other areas indicate that a summit would be useful, we should push hard for human rights improvements as a precondition.

D. Bilateral

In the bilateral area, Secretary Shultz’ meeting with Gromyko opened up a number of possibilities. Gromyko responded positively to the need to examine specific measures to prevent another KAL. Since then, the Soviet representative at ICAO has proposed a US-Japan-USSR group to look at such measures.8 We have developed a set of specific measures. Our objective should be to reach agreement on these measures this year.

We also should take steps which improve our direct communication and contact with the people in the Soviet Union—to give practical effect to your own stress on talking directly to the people in your January 16th speech and again in the State of the Union. That is the objective of a consulate in Kiev (strongly supported in recent letters to the Congress and the Administration by Ukrainian-American organizations) and a cultural exchanges agreement.

By moving forward ourselves in these two areas now, we can help to channel in sensible directions the upsurge of interest across the country in greater people-to-people contacts and limit exploitation by the Soviets. Also to avoid naive groups dominating this area, we should try to establish a mechanism for better guidance and coordination of private efforts. This could be used to encourage those with a tougher-[Page 655]minded track record in dealing with the Soviets, i.e., the American Council of Young Political Leaders.

Some in Congress are interested in inviting a delegation of Supreme Soviet members this year. This could be a way for us to meet possible successors to Chernenko, such as Gorbachev. However, we will want to weigh carefully the risks of negative exploitation.

In other areas of possible bilateral cooperation, the Soviets have not responded formally to our space rescue proposal but informal indications are not promising. There are a variety of other areas of cooperation which could be pursued should we decide to do so.

III. Channels

There are a number of channels we should be utilizing.

We should continue the correspondence with Chernenko, but recognize that it is unlikely that he will be candid, both out of fear his letters will be leaked and in order to protect his negotiating positions. Nonetheless, it is one means of being certain that our views are getting through to the leadership without distortion. And it could help to provide some momentum. (At the moment the ball is in Chernenko’s court, since you sent him a letter with the Vice President.)9

We also should hold early and regular exchanges between Secretary Shultz and Dobrynin and between Hartman and Gromyko on the full range of our concerns.

On the critical START issue, in the absence of negotiations in Geneva, the Secretary’s talks with Dobrynin will be the main channel. As a parallel process we should consider intensifying unofficial informal discussions. Brent Scowcroft is going to Moscow in March and would be able to set forth our views more fully and directly than passing through Dobrynin.

If there is sufficient movement, we should consider another Shultz-Gromyko meeting.

Finally, we should consider some other forms of dialogue. As noted earlier, on regional issues like the Middle East our specialists should meet. In addition, we should consider sending a group of middle-level policy officials to Moscow to cover a broad range of subjects and touch base with key Soviet organizations, including the Central Committee. And military-to-military discussions are a possibility: discussion of such matters as strategic doctrine or comparison of each other’s threat assessments might be useful topics.

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IV. Timetable

The following timetable is possible:

Shultz/Dobrynin within a week to 10 days: further on START framework and propose some of other consultations.

Hartman/Gromyko: propose Middle East discussion by specialists and/or discussions by policy planners.

Scowcroft: Brief him on our approach to use privately during his planned trip to Moscow beginning March 8.

—Another Shultz/Gromyko meeting: we should not push for this yet but wait and see how other issues develop. If the Soviets seem interested, we could try to arrange a meeting in May or early June. We also should consider whether to invite Gromyko to Washington to see you when he is here in September for the UNGA.

V. Bureaucratic Preparation

If the Soviets do begin to deal more seriously in areas of interest to us, we must be able to move rapidly in order to sustain momentum. This may require some adjustment of our bureaucratic procedures to make quick decisions possible. It would be useful to clarify as many immediate issues as we can, and to “pre-position” approved negotiating plans, to be used as developments warrant. A list of the more important U.S.-Soviet issues with summaries of their status is attached.


Paper Prepared in the Department of State10



START: Status. Soviet deferral of resumption reaffirmed by Gromyko in Stockholm, but with Vice President, Chernenko called nuclear arms control major area for positive US-Soviet discussion. Soviets know we have new things to say on START in restricted channels (Dobrynin pressed Hartman to volunteer Thursday). Prospects. If Framework presented to Soviets soon, some possibility of getting detailed confidential [Page 657] discussion underway over next few months (though they may continue to insist on something on INF/FBS as precondition to serious talks).

INF: Status. Soviets continue fixated on U.S. INF, and refuse resumption without some expression of U.S. “willingness to return to the situation that existed before deployments;” in Stockholm Gromyko shied away even from quiet discussions in restricted channels. Prospects. Near-term chances of renewed separate INF talks minimal. Gromyko pointed toward inclusion of U.S. INF systems in any resumed START talks, was informed that any negotiation dealing with GLCMs and P–IIs must also deal with SS–20s.

MBFR: Status. Talks to resume March 16. President’s letter to Chernenko said we are prepared to introduce some new ideas and to be flexible on data if Soviets flexible on verification. Prospects. Difficult to be too optimistic on these long-running talks, but some forward movement seems possible by summer assuming early Allied agreement on new proposal enabling us to respond to Soviets soon.

US-SOVIET CBMs: Status. January session moved us forward on upgrade of Hotline, but Soviets most reluctant on some of our more ambitious proposals. Soviets appear interested in principle in nuclear terrorism discussions. We are now coordinating USG proposal with Allies before going to Soviets. Prospects. Follow-on session on communications CBMs tentatively set for April; basic Hotline upgrade agreement possible by early summer. Could talk with Soviets on nuclear terrorism within a month assuming Allied support firms up; would not move multilaterally until some agreement with Soviets.

CDE: Status. Early sparring in Stockholm with basic NATO and Soviet approaches still far apart, and Soviets pushing declaratory measures such as Non-Use-of-Force Treaty; NATO seeks substantive notification measures. Prospects. We should pursue private dialogue underway in Stockholm. Realistic compromise proposals may be months or even years off without high-level political decisions, i.e. a package with points satisfying both sides.

NON-PROLIFERATION: Status. Third round of highly technical and essentially non-political bilaterals just concluded in Vienna; both sides see them as valuable mechanism for policy coordination in this area. Prospects. Soviets have proposed and we are ready to agree to another session for December.

CHEMICAL WEAPONS: Status: Secretary Shultz announced to the CDE that we will be presenting a draft CW treaty in coming months; once State and ACDA competing versions are reconciled, a text will be submitted for interagency clearance. OSD opposes concept of such a treaty, but has proposed US-Soviet bilateral verification discussion. Prospects: Final treaty will not be ready for CD submission before April [Page 658] at the earliest; we may wish to pick up bilateral discussion proposal in interim.

NUCLEAR TESTING: Status: Soviets have turned down our proposals to discuss verification before ratification of 1976 TTBT treaty every time, and believe they have the propaganda high ground in calling for discussion only after it is ratified. Prospects: An interagency group is studying further approaches to the Soviets. One option involves ratification of TTBT in exchange for Soviet consent to on-site verification of a few nuclear calibration tests. Some agencies oppose any change in our position on basis of our non-compliance report to Congress.11

ASAT ARMS CONTROL: Status. Soviets probably intend to make this major issue and Tsongas Amendment may prevent our testing the U.S. ASAT system absent talks with Soviets.12 Basically very little possible on this now until fundamental verification problems resolved. Some confidence-building measures are now being discussed within the USG and could be proposed for discussion with Soviets. Prospects: Proposals for CBMs or prohibiting certain acts could be discussed once USG study completed, but would be of less interest to Soviets than ASAT ban.

MILITARY-TO-MILITARY CONTACTS: Status. Little dialogue between military establishments except in Incidents-at-Sea context, and we have held back from proposing regular exchanges between Weinberger and Ustinov or Chiefs of Staff. Prospects. A proposal of a Weinberger-Ustinov or Vessey-Ogarkov meeting could be made whenever we deem appropriate. Ex-CJCS David Jones plans to visit Moscow as member of Dartmouth Group delegation in March. Soviets, however, are likely to be extremely cautious until some progress made on other issues.


MIDDLE EAST: Status. Talking with Soviets here and Moscow, and Soviets negotiating with French on UN role in Lebanon. Prospects. Soviets unlikely to do much to help us in Lebanon, but nervous about Syrian-impelled confrontation with us. Could acquiesce in UN role [Page 659] and possibly eventual Syrian withdrawal in return for commitments on U.S. and Israeli forces. Further discussion in Shultz-Dobrynin and Hartman-Gromyko channels could be useful to avoid miscalculation.

AFGHANISTAN: Status. Soviets dug in for long term, but feeling pressure. Talks under UN auspices may resume in April. Pakistan welcomes US-Soviet bilateral contacts as supporting its efforts, but last US-Soviet “experts” talks in Moscow in July 1982. Prospects. As pressure on the ground rises, Soviets may look to further cross-border incursions on Pakistan, to UN process and/or to direct talks with us as safety valve. We could make some points about role of guarantors in overall settlement that included withdrawal timetable if we wished to probe their longer-term intentions and prove we support UN process.

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Status. Steady progress now on South African disengagement from Angola, and discussions on shape of final settlement continue with some prospect for success, but Soviets could still block either through SWAPO or in Luanda. Chet Crocker talked with Soviets three times in 1982, but not since. Prospects. Sending Hartman in with an update could give Soviets a better feel for the dilemmas they face.

KAMPUCHEA: Status. Soviets combine support for Vietnamese occupation of Kampuchea with more active policy vis-à-vis ASEAN states, and item has not ranked high in bilateral dialogue. Prospects. No immediate prospects of inducing the Soviets to decrease aid to Hanoi.


EMIGRATION/ANTI-SEMITISM: Status. Decline in levels of Jewish and other emigration continues, with last year’s Jewish total about 3% of 1979 figure. Perennial topic in high-level meetings since 1981; latest “representation lists” on divided families and spouses and U.S. nationals handed over to Gromyko’s deputy in Stockholm; Secretary raised anti-Semitism with Dobrynin after Stockholm;13 Bronfman visit to Moscow now uncertain. Prospects. Return to large numbers unlikely, but Soviets could make some gestures—through quiet diplomacy or to public figures—in election year, and numbers could rise slightly as function of overall atmosphere in relationship.

SOVIET DISSIDENTS: Status. Andropov era saw rounding up and sentencing of all but a handful of Soviet dissidents. We raise these issues at regular intervals, including at Stockholm, but Sakharov still in Gorkiy, Orlov is going to internal exile after finishing seven-year sentence, and Shcharanskiy is still in jail. Prospects. Again not good, [Page 660] although, again, gestures are probably more possible under Chernenko, and we should encourage through quiet diplomacy.


MARITIME BOUNDARY: Status. We offered a 50–50 split in the disputed territory in the Bering Sea. January negotiations in Washington complicated by unacceptable new Soviet position claiming additional areas for their exclusive economic zone and continental shelf rights. Prospects. New round is expected but not yet scheduled for near future. If Soviets move off their new position, an agreement would be possible within a few months at most. If they dig in, there will be extended negotiations.14

KAL SAFETY MEASURES: Status. Discussions have begun in Montreal with Soviets and Japanese on installation of beacons, improved communications, and designation of emergency landing fields in the Soviet Far East along KAL 007 route. Prospects. Soviets have proposed US-Soviet-Japanese experts’ group and signalled willingness to take concrete air safety steps under the ICAO umbrella. Action should be possible, but Soviets will remain wary of accepting even implicit responsibility for shootdown, and results could take months.

KIEV AND NEW YORK CONSULATES: Status. Advance teams preparing for the formal opening of consulates under 1974 agreement were withdrawn as an Afghanistan sanction; now we have no official presence in Ukraine, while Soviets continue activities in New York out of their UN Mission. Last summer both sides agreed to move forward again, but progress ended with KAL; Secretary reiterated agreement in principle to Gromyko in Stockholm, noting timing must be right. Prospects. A negotiating strategy is awaiting NSC approval; Soviets say they are ready to open consulates at any time; talks could resume immediately; agreement could be reached and TDY advance teams could perhaps be in place by summer. Detailed arrangements could delay formal opening for some years.

EXCHANGES AGREEMENT: Status. We allowed US-Soviet cultural exchanges agreement to lapse after Afghanistan. Programs dropped off in both directions, but Soviets can arrange tours through private U.S. organizations, so we cannot exact reciprocity in the absence of agreement. We cannot mount USIA travelling exhibits in the Soviet Union, and Soviets now blocking Hartman’s efforts to run cultural programs out of his residence. Two sides agreed in principle in July to begin negotiations, but movement stopped with KAL; Secretary reiterated agreement in principle to Gromyko in Stockholm. Prospects. [Page 661] Draft proposal is far advanced, but would require high-level approval. It would probably take some months to negotiate agreement, but might be completed this year.

CONSULAR REVIEW TALKS: Status. First round of talks aimed at alleviating some of our ongoing visa and other consular problems with Soviets recessed in May after FBI refused to agree to additional entry point by sea at Baltimore (in addition to San Francisco) in return for two new points offered by Soviets (Brest and Nakhodka). Prospects. If FBI lifts veto on Baltimore, talks could resume at any time and produce balanced package of useful small housekeeping steps.

SIMULATED SPACE RESCUE: Status. Proposed to Soviets in late January. They have yet to respond. Prospects. Soviets have not appeared enthusiastic to date. We need response soon if there is to be any hope of making simulated rescue flight this summer.

COAST GUARD SEARCH AND RESCUE TALKS: Status. Soviets agreed just before KAL to discuss S&R procedures with senior Coast Guard officials, looking perhaps toward an agreement on coordination of search operations in Bering Sea. They deflected our December efforts to set up a meeting. Prospects. Soviets would probably agree now. Discussions and a possible agreement could be impressive following our well-publicized frictions during the KAL search and rescue operation.

PRIVATE/CONGRESSIONAL CONTACTS. Status. Already an upsurge of interest in expanding people-to-people contacts; some in Congress want to invite a Supreme Soviet delegation this year. Prospects. To limit exploitation by Soviets, we might encourage tougher-minded experienced groups like American Council of Young Political Leaders to visit. Supreme Soviet visit could attract major Soviet figure to U.S.

LONG-TERM ECONOMIC AGREEMENT RENEWAL: Status. 10-year agreement, which has some utility in facilitating U.S. business efforts in Moscow, expires in June. Prospects. U.S. could propose renewal in the next few weeks. The Soviets would probably accept.

JOINT COMMERCIAL COMMISSION: Status. A scheduled meeting was cancelled as an Afghanistan sanction, and this official, cabinet-level body has thus not met since 1978. Prospects. We could propose meeting later this year, assuming we have had a positive response on other economic steps.

FISHERIES AGREEMENT RENEWAL: Status. Extended twice under this Administration and up for renewal in July, this agreement has allowed a joint fishing venture that benefits U.S. fishermen. Soviets have not been allowed to fish directly in U.S. waters since Afghanistan. Prospects. Approval of an 18-month extension would permit improved [Page 662] planning by U.S. fishermen. USG could consider giving the Soviets a direct fish allocation at any time.

CURRENT AGREEMENTS: Status. There are US-Soviet cooperative agreements in force on the environment, health (including artificial heart research), housing, and agriculture that have functioned at low levels, partly because of the political atmosphere and partly because of restrictions on high-level US-Soviet contacts. Soviets interested in reviving these exchanges and giving them appropriate leadership. Prospects. Agreements could be given additional content by USG side with the participation of higher-ranking U.S. officials.

NEW BILATERAL AGREEMENTS: Status. A number of agreements were allowed to lapse after Afghanistan, some of which would be in our favor to renegotiate. They include the areas of space, transportation, and basic sciences and engineering. Prospects. Soviets are on record as favoring renewal and expansion of agreements, and in these cases, affected agencies also [favor] new agreements. Transportation could be renewed by exchange of notes we had partially carried out before KAL. Others would take some time to develop proposals and negotiate agreements.

  1. Source: Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S, Sensitive and Super Sensitive Documents, Lot 92D52, February 1984 Super Sensitive Documents. Secret; Sensitive. McKinley’s handwritten initials appear on the memorandum, indicating he saw it on February 28.
  2. On February 9, in a memorandum to Shultz, Burt wrote: “Attached is the paper commissioned at the last session of the Saturday morning Soviet group for possible discussion with the President. I put it together with Jack Matlock and Jeremy Azrael, and with substantial help from Mark Palmer. It will probably need to be revised somewhat before going to the President. But I would like your guidance on whether it is generally on the right track.” (Reagan Library, George Shultz Papers, Executive Secretariat Sensitive Chronology, 02/09/1984–02/10/1984) The attached paper was the first draft of “U.S.-Soviet Relations: A Framework for the Future,” jointly written by State and NSC Staff. In a February 22 memorandum to Reagan, Shultz wrote: “The more positive line coming out of Moscow since Andropov’s death and the Vice President’s meeting with Chernenko underline the need to look once again at the U.S.-Soviet relationship. We have thus taken stock of where things now stand between us and what steps might be pursued in various areas if we want to see things move forward this year. Attached is a package worked out jointly with my people and the NSC staff for your review.” (Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S, Sensitive and Super Sensitive Documents, Lot 92D52, February 1984 Super Sensitive Documents) Included in this package were the Framework paper, a summary of START options, and a checklist of U.S.-Soviet issues.
  3. Scowcroft and the Dartmouth Group delegation made an official visit to Moscow in March. See Document 193.
  4. In a February 24 memorandum to the President, McFarlane explained: “A paper suggesting a framework for U.S.-Soviet relations in 1984, written on the basis of discussions by the small group organized by George Shultz, is attached at Tab A. It provides a background for the meeting we have scheduled next week (see Document 188) to discuss where we go from here in dealing with the Soviets.

    “The second attachment reviews the major issues now current in U.S.-Soviet relations and describes in a nutshell where they stand.” (Reagan Library, Jack Matlock Files, USSR Subject File, 1981–1986, US-USSR Relations (February 1984) 2/2) As noted by Burt, some revisions were made by the NSC Staff in the final version that was sent to the President.

  5. In a memorandum to Shultz on February 24, McFarlane informed him that the START paper would be discussed in the Senior Arms Control Policy Group the following week, and therefore was not included in the package to the President. (Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S, Sensitive and Super Sensitive Documents, Lot 92D52, February 1984 Super Sensitive Documents)
  6. The talking points are attached but not printed.
  7. Secret; Sensitive. Not for the System. First drafted by Burt, Matlock, Azrael, and Palmer according to Burt’s February 9 memorandum and revised in the State Department and NSC Staff (see footnotes 2 and 4, above).
  8. U.S., Soviet, and Japanese negotiators began meeting in Washington on February 26. See footnote 9, Document 372. For the issues under discussion, see point two, “KAL Safety Measures,” in Section IV of the attached Checklist. Discussion of safety in the North Pacific air routes also continued at the ICAO in Montreal.
  9. See Document 175.
  10. Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Pascoe and Simons; cleared by Burt, Palmer, and Howe according to a draft in the file.
  11. See footnote 11, Document 159.
  12. The Tsongas Amendment to the 1984 Defense Department Authorization Act, which “unanimously passed” in the Senate, “prohibited the expenditure of funds for tests of explosive or inert ASAT weapons (i.e., exempting directed-energy weapons) against objects in space, unless the President determined and certified to Congress that: 1) the United States was endeavoring in good faith to negotiate a treaty with the Soviet Union for a mutual, verifiable, and comprehensive ban on ASATs; and 2) that pending such an agreement, such tests were necessary for national security.” (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Anti-Satellite Weapons, Countermeasures, and Arms Control, Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, September 1985, pp. 99–100)
  13. See Document 165.
  14. See footnote 8, Document 284.