364. Memorandum From the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Armacost) to Secretary of State Shultz1
- Gorbachev Visit to the U.S.
[less than 1 line not declassified] on Tuesday,2 while you were in Geneva, Dwayne Andreas was informed that the Politburo was still considering whether a Gorbachev visit to the U.S. was desirable.3 The Politburo was leaning to May rather than March. (You’ll recall that the Supreme Soviet delegation is coming here March 3–9 at Tip O’Neill’s invitation, and that Tom Foley has made a pitch to Dobrynin for Gorbachev to head the Soviet delegation.) [less than 1 line not declassified] the Politburo preferred that Gorbachev come rather than Tikhonov, because Gorbachev had shown polish in the U.K.4
This indication that the Soviets have not decided yet on a Gorbachev trip is consistent with Gromyko’s prickly reaction when you raised the matter.5 Chernenko may still be bristling about his rival’s growing prominence, and Gromyko probably resists Gorbachev’s increasingly active foreign role.
Jim Giffen confirmed to me that Andreas invited Gorbachev to the U.S. during the “planting or harvest” season, and indicated that the Soviets had been told that the planting season here is in April and [Page 1356] May. Giffen promised to send me a copy of Andreas’ letter of invitation to Gorbachev.6
- Source: Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S, Executive Secretariat Special Caption Documents, 1979–1989, Lot 92D630, Not for the System Documents, January 1985. Secret; Sensitive. Not for the System.↩
- January 8.↩
- See Document 350.↩
- Regarding Gorbachev’s visit to the U.K., see Documents 337 and 341.↩
- In his memoir, Shultz wrote that after the last session in Geneva on January 8: “I told Gromyko that we would welcome meeting Mr. Gorbachev when he came to the United States. The vice president would issue the invitation, and the president and I would be sure to meet with him. Gromyko replied, ‘Nonsense! This is total invention, total invention!’ I didn’t know what Gromyko was driving at, but he clearly was not in favor of a Gorbachev visit to Washington. I dropped the subject.” (Shultz, Turmoil and Triumph, p. 519)↩
- Armacost forwarded a copy of Andreas’s letter to Shultz on January 14. (Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S, Executive Secretariat Special Caption Documents, 1979–1989, Lot 92D630, Not for the System Documents, 1985)↩
- Armacost initialed “MA” above his typed signature.↩