4. Telegram From the Delegation at the Nuclear and Space Talks to the Department of State1

2170. Military Addressee Handle as Specat Exclusive. Subject: (U) Nuclear and Space Arms Talks—Heads of Delegation Meeting, March 12, 1985.

1. This is NST–I–005. Secret—Entire text.

2. Begin summary. Ambassadors Kampelman, Tower, and Glitman met Ambassador Karpov at Soviet Mission for a three-hour heads of delegation meeting which constituted the formal opening of the negotiations on nuclear and space arms. Karpov stressed the importance of the work of the overall delegation and suggested that the round begin with five or six joint plenary sessions in which the sides would discuss the “pivotal elements” of their position, establish the interrelationships between the “working groups”, work out mandates and agree on the organization of the “working groups”. Both sides agreed on the necessity of adhering strictly to the joint ShultzGromyko statement.2 Karpov stressed that for the Soviets the idea that the subject of the negotiations would be a “complex of questions” and the notion of interrelationships constituted the heart of the January 8 joint statement. The U.S. stressed the desirability of moving quickly into separate meetings of the negotiating groups. After considerable discussion it was agreed that there would be three joint plenary sessions of the delegation as a whole, on March 14, 19 and 21. Individual meetings of the negotiating groups will begin on March 26. Two negotiating groups will meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays and one on Wednesdays and Fridays. Karpov also volunteered that the Soviets would not object if the heads of the U.S. and Soviet negotiating groups began meeting informally before the 26th. The sides agreed that the negotiations should be guided by the principle of confidentiality. Soviets did not agree to U.S. proposal that the first round be broken into two sessions, with the first session ending on April 4 and the second beginning on May 14th. Soviets claimed that it would be inappropriate to leave Geneva after meeting together for only slightly more than three weeks. It was agreed that Executive Secretaries would meet later today to [Page 8] discuss the question of scheduling this and subsequent rounds. Soviets declined U.S. invitation for the three Soviet negotiators to a coffee in honor of the Senate and House observers, saying that they were “in mourning” for Chernenko. They indicated willingness, however, to meet with congressional observers in the future. End summary.

[Omitted here is the remainder of the telegram.]

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Foreign Policy File, Electronic Telegrams, D850167–0381. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Sent for information to Moscow, NATO Collective, and USNMR SHAPE.
  2. Shultz and Gromyko met in Geneva January 7–8. For documentation on the meetings, see Foreign Relations, 1981–1988, vol. IV, Soviet Union, January 1983–March 1985, Documents 355363. For the statement, see ibid., Document 363, footnote 3.