52. Memorandum of Conversation Between the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Carlucci) and the Soviet Ambassador (Dubinin)1

On May 15 I was seated next to Soviet Ambassador Dubinin at a social occasion. He used it to obtain a reporting cable.

He asked me how I saw US Soviet relations. I said OK, he said best ever. “We can get an agreement.” When will NATO be ready with its answer? I said probably by the Venice Summit2 in the meantime the USSR should work with us on verification. We are also interested in Start. He said we could define “laboratory.” I said nothing doing. We were not going to negotiate an interpretation of the ABM Treaty.

He asked about their proposal to negotiate off a working document instead of a treaty. I said that we were willing to listen if the working [Page 256] document corresponded to the treaty and did not go beyond it. He wondered about our response to their proposal for a meeting of Defense Ministers. I said Cap was always ready to travel.

He pushed hard on Afghanistan. I said there would be no peace till they got out and allowed real self determination. He asked if they could have a “special dialogue” on Afghanistan. I simply said “interesting idea.”

  1. Source: Reagan Library, Frank Carlucci Files, Howard Baker (04/29/1987–06/23/1987). Confidential. Drafted by Carlucci on May 18. Copies were sent to Ermarth and Linhard. There is no indication where this conversation took place.
  2. Reference is to the G–7 Summit held in Venice June 8–10.