TALKS BETWEEN A.A.GROMYKO AND CYRUS VANCECITATION SHARE DOWNLOAD
get citationThe main topic of discussion was US President Jimmy Carter's "comprehensive" proposals for the SALT-2 Treaty, views that the Soviets saw as contravening the Vladivostok accords reached with US President Gerald Ford in 1974. The Soviet rejection of Carter's initiative was certainly the newsmaking centerpiece of the Vance visit. Other, more positive, discussions covered a wide range of topics, including the Vienna talks on arms limitations in Central Europe, the Middle East, non-proliferation, Cyprus, and others. Below is a brief sampler."Talks Between A.A.Gromyko and Cyrus Vance" March 28, 1977, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, TsKhSD f. 89, op. 76, d. 1, ll. 1-80. Translated by Benjamin Aldrich-Moodie. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112020
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28 March (17:30-20:00)
A.A. GROMYKO. [Opening the attack on the SALT-2 issue] How should we evaluate the current situation in this light? You, Mr. Vance, are a new person. But try to see the situation with our eyes. What conclusion should the Soviet side come to for itself on the basis of the experience which we have had so far with the new American administration, the conclusion that the next government of the USA which will replace the current one, will just as easily throw everything that we are able to agree upon now into the trash? If such is the case, one must ask where is the minimum of stability that should exist in the relations between our two countries?
29 March (11:00-13:00)
GROMYKO. The situation in the Middle East has been a subject of discussion between our countries, including on the highest level, for many years. We discussed this issue with President Johnson, with President Nixon, and with President Ford. We discussed it, although not in such a deep or detailed way, with the new Administration. However, there is [still] no solution to the problem, and the situation in the Middle East is extremely dangerous and fraught with the possibility of a new explosion. We are deeply convinced that you are mistaken if you believe that it is possible to buy peace in the Middle East by giving 200-300 million, even a billion dollars to some country.
C. VANCE. We don't believe that (My tak ne schitaem).
GROMYKO. Good. That is encouraging. Consequently, it is necessary to seek political solutions.Does the USA consider that Israel is ready to recognize the right of the Palestinians to an independent nation-state? You understand that these issues are interconnected.
VANCE. I cannot speak for Israel, but I agree that this is the stumbling block (kamen' pretknoveniia).
GROMYKO. I can say the same regarding the Palestinians. If Israel will recognize the rights of the Palestinians, they will recognize Israel's rights. The issue here is who will speak first, but we do not consider that an insoluble issue. This is why diplomacy exists.
29 March (16:30-19:45)
VANCE. I agree that cessation of the state of war is the most important issue. But normalization of relations can facilitate the preservation of peace.
GROMYKO. That does not contradict what I said. May we consider that we have here with you a common understanding?
VANCE. We have an understanding.
GROMYKO. Can't we say that our positions coincide?
VANCE. We put a somewhat greater accent than you on normalization of relations as a means of maintaining peace.
GROMYKO. We stress the significance of achieving peace, not belittling the significance of normal relations between states. For example, in a state of normal relations with Israel, we would with satisfaction eat Israeli oranges. I have heard that they have good oranges.
30 March (11:00-14:00)
VANCE. I want now to touch on the issue of the radiation which the employees at our embassy in Moscow are subject to. I know that in the recent past its level has decreased, but it is still being observed, which, of course, provokes concern among our people. The full cessation of this radiation would be valued highly and positively by us.
GROMYKO. I must say quite frankly that I am pretty fed up with this issue. I cannot add anything to the response which has been given by us to the American side. Despite the fact that in the recent past some industrial enterprises have been moved out of Moscow, they are, unfortunately, still inside the city limits, including its central part.
Of course, I will keep in mind what you have said, but I must frankly state that in the USA you have lovers (liubiteli) of various contrived "issues." Without this, they simply get bored (Bez etogo im prosto skuchno zhit')....
Present at the negotiations were: for the Soviet side-Coms. L.V. Smirnov, A.F. Dobrynin, G.M. Kornienko; for the American side-M[alcolm] Toon, P[aul] Warnke, A[rthur] Hartman, W. Highland.