288. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • US

    • Secretary of State George P. Shultz
    • Ambassador Arthur A. Hartman
    • Assistant Secretary Richard Burt
    • Jack F. Matlock
    • R. Mark Palmer
    • Thomas W. Simons, Jr.
    • Dimitry Zarechnak, Interpreter
  • USSR

    • Foreign Minister Andrey A. Gromyko
    • First Deputy Foreign Minister Georgiy M. Korniyenko
    • Ambassador Anatoliy F. Dobrynin
    • Viktor F. Isakov
    • Aleksey A. Obukhov
    • Vladilen A. Merzlikin
    • Vasiliy G. Makarov
    • Viktor Sukhodrev Interpreter

After a few introductory remarks, Secretary Shultz suggested to Foreign Minister Gromyko that perhaps Gromyko would like to begin by giving his impressions after yesterday’s meeting,2 and he would also say a few words. He had the impression from the message from the Soviet embassy that Gromyko’s time was limited. Therefore, the sides should get down to discussion of substance.

[Page 1042]

Gromyko began by noting that the sides had spoken about contacts, consultations and meetings at various levels. The Soviet side considers that each time a meeting comes up the subject and the level of each should be the subject of prior arrangements between us. If both sides desire it, representatives of the sides could then meet. Clarity is needed on this. It did not mean that there should be a whole string of meetings, like a conference broken at various intervals. Gromyko felt the US had the same approach, and the USSR was not against it, for reasons that he had explained. But a specific task should be set for such meetings; there must be prior agreement on the subject matter and personnel for each. This was the first thing that he wished to say.

Gromyko continued that he thought the sides could make more intensive use of their diplomatic channels. At present, they are not being used with sufficient intensity. Of course, this is not the fault of the channels or the diplomats. It is up to those who give diplomats their instructions to make better use of them. An example of where such channels could be used much more effectively was the area of regional issues.

Gromyko indicated that one specific question of a regional nature was the Middle East. The sides should not have to wait for meetings on the ministerial level or other high levels to discuss the issue. Surely we are not limited to this. A simpler way would be to use diplomatic channels for a more extensive exchange of views. The reservations which the US had about starting a dialogue with the USSR on the Middle East are not justified. The US seems to think that its ties with Israel give it a very secure footing, along with contacts with one or two other countries. Of course, the Soviet side is not begging; it is up to the US to decide, but common sense should prevail. It would be acting correctly for the US to have an exchange of views and to seek mutual solutions in the Middle East. The same could apply to other areas as well.

Gromyko recalled the Secretary’s statement in Stockholm where he said that it is unfortunate that Europe is divided.3 It was clear that the Secretary had in mind the results of World War II. Why was such a statement made? It was shocking. How could something like that have been said? The US and USSR fought on the same side in World War II. The USSR was also allied with England. France—although it had no organized military force—and other countries had come in, but the real alliance was this triad. The results of that war have been written into history. They are firm and permanent. What does it mean to speak of “division?” What does the US not like about the situation there? [Page 1043] What about the agreement signed in Potsdam? This was one of the greatest events of history, where the Soviet Union, the US and England confirmed the results of the war in writing. Pre-war Germany was no more. Now there are two German states. There are fixed post-war borders between the two countries, as in the rest of Europe.

Gromyko continued that the USSR, the US, Great Britain and other countries must and do respect what was written into history by the blood of those who perished. The USSR was more than shocked to hear the US say at Stockholm that the “division” of Europe was an unpleasant thing. This view was repeated in subsequent NATO statements. The USSR noted how the US, if it had truly thought through its position, looked at the common victory, the results of the war, and the obligations which it had taken upon itself as a result of conferences during and after the war. When they read about this, surely people in the Soviet Union wonder how this could be so, how to deal with a country which had radically changed its position on the obligations it had assumed.

Gromyko continued that the USSR would like the US to know that no one—no one—can change the reality of the situation in Europe. But such statements as the one to which he had referred poison the atmosphere and cast a dark shadow over relations between the two major powers. So the USSR asks for realism on the part of the US. We should cherish what has been achieved, and not make statements which poison our relations, where there is already enough disarray.

The US was certainly aware of West German reactions to such US statements, Gromyko went on. There are people in the FRG who reach out and grasp at such things for nationalistic aims, not unlike those expressed by the Nazis before the war. Gromyko mentioned that he had spoken recently with Foreign Minister Genscher.4 The West Germans do not like it when the representatives of the USSR talk of this matter. Genscher said that there was almost no one in Germany who believed in this. Gromyko had said that Genscher should look around him more attentively, and then he would see that there were such people. This, too, is an obstacle to our relations, and it would be good to remove it.

The Secretary said that he would talk about Europe in reference to what Gromyko had said; that he would then like to use the technique [Page 1044] which Gromyko had used last Wednesday,5 i.e. to “headline” certain questions; and finally that he would return to some of Gromyko’s thoughts about how to conduct relations between the two countries.

On Europe, the Secretary said the US does not want to change the treaties Gromyko had referred to. It wants to see those treaties implemented, just as it wants implementation of the Helsinki accords. But it was descriptively true to say that Europe was divided. Arrangements and symbols exist which demonstrate that. For example, the leading countries of Western Europe belong to the NATO alliance, and the leading countries of Eastern Europe belong to the Warsaw Pact. This is a symbol of division. The wall in Berlin is a symbol of division. It is difficult for people to travel between countries, which also shows the same thing. The fact of division is simply an observation. The US thinks it is not a desirable situation. There should be an easy flow of people throughout Europe, as there is in Western Europe. This would not change the national identity of countries; but it would increase the sense of ease in relations among countries. A division does exist in Europe, and the Secretary had simply wanted to call attention to it, and to the fact that things would be better if it were not there.

The Secretary continued that if events should ease this division and if all the things which Gromyko had mentioned, as well as the Helsinki accords, are implemented by the decision of our governments, and there is more freedom for people to move around, it would be so much the better. Our objective is not to call for a change in borders or for a change of the treaties concluded after the war. It is simply to call attention to the fact of division and to say that it would be better if such a division did not exist. To some extent, the kind of measures he and Gromyko had mentioned in Stockholm were one way of resolving this issue. The same applied to the MBFR negotiations in Vienna, as well as to other negotiations.

The Secretary said he was glad to have a chance to talk about what he had meant regarding the division of Europe, which was that it was simply a description of what is so, and the fact that it is undesirable.

The Secretary then proceeded to “headline” certain issues.

On arms control, the Secretary said he wished to explain once again what the President had in mind. What he was about to say was the result of many hours he had spent alone with the President struggling together to see how we could find ways to produce forward movement in relations with the USSR.

As he saw it, we have Gromyko’s “question of questions.” The President had thought this description quite apt. After Gromyko had [Page 1045] left, he had mentioned it several times. Then we have nuclear arms as the preeminent question, and here the President felt that the US had made a number of good proposals. From the time he put them forward, he had thought a lot about the issues from both standpoints. He also even asked that a group of experts be assembled who would play the role of Soviet experts thinking from the Soviet viewpoint, in order to be able to understand it better.

Gromyko asked in English how they had behaved. The Secretary replied that they were much tougher than Gromyko. Gromyko smiled and said in English that he would have to take this into account.

The Secretary continued by saying that the President had struggled with this question of questions. He felt that there was a lot of US thinking which the Soviet Union was not aware of. We see, as Gromyko had noted, that in the area of space weapons and in the general area of defensive weapons there is a great deal of technological development, as there is in the area of offensive weapons. A lot of research is going on. We do not yet know where it will go, but it will change things. This is related to the interaction between offensive and defensive systems, and the President feels this should be worked on.

The Secretary continued that the President feels, as the Soviets feel, that there was a possibility of chemical and biological weapons getting loose, and this would pose a great threat. We need to do everything we can to get it under control. He was often asked about the Iran-Iraq war, and he replied that it has nothing to do with Soviet-American competition. But it was the bloodiest conflict going on today, and the use of chemical weapons in it was very bad. Gromyko interjected that this was true. This was an example of the threat of chemical warfare, the Secretary went on, and the US had warned Iraq about this.

The Secretary continued that these things frustrate the President. He takes the Stockholm negotiations very seriously. In his Dublin speech and privately through our Stockholm negotiator he tried to be responsive to the Soviet proposal on non-use of force.6 In the field of [Page 1046] nuclear testing, which is a sort of sub-set of offensive weapons, the President is also anxious to see us capable of moving things forward. As we see it, we could do better in calibrating the levels of tests, and that is why the President suggested that we invite Soviet experts to witness a test in our country, and that the Soviets invite ours to theirs. This would give us more confidence about what’s going on, so we can get on with it.

The Secretary commented that the President says to him, “George, there’s all this substance out there, and we have other ideas, but we don’t seem to be able to get to it.” That was where the idea of an umbrella came from. Maybe the way to get at these issues is not to go back to Geneva, but we need a forum we can both agree on, where we can talk about how to get all these things moving along, how to divide the parameters and perhaps to give our negotiators a kick in the rear end to get on with it. The Secretary concluded that he had wanted to explain how the concept had emerged from the President’s frustration.

Continuing with his “headlines,” the Secretary noted that Gromyko had alluded to the Far East in New York, and that he wanted to talk about the tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Both sides would like to ease these tensions. The US felt that the best way to do that would be to have more talks between the two Koreas. The relief which North Korea is now providing to South Korea is a good thing. The Secretary could assure Gromyko that South Korea wants to have a dialogue with North Korea. He had met with the South Korean Foreign Minister, who had told him that South Korea would like to be admitted to the UN, and hoped that the Soviet Union would not stand in the way of this. He also wants the Soviets to know that South Korea will not stand in the way of North Korea’s membership either. If the two Koreas were both members of the UN, this could provide a good setting for contacts between them.

The Secretary said he wanted to say two things about bilateral US-Soviet relations. These were issues which were not directly involved with the “question of questions,” but did reflect life. The Secretary indicated that he had a long list of such questions before him, but he wished to especially point out two.

The first was that the US is supporting the revival of exchanges of young political leaders. He understood there is a visit planned soon in this connection, and we support that. The second issue was that the two sides had begun negotiations on a new exchanges agreement, and that this was a good thing. As the President had said, exchanges among people are among the most constructive things we can achieve.

The second thing was in the economic area, the Secretary went on. He said that whenever a meeting was scheduled between him and [Page 1047] Gromyko, he was flooded with letters requesting various things. He had gotten one such letter from the Secretary of Commerce, and all Secretaries of Commerce want to do business. He especially wanted the Secretary to tell Gromyko that the proposed economic meeting in December should go forward. He was sending a good man, Lionel Olmer, to head the US side, and he hoped this would lead to a meeting on the ministerial level.7 The aim of such cooperation would be to stimulate non-strategic trade. The Secretary of Commerce is a former businessman and is serious about what he speaks of.

The Secretary said that he would now like to turn to the question of contacts and exchanges between our countries. If he had understood Gromyko correctly, his idea had been that meetings on various subjects need to be monitored and controlled through our foreign ministries, and that there should not be meetings for the sake of meetings. He agreed with that, and we should be able to organize our respective governments accordingly. There would also need to be a process by which to decide on the level and subject of such meetings, and we should be able to achieve that.

Gromyko had touched upon regional issues, including the Middle East, the Secretary went on. We had discussed this topic the day before at lunch, and he thought the discussion had been very worthwhile. We have had the US specialist handling the Middle East, Ambassador Murphy, out in the area, and he was due back that afternoon. We also have on the table a proposal he had made to Ambassador Dobrynin that two or three experts on the Middle East on the US side get together with about the same number of Soviet Middle East experts to discuss this issue. Ambassador Murphy would be our designee for such talks, and the Secretary said he would like to sit in himself. These discussions ought to be confidential. The Secretary did not know what results would come from such meetings, but at a minimum there would be an exchange of views. Moreover, each side would then understand better the thinking of the other side, so that there would not be any miscalculations, and perhaps areas of mutual interest could be found and ways to achieve results. For example, on Lebanon, both countries would like to see Israel withdraw, both would like to see more stability, and are supportive of the role of UNIFIL. The Soviet Union has contacts with Syria, and the US also has some contacts with Syria. There are [Page 1048] ingredients for some understanding of what needs to be done. If the Soviet Union is ready for such a meeting, the US is also ready.

The Secretary noted that the US had also spoken about similar meetings on Southern Africa, and as the President had said, we would also be ready for meetings on various other areas. Discussions did not necessarily need to be conducted only in connection with trouble spots. Sometimes trouble can be avoided by timely discussions. There are only two countries that are genuinely world powers, and if we can compare notes on a systematic basis perhaps we can get something out of it.

The Secretary said we wanted to stress that the US was not interested in empty talk. Such talk can be counterproductive, since people can expect too much and feel that something is being accomplished, whereas actually nothing is. The US is interested in moving things along in many areas. Sometimes meetings can be about important subjects such as arms control. Sometimes, meetings on a lot of little things can create a better environment for things to happen in other areas. An example of this is the economic field, to deal with the Don Kendalls of this world.8 The US is for discussions but the form will vary with the subject matter, and if there is no movement in one specific discussion, it could be decided to terminate them and to move to discussions in a more fruitful area.

The Secretary said he wished to return to the essential importance of arms control, and to convey again the President’s sense of frustration that no progress is being made. The President believes that there is lots of room for substantive discussion, but none is taking place. He’s looking for some way to solve this. He has made proposals, but he’s willing to listen to other proposals; the question is how to bring about forward movement.

Gromyko said he was glad to note what the Secretary had said about the fact that the US remains dedicated to the obligations it had assumed during and after the war regarding Europe, and that the Soviet side had misinterpreted what had been said at Stockholm and in other statements. At the same time, when the Secretary had made that statement, and there were subsequent statements by the US and its Allies about this subject, these statements were not accompanied by the type of explanation that the Secretary had just given, i.e., the obligation to abide by former agreements. If it is true that the US and its Allies feel this way, why is it necessary for the US alone and subsequently together with its Allies to make statements that it is necessary to seek to bring about a unified German state? What promp[Page 1049]ted this? Such statements are picked up by certain forces in West Germany which Gromyko had spoken of, and interpreted by them in a very definite way.

Gromyko said he would not want to see a contradiction in the US position between loyalty to post-war agreements and how we see the future of Europe. Statements should not be made indicating the goal of a unified German state; otherwise, contradictions would exist. Gromyko repeated that he was glad to hear the Secretary’s statement about US loyalty to the obligations it undertook as an ally. Perhaps the Secretary underestimated the significance of what he had said. But everything that runs counter to it should fall away. The Soviet Union for its part has been loyal to the spirit and letter of the Allied agreements, and will observe them scrupulously.

Gromyko observed that the Secretary had said that there should be recognition that a division exists between the countries of Europe, citing Berlin as an example, where everything was not as it should be. This was an exaggeration. The Soviet side felt that the Berlin Agreement was being well implemented on the whole, and that the parties to it had not raised serious complaints. Of course, there are differences in Europe. The US and its allies and the Soviets and their allies had many differences on Europe, and on international affairs generally, including those discussed forcefully and vigorously the day before. There are many divisions in the world, in many regions, for example in the Middle East, in the Far East, in Southern Africa, in the Caribbean. So things do not always go smoothly, but should we call these differences “divisions?” Of course the US can use the words it wants, but it is important to understand what each side means. The most important thing is that the US remains faithful to the agreements it signed as an ally, and that would be no sense in attempting to unify Germany. Such an attempt is a chimera, an illusion, and it would be better for the US as well as the USSR not to build policies on illusions, but on reality. If we build our policies on reality, relations between our two countries and with other countries are bound to improve.

With regard to chemical weapons, Gromyko indicated that the Secretary had read his thoughts, for he also wished to speak about this subject, since it was indeed an important one, and the Soviet side attached great importance to it. A great amount of chemical weapons is being produced. The USSR knows that the US is producing them, and the Soviet Union is not a saint either, and needs to think about these things. So it would be good if our countries stopped the production of chemical weapons and instituted an effective ban on them. This would be a good step forward in the struggle to achieve peace. It would be important in itself, and a successful resolution of this issue would also make it easier to examine other issues, perhaps even the question [Page 1050] of nuclear arms. So the USSR asks the US Government to seriously look at this issue. These weapons are not needed by the interests of the US, the USSR or any other state.

Gromyko observed that both sides had made proposals on verifying a ban on chemical weapons. But on verification he had one remark: he did not think anything would come of proposals that seek to trick or outsmart the other side. There was something of that sort in the US proposal in Geneva, where the US indicated that everything government-owned should be open to verification. It was clear that this was aimed at the Soviet Union and other states with public ownership of property. Verification would be different in the US and other countries, where ownership of property is not in the hands of the State. Such an approach will not work. It is artificial, and it has made the US look the worse for proposing it. The USSR has been told by other countries that the US proposal was made with the purpose of not having an agreement. But it would be good to have an agreement.

Gromyko said the next question he was going to raise was not one which he often spoke about with the Secretary. The US was aware of the Soviet Union’s relations with Japan, just as the Soviet Union is aware of US relations with Japan. The Soviet Union wants only good relations, good-neighborly relations, with that country. This is an obligation that comes from history itself. However, the USSR has been observing how relations between the US and Japan have been developing over a long period of time, and this has led the USSR to conclude that the US wishes to increase Japanese military power—at a level that is senseless because it is simply not needed for a country that wishes to live in peace with its neighbors, including the Soviet Union.

Gromyko continued that some circles seeking to formulate Japanese policies have perhaps concluded from this US support that they can increase Japan’s military expenditures and harden its foreign policy. But this is not at all necessary. The Soviet Union is not against having good relations with Japan. The US is demonstratively showing that in Japan a new hostile anti-Soviet force is being born. This is a strange thing to see. The events of the last war have not yet receded that far into history. How often the US asked for Soviet assistance in the war against Japan! This was done in Tehran, Potsdam and Yalta, at the level of principle and with an increasing level of intensity. Sometimes it was just Roosevelt and Stalin alone. The Soviet Union promised to help the United States and kept its promise. The main Japanese land force in the Far East was essentially defeated by the Soviet Union, and Pentagon specialists can indicate how much this cost the Soviet Union.

Gromyko continued that the Soviet Union respects its obligations, and did not understand why Japan had to be militarized, why the US was attempting to foster hostile attitudes against the Soviet Union. It [Page 1051] would be in the US interest to encourage Japan to be friendly with the USSR. The Soviet Union is not against friendly relations between Japan and the US, but if this is aimed against the Soviet Union, the latter would have to and does take this into consideration, including in its military policies, for the sake of self-defense. From the standpoint of future policy, the US should perhaps examine all of this from a higher, longer-term vantage point.

The Secretary said he wanted to speak about the three questions Gromyko had raised.

On Germany, he said that the question of reunification was not a contemporary question for the US. The US is not against this, but it is not pushing for it. It would be determined in the future. It is not a contemporary issue. That was not the point. The point we do pick up, and favor, is that contacts between the two Germanies can be expected to increase. This is inevitable; they have a similar culture and language, and there are many family ties. Such contacts should be encouraged. But this is completely separate from the question of reunifying Germany. No one is pushing that except maybe a few people in Germany.

On chemical weapons, the Secretary indicated that the US was interested in bilateral dialogue on this with the USSR. There had been some bilateral talks in Geneva within the multilateral framework. This is an area where the US is ready to push its negotiators to get ahead to an agreement to rid the world of these weapons, which we agree should be the objective. With regard to Gromyko’s assertion that the US proposal is deceptive or tricky, since it did not take into consideration the difference between different social and economic systems, he wanted to say that the US had no such intention. The US would be glad to sit down with the Soviet Union and explain how it sees the matter. For the US, private companies doing business with the government would be part of the system subject to verification. They would not be exempted if they did business with the government. But to achieve progress, we need to look at the words of the proposal, or at other wordings. We agree on the objective, and on the importance of verification. It is not only important but difficult, in many ways more difficult than verification of major nuclear offensive weapons. But the US is ready to work with the Soviets to find an answer.

The Secretary wished to say something with regard to Japan, and Asia in general, since he had spent a lot of time there both as a private businessman and as a government official. Japan is seeking to build a defensive force. It did not want to build up an offensive machine, and he did not think Japan’s neighbors would want that. But Japan needs to have a defensive capability. What affects Japan’s thinking is the great volume of Soviet ships passing by, of aircraft which it observes, and the SS–20’s within range of Japan. It finds these things disturbing. [Page 1052] The Secretary said he knew the Soviets did not like to hear about the northern islands, but both the USSR and the US know that the northern islands are a very big issue in Soviet-Japanese relations, and will continue to be one.

The Secretary observed more generally with regard to Asia that it was a place of great dynamism. The people there are smart, they have drive, they are industrious, with strong goals. They are ingenious. He felt that we would hear more and more from them. We already see this in Japan, the most developed of the Asian nations. It has the most creative technical economy, and the US is competing with it in all technical fields. The other nations of the area are also very industrious; this is true of the Koreans and the Chinese too, whether they are on the mainland or in Taiwan or in other places, even San Francisco. So the US and USSR should pay attention to Asia, and if a fruitful pattern of regional discussions could be established between them, Asia should get due attention.

With regard to Japan, the Secretary indicated that yes, that country should be able to defend its territory and territorial waters and waters nearby. We think it should have the capacity to be less dependent on us. The US is working to have strong and friendly relations with Japan. Japan is a tough competitor, but the US is nevertheless improving the climate for friendly relations.

Gromyko pointed out that a great deal of attention had been paid the day before, by the President, the Secretary and Gromyko himself, to what both sides considered the most important question of nuclear arms. This was justified, since it was the main axis around which many other issues turned, both of a bilateral and international nature. For this reason, he had tried to stress both the acute nature of the issue and the urgency of our considering and trying to resolve it while it was not yet too late.

Gromyko said he wanted once again to emphasize the tremendous importance of seeing this issue resolve. He asked the Secretary to tell the President on behalf of the entire Soviet leadership and Konstantin Chernenko personally that they consider it the most acute question in the world today. It hangs over the world and all other unsolved issues like an evil dark cloud.

Gromyko said he had had the impression that the President had once or twice been close to saying, as had the Secretary, that the principle of equality and equal security was acceptable to the US. If this was so, then practical policies should be built on this principle. But he had not discerned any commitment by the US to follow up and observe this principle in terms of practice. The Soviet Union would like the US to seriously analyze this question and other similar ones which depend on it. Perhaps conclusions could be arrived at which would help us to [Page 1053] consider and ultimately to solve these issues. The Soviet Union considers that the question of nuclear weapons is the key to the possibility of preserving peace, and even life on earth. Many people are speaking this way these days, both ordinary people and political leaders, but they give different contents to their words. This is an issue on which we should work night and day, and our practical policies should be aimed at resolving it. There should be not only good words, but political deeds to resolve the question of nuclear arms, be they strategic, medium range or designed for outer space. Gromyko stressed that his hope was that the President would pay great attention to this very important and urgent issue.

Gromyko asked the Secretary to convey to the President his thanks for his courtesy in receiving him, and concluded that if it appeared appropriate for him and the Secretary to have a subsequent meeting, they could be in touch.

The Secretary said that on the last question Gromyko had raised, he wanted to indicate that the US did not seek domination or superiority over the Soviet Union. As the President had said, nuclear arms is the main question and the proper ultimate objective should be to eliminate them altogether. This means that our course should be toward reducing them, along with working on non-proliferation. The two sides should find a pattern to reduce their nuclear arsenals that keeps them in equality as reductions take place and sufficiently strong to maintain deterrence. That is what the President is aiming at.

On Gromyko’s last point about meetings of foreign ministers and others, the Secretary said we think such meetings could be useful if the groundwork were to be prepared in a good way. He also wanted to return to what he had said in response to Gromyko’s point about better use of diplomatic channels to identify subjects and people for meetings where fruitful discussions can take place, and to encourage that.

The Secretary said that he would think over everything which Gromyko had said, would carefully review the notes in order that there be no misunderstanding, and talk over things with the President. He would then be in touch with Ambassador Dobrynin to review where we are, and he hoped that Gromyko would do likewise with Ambassador Hartman. Perhaps the sides could see if they could not come up with a plan to move things forward. Any plan which would be even remotely adequate would have to deal with the question of questions, i.e., nuclear arms, as well as with outer space.

The Secretary concluded by saying that he felt that the combination of meetings with Gromyko had been the most worthwhile that he had had with him, and he had some sense that the two sides might possibly be seeing genuine dialogue that could lead again to some real interac[Page 1054]tion. The US intends to pursue things in this light. The day before, Gromyko and the President had agreed “to stay in touch.” The Secretary planned to say he and Gromyko had agreed to the same thing, namely, that he expects to keep in touch, not casually but carefully, through diplomatic channels.

Gromyko concluded by saying that the Secretary would understand that the Soviet side would not make any references to persons in order that its words not be misinterpreted, at least in this country, in the political context.9

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Jack Matlock Files, Meetings with USSR Officials, President-Gromyko Final Papers (6). Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Zarechnak; cleared by Simons. The meeting took place at the Department of State. In a September 29 memorandum to Reagan summarizing his meeting with Gromyko, Shultz wrote: “I sensed somewhat more flexibility on his part concerning how to get going, and I think that hearing your candid and intense views probably helped.” He continued: “Looking over our meetings with Gromyko this week, I think they are the most lively and genuine dialogue we have had with the Soviets for many years. We are addressing real issues, and even—in Gromyko’s case—revealing sensitivities that the Soviets usually conceal, on Germany and Japan and the fear of losing what they achieved in the War. This kind of frank discussion on substance cannot help but be useful, in contrast to talking past each other. Moreover, in today’s meeting, Gromyko began to display a measure of genuine interest in the expanded dialogue you have proposed. On the other hand, because he was so defensive, he revealed no new substance at this time.” (Reagan Library, Jack Matlock Files, Meetings with USSR Officials, President-Gromyko—Working Papers (2))
  2. See Documents 286 and 287.
  3. See footnote 5, Document 159.
  4. Genscher and Gromyko met in New York on the afternoon of September 25 during the UNGA session. Earlier that day, Genscher and Shultz had a breakfast meeting and a discussion about German-Soviet and U.S.-Soviet relations. (Telegram Secto 11006 from the Secretary’s delegation in New York to the Department and sent for information Immediate to Bonn; Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, N840011–0153)
  5. September 26.
  6. Gromyko proposed a non-use of force pledge in his January 18 speech at the CDE. See footnote 3, Document 159. For Reagan’s speech in Dublin on June 4, see also footnote 3, Document 224. On September 11, the opening day of the third round of the CDE, Reagan made the following statement: “The U.S. and other Western Nations have proposed at the Stockholm conference a series of concrete measures for information, observation, and verification, designed to reduce the possibility of war by miscalculation or surprise attack. These measures would apply to the whole of Europe from the Atlantic Ocean to the Ural Mountains. The Soviet Union, on the other hand, has taken a more rhetorical approach to the Conference, seeking the adoption of declarations which are embodied in other international agreements. In an effort to bridge this difference in our approaches, I made it clear in my address to the Irish Parliament in June that the U.S. will consider the Soviet proposal for a declaration on the nonuse of force as long as the Soviet Union will discuss the concrete measures needed to put that principle into action. This new move on our part has not yet been met with a positive response from the Soviet Union.” (Public Papers: Reagan, 1984, Book II, pp. 1271–1272)
  7. Lionel Olmer, the Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, was the head of the U.S. working group of experts set to meet in Moscow in January 1985 to prepare for a possible meeting of the Joint Commercial Commission. See Document 351. The following telegrams provide additional information: Telegram 318911 to Moscow, October 26; telegram 15041 from Moscow, November 27; telegram 15504 to Moscow, January 17, 1985. (Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, D840685–0192, D840756–0771, and D850037–0152, respectively)
  8. Donald Kendall was the CEO of PepsiCo, Inc.
  9. In his September 29 memorandum to Reagan summarizing his meeting with Gromyko, Shultz concluded: “I think we can afford to hope that Gromyko will carry an accurate account of his talks here back to his colleagues in the leadership, and that it will make an impression that will be useful as they review our relationship in the months ahead. Our election will obviously be one factor they will take into account, and the substance of what we are proposing will be the best demonstration to them that we mean serious business. But their own leadership situation will also be a primary, if not the primary factor, in whether and how they move; there we know only that the picture is uncertain, and we do not know when it will become clear enough for them to move strongly in any direction. As before, therefore, our policy should continue to be quiet, consistent, and steady-as-you-go.” See footnote 1, above.