80. Memorandum of Conversation1


  • Organizational questions, human rights, INF


  • US

    • The Secretary
    • National Security Advisor Carlucci
    • Asst. Sec. Ridgway
    • EUR/SOV Director Parris (Notetaker)
    • Mr. Zarechnak (Interpreter)
  • USSR

    • Foreign Minister Shevardnadze
    • CPSU Secretary Dobrynin
    • Deputy FornMin Bessmertnykh
    • Shevardnadze Advisor Tarasenko (Notetaker)
    • Mr. Palazhchenko (Interpreter)

SHEVARDNADZE opened the meeting by welcoming the Secretary and his delegation, noting that he was glad to see Mr. Carlucci and Ambassador Ridgway once again.

The Foreign Minister expressed satisfaction that the Secretary had been able to reach Moscow despite the transportation problems he had faced. The meeting was one of great importance. Shevardnadze did not need to tell the Secretary how critical their Washington discussions2 had been; he had already given his assessment at the time and when they met in New York.3 The whole world had responded to the results of the Washington visit.

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The current moment in U.S.-Soviet relations, Shevardnadze felt, was a crucial one. There were important problems to be discussed. Tomorrow the Secretary would meet General Secretary Gorbachev.4 That meeting would deal with the key problems on the agenda, with respect to both substance and future contacts. The results of the ministers work today, Shevardnadze stressed, would determine what the General Secretary would have to say on future contacts. He had been intimately involved in preparations for the Secretary’s visit, and would make the final decisions. As to the organization of the visit, Shevardnadze’s preference was to focus most of the discussion in the present narrow group. He liked the flexibility which this approach had given during the Washington meetings. Given the limited time available, Shevardnadze suggested that the ministers might hold a brief plenary session with their delegations to allow working groups to get underway immediately. The session need take no more than a few minutes, after which the ministers could resume their discussion.

In addition to meeting in the morning and afternoon, Shevardnadze raised the possibility of an evening session as well—perhaps about 8:00 pm. This would enable the ministers to get reports from working groups, particularly on progress in INF. Other working groups might give their reports the next day.

As to the sequence in which they should address the issues, Shevardnadze suggested that the ministers concentrate after the brief plenary meeting on INF. If time permitted, they could move on to strategic arms and space, nuclear testing, chemical weapons and conventional arms reductions in Europe, in that order. They would want to discuss regional problems, perhaps focusing on a few priority areas: Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Iran-Iraq situation, and Kampuchea. Shevardnadze understood that the Secretary also wanted to discuss Korea, and the Minister thought that a good idea. If the Secretary had anything to say on Central America, that, too, would be welcome.

Shevardnadze noted that there had been a detailed discussion of human rights and humanitarian matters in Washington. If the U.S. desired, the Soviet side was prepared to continue that dialogue in a working group. As for bilateral matters, here, too, the main burden should be on working groups. If the two ministers took up the full range of bilateral issues, they would need two days for that alone. The Washington approach worked well in bringing into the ministers’ field of vision only those issues which required their attention.

Thus, Shevardnadze concluded, he proposed that the ministers talk until lunch, and resume about 3:30 pm for two hours of discussion. [Page 410] Then there could be relatively free time until 7:00 or 8:00 pm, when they could meet again. Tomorrow at 11:00 the Secretary would see General Secretary Gorbachev; Shevardnadze was not certain how long the meeting would run—probably at least two hours. There was then a lunch at Spaso House. At 2:30 or 3:00, the ministers might hold a concluding meeting, taking into account the results of the session with the General Secretary and of the efforts of working groups. Shevardnadze understood the Secretary would end his visit with a pre-departure press conference.

Shevardnadze observed that in Washington the ministers had recorded their discussions in a joint statement.5 If all went well during the Secretary’s talks, perhaps it would be well to have aides prepare such a statement for the ministers’ consideration.

With respect to working groups, Shevardnadze proposed the following breakdown: INF; strategic arms and space; a single group covering nuclear testing, conventional arms and chemical weapons (CW); regional issues; bilateral affairs; and humanitarian questions. Such an arrangement was consistent with what had been done in Washington, except that a separate INF group would be able to devote full time to the remaining, high-priority issues in that area. Shevardnadze noted that, while some of the Soviet negotiators in Geneva had not yet arrived due to the weather, the Soviet side would find a way to staff the various groups.

THE SECRETARY said he appreciated the effort the Soviet side had made to get him to Moscow despite the fog which had made it impossible for his plane to land. That was a good sign.

As to procedures, the Secretary thought Shevardnadze’s suggestions were, broadly speaking, exactly right. The Secretary agreed that discussions between ministers and a few others were productive, as were those of working groups. Plenary sessions were not. Their utility was primarily in that they provided an opportunity for a photo opportunity—which was not a negligible factor. The Secretary agreed that the delegations should be assembled to be advised of the division of labor that the ministers had agreed upon.

The general scenario which the Minister had described struck the Secretary as fine. He was prepared to meet at 8:00 pm as Shevardnadze had suggested. As for the next day, it would be good to try to keep to the schedule Shevardnadze had described, but the Secretary was prepared to work as late as appeared to be worthwhile. His plane would not leave until he was ready, and he could always use the train again if his plane could not get into Moscow. The important thing was [Page 411] to complete as much as possible. The only timing consideration from the Secretary’s standpoint was that he was due to brief NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on Saturday.6

As for working groups, the Secretary suggested that a single arms control group be created, which would have authority to divide itself as appropriate. No purpose was to be served by repeating the arguments we had had in Geneva over whether there should be one vs. three groups. It would be better to let the groups decide such matters for themselves.

As for INF, we were prepared to agree to a separate sub-group, and the Secretary had picked a strong team to address that issue. Paul Nitze would be in charge overall of both the umbrella group and the U.S. INF squad. Ambassador Glitman and his legal advisor, along with Adm. Howe, Col. Linhard and James Timbie would support Nitze on INF.

The Secretary believed that there were useful things which the strategic arms subgroup could discuss as well. But there were some fundamental issues which needed to be discussed at higher levels—by the ministers and perhaps the General Secretary. So the Secretary hoped that strategic arms could be a major focus of his and Shevardnadze’s own talks.

The Secretary agreed that the ministers did not themselves need to address nuclear testing, since basic agreement had been reached in Washington on starting negotiations. Mr. Adelman was prepared to address the issue in Moscow with respect to modalities. Similarly, Amb. Holmes was prepared to discuss problems relating to negotiations on chemical weapons (CW). Mr. Thomas could work with whomever Shevardnadze designated on conventional arms issues, but we felt that the focus of those discussions should remain in Vienna.

On regional issues, the Secretary said he had been considering who on the U.S. side might be able to lead a working group discussion. He personally felt that it would be best to discuss such questions at the ministers’ level. It was hard to see how working groups could supplement the ministers’ discussion. The Secretary agreed that the ministers should discuss Iran-Iraq, as well as Afghanistan and the Middle East. He had some points to make on Southern Africa, and he wanted to touch in a “staccato” fashion on a few other areas.

The Secretary agreed that a group should be put to work on bilateral issues. He felt that the ingredients were there to reach some useful understandings. The U.S. was prepared to work on them in Moscow. It was important to do what we could to avoid situations which could [Page 412] spoil the atmosphere. If necessary, the leaders of the working groups could refer questions to the ministers for decision, but the Secretary hoped they would be able to find solutions on their own. He had even threatened the U.S. team with “irrational decisions” if anything were referred to the ministers.

On human rights, the Secretary felt that some good procedural arrangements were evolving. The Secretary himself had some points he would like to make to Shevardnadze in this area once the plenary session was out of the way. Ambassador Schifter would be able to elaborate in the working group.

The Secretary suggested that the ministers adopt the convention which had evolved in Washington of calling on the working groups as necessary for expertise during the ministers’ own meetings. By the same token, if the experts had issues they felt the ministers needed to discuss, they could bring them to their attention.

The Secretary said he had one additional question on the “personnel side.” He wondered if it would be possible to arrange for himself and Carlucci to meet with Minister of Defense Yazov. There had, of course, been some recent correspondence between Yazov and Secretary Weinberger. If Yazov were in town, perhaps he could be invited to the Spaso House luncheon the next day—just to say hello.

SHEVARDNADZE replied that, as it turned out, Yazov would be at the Soviet luncheon immediately following the present session. THE SECRETARY said that was excellent.

SHEVARDNADZE confirmed that, as the Secretary had suggested, there would be a single arms control group which could further split up as necessary. THE SECRETARY concurred.

SHEVARDNADZE asked if he understood correctly that the Secretary would prefer not to have a regional working group. The SECRETARY reiterated that regional issues were something that the ministers themselves needed to address. Perhaps, he mused, Mr. Solomon could serve as chairman of a U.S. working group. Running through a list of U.S. delegation members who might participate in a regional group, the Secretary noted that all but Solomon and Mr. Ermarth would be otherwise occupied. The two of them might discuss regional questions, but the Secretary would want to cover such matters primarily at the ministers’ level.

SHEVARDNADZE agreed, concurring as well in the Secretary’s comments on bilateral and human rights groups. He reconfirmed that the ministers would meet that evening at 8:00 pm, and that Friday morning7 would be free until the Gorbachev meeting. Then, Shevardnadze said, the two ministers could work until their “triumph.”

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THE SECRETARY agreed, and suggested that Shevardnadze take the lead in the plenary session which followed.

[During the plenary running from 11:45 to 12:00,8 the two ministers briefed their delegations on the arrangements which had been agreed. Promptly at noon, the ministers resumed their private meeting.]

Following their return from the plenary session, SHEVARDNADZE asked the Secretary to lead off.

THE SECRETARY said he had three comments to make with respect to human rights, noting that they could be taken up in more detail at the experts’ level.

First, he had welcomed Shevardnadze’s statement during their last meeting that the changes which were taking place in the Soviet Union represented moves the Soviet leadership considered desirable in terms of their own priorities. Such an underlying rationale would help to ensure that the changes themselves would be sustained.

Second, the Secretary appreciated the progress which had been made in resolving cases on the “short lists” he and the President had in the past given Shevardnadze. There were, however, a few names remaining from the list, which the Secretary wanted to mention explicitly: Abe Stolar, Naum Meiman, Leyla Gordiyevskaya, and Aleksandr Lerner.

The Secretary expressed his hope that, in line with previous Soviet statements, it would also be possible to resolve the remaining divided spouse cases. Such cases, along with blocked marriage cases, should not be on the two ministers’ agenda.

We had been encouraged, the Secretary said, by moves thus far with respect to political prisoners and possible legal reforms. But it appeared that under some of the revisions which were being discussed, many people remained imprisoned for what should no longer be considered violations. The continued detention of persons on political charges was inconsistent with obligations assumed by the Soviet Union, and we hoped it would be terminated.

Finally, the Secretary said, he would like to speak a bit about Jewish and other emigration. As Shevardnadze was aware, the U.S. had the world’s largest Jewish population. We thus had a strong interest in the question of Soviet Jewry. Having just come from Israel, the Secretary had recently been personally exposed to concerns there on the subject.

The Secretary noted that the U.S. and the Soviet Union were similar in that both had large ethnic minorities. The difference was that unlike [Page 414] the U.S., most of the minorities in the Soviet Union had their roots within Soviet territory.

In that context, and while reaffirming the U.S. position that emigration should be open and free, the Secretary noted that there seemed to be particularly rapid progress of late in the resolution of ethnic German emigration cases. He suspected that that reflected in some sense a Soviet perception that Soviet Germans had an ethnic homeland in Germany.

The Secretary said it was not for him, with respect to Jewish emigration, to make the argument for a Jewish homeland. But he had been deeply struck by a recent conversation with Ida Nudel, in which her first words after leaving the Soviet Union had been, “I’m home.” So Israel had a pull for Jews. The Secretary suggested it might be worth the Soviet Union’s while to look at the Jewish emigration problem in that light.

The Secretary recalled that Shevardnadze had said during his recent visit to Uruguay that, essentially, any Jews who wanted to leave the Soviet Union would be allowed to do so. If that statement represented Soviet policy, it would be an important development.

Finally, the Secretary observed that we had noticed a more liberal Soviet policy with respect to the issuance of tourist visas for travel to the U.S. The Secretary felt that the ability to come and go in this manner was a potentially important element in an increasingly encouraging pattern which we welcomed.

SHEVARDNADZE thanked the Secretary for his views, and said he wanted to highlight a few positive elements with respect to humanitarian problems. These were, he noticed, only initial signs, but they were positive ones.

First of all, the Soviet side had detected a more businesslike approach on the part of the U.S. in searching for mutually acceptable outcomes on human rights, both at the level of ministers and in working groups. Moscow had particularly appreciated the Secretary’s remarks after Shevardnadze’s Washington visit to the effect that the two sides’ discussion of such issues was a “two-way-street.” This was true, and the Soviet side was prepared to discuss questions raised by the U.S. in a businesslike fashion. This was General Secretary Gorbachev’s approach, and it was a positive one. Of course, the Soviet people sometimes questioned certain aspects of the United States’ behavior. That, too, was acceptable.

On a practical level, of course, there was a need to move ahead, Shevardnadze continued. This was particularly true in the case of the Vienna CSCE Follow-up Meeting. There were issues there, the resolution of which should not be postponed longer. Specifically, the issue [Page 415] of a Moscow meeting on issues relating to human rights was of fundamental importance in the U.S.-Soviet dialogue and the CSCE process as a whole. The Soviet side had made concrete proposals; it was prepared to discuss the full range of issues in a Moscow meeting. The Soviet Union would not perish if a meeting did not occur. But Moscow wanted, and was prepared for, a serious, solid discussion. If the West was not prepared to accept the Soviet proposal, it should say so. But setting conditions for holding a meeting was unacceptable; it amounted to “political racism.”

Shevardnadze suggested that the U.S. delegation in Vienna be given the instructions necessary to speed up the process and make decisions. There was, he noted, also a French proposal for a conference to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Moscow did not see the issue as an either/or proposition. More than one conference on human rights themes could be held. A solution could be found without preconditions.

Shevardnadze complained that, while the atmosphere in Vienna was good, it was essential to avoid old approaches and attitudes. Developments had reached a stage in which the U.S. and Soviet delegations should take a stand on when to conclude the Vienna meeting.

In this context, Shevardnadze wondered whether it would be useful to consider a document for release on the conclusion of the Vienna meeting which would represent a “code of conduct” on human rights issues. This would not just be a rhetorical exercise, but a substantive document. It might be useful, Shevardnadze suggested, for working groups in Moscow to discuss the abortive Bern document to determine the source of U.S. concerns with respect to that document. The Soviet side had attached much importance to the Bern document, which, Shevardnadze noted, had been endorsed by a majority of delegations present. If the U.S. had problems, they could be discussed in a businesslike manner.

Shevardnadze noted that there were other outstanding questions where U.S. decisions were necessary.

He noted that the U.S. still owed a response on the question of Soviet access to facilities for radio transmissions into the U.S. When Gorbachev had raised the issue with President Reagan in Reykjavik, the reaction had been generally positive. Wick and Yakovlev had met subsequently, but there had been no progress since. So further clarification of U.S. intentions were needed.

Exchanges were another area where the Soviet side hoped for a positive U.S. response. Soviet trade union delegations continued to be refused visas. As the individuals involved reflected mass organizations, the impact on Soviet perceptions of the U.S. was as significant as it was negative.

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Shevardnadze noted that the Secretary had raised the question of reform of Soviet laws. In fact, an in-depth review was underway. The process was not an easy one, as some of the legislation had been around for decades. But Shevardnadze had noted that the Secretary had said nothing about legal reform in the U.S. Was the U.S. prepared to discuss, for example, the repeal of laws on capital punishment of minors? There was also legislation on the books which was inconsistent with some of the highest ideals of mankind.

As for the specific points the Secretary had made, Shevardnadze confirmed that quite apart from inquiries by the U.S., steps were being taken to resolve many cases. There was indeed a trend toward greater emigration, with 12,000 to 13,000 Jews having been permitted to leave. The increase had been due to changes in the law and to improvements in administrative procedures.

Shevardnadze acknowledged that he had met with Jewish leaders in Uruguay, and that he had said that there were no substantive barriers to those who wished to leave. He had also said that, if there were those who had been exposed to state secrets, it might not be possible for them to leave now. But all other constraints had been removed. So, it was clear that the Soviet Union was dealing with these issues in a constructive way.

Returning to the question of a Moscow human rights forum, Shevardnadze complained that some seemed to think the Soviets were begging. This was not the case. Moscow had thought that the West would welcome the opportunity to see at first hand what was happening in the Soviet Union. If that was not so, fine. But a decision was needed.

With respect to the Secretary’s comments on ethnic groups, Shevardnadze characterized some of his assertions as “debatable.” Shevardnadze suspected that Polish and Baltic minorities in the U.S. would welcome a more open U.S. approach to their ethnic heritages. For its part, the Soviet Union had resolved the problem of nationalities. The economic and financial costs had been great, but where nationality concerns were involved, the Soviet Union was prepared to bear the expense.

THE SECRETARY said he would like to make a few comments. On the question of radios, we were ready to work on the problem with the Cubans under the right conditions. Wick remained ready to discuss the options.

With respect to U.S. legislation, Assistant Secretary Schifter would be prepared to arrange for Soviet representatives to sit in on Supreme Court consideration of the issue of capital punishment for minors issue.

On ethnic rights, the Secretary said he would be happy to have Soviet suggestions, but it was his impression that American minorities [Page 417] had no qualms about expressing themselves. CARLUCCI quipped that he could testify that the Italians didn’t feel discriminated against.

THE SECRETARY noted Shevardnadze’s comment that 12,000–13,000 Jews had been allowed to leave the Soviet Union. That implied a major increase in numbers by the end of this year, since, according to our figures, only 9,000 to 10,000 had thus far received notification. If the numbers were going to increase, the U.S. would welcome it, because people in the U.S. continued to compare current levels to those of the seventies, when they had reached 50,000. DOBRYNIN interjected that those were different times. Those who wanted to leave had departed.

THE SECRETARY said he welcomed Shevardnadze’s confirmation that Soviet-citizens were free to leave within the single constraint he had mentioned, and specifically without reference to specific family relationships. This was very important, positive information.

As to the state secrets issue itself, many of the cases to which the requirement was being applied looked to us to be questionable. The individuals concerned often appeared to have only marginal access to secret information, or to have had it long ago. So this was an issue where greater clarity and consistency were needed.

With respect to the Vienna meeting, the Secretary welcomed the Soviet desire to wind up the conference. The U.S. shared that objective, both with regard to its human rights and security dimensions.

On the question of conventional arms, we believed that an alliance-to-alliance format was necessary. Nor could we accept the inclusion of nuclear weapons in a mandate.

But, the Secretary repeated, we welcomed the Soviet desire to move ahead. Schifter would be glad to review our concerns on the Bern document. As to Shevardnadze’s “code” proposal, it seemed to the Secretary that, between the Helsinki Final Act, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the Madrid Concluding Document, there were enough statements about what we agreed to. The emphasis now must be on performance.

As for the Moscow forum proposal, Ambassador Zimmermann had recently laid out the indicators we would use in formulating our final position. The U.S. had no illusions that the Soviet Union could not live without a Moscow meeting. As to Western interest in the Soviet Union, the recent Chautauqua meeting had demonstrated clearly how interested Americans were. The Secretary put himself at the head of the list in that regard, and expressed the hope that at some point he would be able to see more of the Soviet Union.

SHEVARDNADZE said he had a further suggestion. American representatives often used outdated material in their presentations on [Page 418] humanitarian questions. For example, they often used the figure 400,000 to describe the number of Jews who sought to emigrate from the Soviet Union. The Soviet side had no objections to establishing procedures to improve the quality of information available to the U.S. side. In this spirit, it had recently invited a group of American District Attorneys to the Soviet Union to get a better idea of Soviet legal practice. There had also been a proposal for reciprocal visits to U.S. and Soviet psychiatric hospitals. Shevardnadze admitted that there had been unauthorized practices in the past. The important thing was that neither side should base its positions on incomplete or speculative information.

THE SECRETARY said he thought Shevardnadze’s idea a good one. We had noted recent, apparently positive steps in the area of psychiatric practice. As for our information on potential Jewish emigrants, the Secretary acknowledged that it was inferred from information which was to some degree dated. If Shevardnadze was suggesting that Ambassador Matlock meet with Soviet representatives for the purpose of determining who, in the Soviet Jewish community, wanted to leave, and if the purpose of the exercise was to help bring this about, the Secretary was prepared to agree. But our starting point in such an exercise was that those who wished to leave should be able to do so.

SHEVARDNADZE replied that, in principle, the Soviet side would be prepared to meet to refine figures in a businesslike discussion.

THE SECRETARY said that this was fine, but that the starting point must be that those who want to go will be able to do so.

SHEVARDNADZE said, “all right.” He then said he had another suggestion. Shevardnadze felt that UN human rights institutions such as the High Commission were not being fully exploited. Perhaps the U.S. and Soviet delegations at the UN could cooperate in remedying this. THE SECRETARY said that the UN superstructure was already too extensive and should be cut down. SHEVARDNADZE did not pursue the idea further.

Clearly changing the subject, Shevardnadze stated that the primary human right was the right to life. THE SECRETARY said that all should have the right to live in peace . . . and prosperity.

The Secretary said that “topic A” on the agenda was INF. The working groups were already struggling with the issue. Shevardnadze felt that the two ministers had given INF a good push during their Washington meetings, but things seemed to have gotten confused since—particularly on the question of warheads for FRG Pershing 1a missiles. The U.S. had thought that that issue had been settled in Washington. We had been puzzled by subsequent Soviet statements. For our part, we were prepared to reaffirm what had been said in Washington. There was no desire to change anything which had been agreed to.

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DOBRYNIN interjected that it was the U.S. delegation in Geneva which had put the Washington agreement in question. THE SECRETARY pointed out that Carlucci had been the author of the language which had been agreed to in Washington. SHEVARDNADZE said he remembered; it had been good language. THE SECRETARY asked Carlucci to review the language in question.

CARLUCCI read the following paragraph, taken from the Washington NST working group’s report to ministers:

“Prior to the process of eliminating INF ballistic missiles, nuclear weapons and guidance systems will be removed from reentry vehicles. The remaining reentry vehicle structure will then be eliminated under agreed procedures. Such procedures should apply to all residual reentry vehicles, including those which by unilateral decision have been released from existing programs of cooperation. The protocol on elimination should reflect these procedures.”

Carlucci noted that the ministers had then discussed the question of timing. This led to agreement on the following additional language—subsequently incorporated into the working group report, which Carlucci also read:

“When reentry vehicles for FRG Pershing 1a missiles are withdrawn, they become U.S. reentry vehicles not associated with an existing pattern of cooperation, and therefore will be subjected to the same elimination procedure and timeframe for final elimination as for reentry vehicles removed from U.S. and Soviet INF ballistic missiles.”

Carlucci noted that, as best the U.S. could understand, subsequent confusion had arisen with respect to how the agreed language should be included in the INF Treaty. He asked Shevardnadze to clarify that point.

SHEVARDNADZE said the Soviet side had also thought the P–1a problem had been solved in Washington. He also had a copy of the agreed text. He recalled that he had insisted in Washington that the language in question be included in the Treaty. The ministers had subsequently agreed that it could be incorporated into a protocol to the Treaty. CARLUCCI acknowledged that this was correct.

Noting that Carlucci had correctly stated the language agreed to, SHEVARDNADZE read aloud the Russian version of the second passage that Carlucci had read, emphasizing the phrase “in the same timeframe for final elimination as for reentry vehicles removed from U.S. and Soviet INF ballistic missiles.” This point, i.e., “the same timeframe”, was fundamental, Shevardnadze said.

CARLUCCI said that it appeared that the problem had arisen when the lawyers in Geneva had sought to reduce the working group report to legally binding language, specifically in Article 8 of the Treaty. While the U.S. felt that the Soviet concerns should have been met by the [Page 420] language we had proposed in Geneva, Carlucci said we would be prepared to add a passage which would read as follows:

“When such reentry vehicles are released from programs of cooperation, they shall be withdrawn and eliminated no later than the same day that the last U.S. and Soviet LRINF reentry vehicles are eliminated under the agreed schedule of reductions.”

CARLUCCI said that he felt that this language should meet the concerns Shevardnadze had expressed.

THE SECRETARY said that, as in Washington, the U.S. was prepared to address Soviet concerns that Moscow not be faced with a situation in which the FRG retained some INF nuclear missiles and the Soviet Union had none. The statement that Carlucci had read should make clear that, physically, this could not be the case.

A conversation between Shevardnadze and Bessmertnykh ensued, at the conclusion of which BESSMERTNYKH noted that the final statement Carlucci had read did not appear to apply to SRINF. CARLUCCI and RIDGWAY confirmed this.

SHEVARDNADZE said that the Soviet side would consider Carlucci’s suggestion. The key to any solution was a destruction schedule which took into account both sides’ interests. From Moscow’s standpoint, it appeared that there were two possibilities:

—First, the two sides could destroy a portion of warheads for shorter range missiles during the final six months of the destruction period. This portion could be from 80–100 units. A variant of this approach would be to consider an elimination timetable for these 80–100 warheads which could change, within the overall INF elimination period, depending on the time in which the U.S. withdrew and destroyed its warheads for the FRG Pershing 1a’s.

—A second possibility would be a schedule of reductions in accordance with which U.S. and Soviet longer-range and shorter-range INF missiles were destroyed, for example, 10 to 15 days prior to the end of the overall elimination period. In the course of this final week and a half to two weeks, American warheads for the Pershing 1a’s would be withdrawn from the FRG.

SHEVARDNADZE noted that the final alternative seemed to have elements in common with the suggestion Carlucci had made. It presupposed, however, a common timeframe for both longer and shorter range INF missiles. Shevardnadze suggested that the problem be turned over to experts for further work. There were several variants now on the table. All appeared to be consistent with the Washington agreement on P–1a’s. The experts should be instructed to report back to ministers by the end of the day.

DOBRYNIN emphasized that the Soviet proposal covered missiles in both range bands.

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BESSMERTNYKH asked to set the record straight on some aspects of what had been agreed to in Washington. The Washington discussion had covered two main areas: procedural questions relating to eliminating warheads, which, Bessmertnykh emphasized, applied to all U.S. and Soviet warheads; and the timeframe issue, which also applied to all warheads, including those on FRG P–1a’s. Bessmertnykh had tried to make clear in Washington that a situation could not arise in which U.S. warheads on FRG P–1a’s remained undestroyed even one or two days after the elimination of the last Soviet INF warheads.

THE SECRETARY said he understood that. For that reason, he and Carlucci had been careful in Washington to emphasize Chancellor Kohl’s use of the word “with” in describing the U.S. position. That term provided the flexibility necessary to handle the problem. CARLUCCI noted that we interpreted the term to connote “simultaneity.”

On the question of the “mix” of shorter- and longer-range systems, the Secretary noted that this point had been addressed at length during his April visit to Moscow, when he had emphasized the importance of a U.S. “right to match” Soviet shorter-range missiles. We had understood the General Secretary’s offer to eliminate such missiles within a year to respond to this concern. The U.S. had an inventory of P–1a’s in the continental U.S. which had once been in the FRG. We had agreed that they would be destroyed under an INF agreement. We were prepared to forego the right to redeploy them and “undeploy” them later on the understanding that all Soviet SRINF missiles would be gone in a year. That point needed to be emphasized.

SHEVARDNADZE said that the point at issue was the question of a timeframe. That was what had to be defined. Suggestions had been made by both sides. He suggested that experts be set to work. BESSMERTNYKH observed that the need for a combined time frame for longer- and shorter-range missiles stemmed from the fact that a certain number of U.S. warheads for shorter-range systems would remain until the very end.

THE SECRETARY urged that, in trying to resolve the P–1a problem, elements which had previously been worked out not be rearranged. The one-year time frame previously accepted for shorter-range missiles applied to warheads for those U.S. P–1a’s now in the continental U.S. We had no desire to redeploy these missiles; they would be destroyed in the first year.

SHEVARDNADZE pointed out that one of the proposals he had just read would permit a certain number of U.S. and Soviet missiles (sic) to remain until the end. The provision for an additional 10–15 days for dealing with U.S. warheads on FRG Pershings should enable the two sides to reach a mutually acceptable solution.

CARLUCCI asked for a clarification of the new Soviet proposals. Did he understand correctly that a portion of the warheads for shorter- [Page 422] range missiles—from 80 to 100—would be left for a final round of destruction? Did he understand further that the schedule for elimination of the remaining 80–100 reentry vehicles could change, depending on what happened to longer-range missiles?

SHEVARDNADZE said there would be a joint schedule.

CARLUCCI indicated that he had asked the question because it was important for the Soviets to understand that we could not accept a formula which would equate FRG P–1a’s with Soviet and U.S. INF missiles. DOBRYNIN said that the Soviet proposal was consistent with the Kohl statement.

THE SECRETARY said that he remained concerned about the “mix” of the reduction schedule. Perhaps the U.S. could reserve a certain number of its P–1a’s in the U.S. as a counterpart for Soviet shorter-range missiles retained until the end of the process.

BESSMERTNYKH said the problem was not how the missiles involved were labeled. SHEVARDNADZE emphasized that the main portion of the shorter-range missiles would be destroyed in the first year-and-a-half. But, if the U.S. felt constrained by the Kohl statement, the Soviets would have to leave a certain number of their own warheads—perhaps 80–100—until the end.

THE SECRETARY asked if the Soviet proposal envisaged retention of a certain number of U.S. P–1a’s in the U.S. as well. BESSMERTNYKH repeated that terminology was not important; numbers were. There were 72 U.S. warheads on FRG Pershings. The U.S. also had SRINF systems in the U.S.

CARLUCCI asked if that meant that the Soviets envisaged that there would be U.S. SRINF in the U.S. until the end. DOBRYNIN and BESSMERTNYKH said that this could be the case, up to the agreed limit. CARLUCCI said that, as long as it was clear that there could be no one-for-one trade-off of Soviet for FRG missiles, something might be worked out along these lines. BESSMERTNYKH said that was why the Soviet proposal used a number larger than 72. THE SECRETARY suggested that the subject be given to experts to be worked over during lunch.

The meeting ended without further discussion.

  1. Source: Department of State, Executive Secretariat, S/S Records, Memoranda of Conversations Pertaining to United States and USSR Relations, 1981–1990, Lot 93D188, Moscow/Washington Oct. 1987. Secret; Sensitive. Drafted by Parris. The meeting took place in the Guesthouse of the Soviet Foreign Ministry. All brackets are in the original. Shultz departed the United States on October 15 to visit Jerusalem (October 16–17), Jidda (October 17), Jerusalem (October 17–19), Cairo (October 19), London (October 19–20), and Helsinki (October 20–21), before arriving in Moscow.
  2. See Documents 6676.
  3. See Document 78.
  4. See Document 84.
  5. See footnote 6, Document 74.
  6. October 24.
  7. October 23.
  8. No record of this conversation has been found.