327. Memorandum From Secretary of State Shultz to President Reagan1


  • My Meeting Today with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin

I met for an hour today with Soviet Ambassador Dobrynin to discuss preparations for the Geneva meeting. I began by emphasizing the seriousness with which you and I are preparing for the meeting, noting that while we don’t underestimate the difficulties, we are ready to move ahead as rapidly as possible.

Dobrynin gave me the list of the Soviet delegation. It will consist only of Gromyko, his deputy Korniyenko, Dobrynin, Karpov (their seasoned arms control negotiator), Foreign Ministry specialist Obukhov, and Gromyko’s interpreter. I told him that I would be bringing a large group with me to Geneva to be available for consultations there, but that my negotiating team in the meetings would include Paul Nitze and not be larger than theirs. While the Soviets had earlier said Gromyko wanted to leave on the afternoon of the second day, Dobrynin told me that Gromyko now is prepared to remain for a meeting that afternoon (January 8th) if it would be useful.

On substance, Dobrynin said Gromyko is planning to concentrate primarily on arms control and does not want a lengthy discussion of the overall relationship. However, when I suggested that V-E Day events in Europe might be the kind of bilateral issue that would be worth discussing, he seemed to welcome the idea, noting that Moscow was also reviewing this issue and it might be worth some preliminary discussion even before Geneva. Dobrynin also inquired about the status of any replies to the two outstanding Chernenko letters.2 I told him we were working on responses. Your reply to Chernenko’s November 15 letter on the overall relationship arrived later in the afternoon and we passed it to Dobrynin’s deputy Sokolov.3

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Executive Secretariat, NSC Country File, Europe and Soviet Union, USSR (12/05/84–12/13/84); NLR–748–25A–43–7–5. Secret; Sensitive. A stamped notation in the upper right-hand corner of the memorandum indicates that it was received in the White House Situation Room on December 8. Reagan initialed the memorandum on December 11, indicating he saw it.
  2. See attachments to Documents 307 and 310.
  3. Chernenko’s letter was dated November 17. For Reagan’s reply, see Document 328.