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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 07, 1962

TELEGRAM FROM SOVIET ENVOY IN NEW YORK V.V. KUZNETSOV TO USSR FOREIGN MINISTRY

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    Kuznetsov met with Gilpatrick and Yost the day before where the two requested from Kuznetsov if it was possible to photograph the Soviet vessels carrying the removed weapons.
    "Telegram from Soviet envoy in New York V.V. Kuznetsov to USSR Foreign Ministry," November 07, 1962, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive; translation by John Henriksen https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/110440
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On 6 November we had a meeting with the Americans, with the participation on their side of Stevenson, the Deputy Minister [Secretary] of Defense [Roswell] Gilpatrick, and Ambassador [Charles] Yost (Stevenson's deputy).


The Americans asked a series of questions connected with the procedure governing the first-hand observation from their ships of our ships' removal of the missiles. They proposed the following procedure for that observation activity:


The American ships will come up close to the Soviet vessels in order to see and photograph the missiles being shipped. If conditions at sea do not permit their ships to approach so close to the Soviet vessels, then unarmed helicopters will be sent from the American ships, and the photographing will be done from them.


In order to be convinced that it is precisely missiles that are being shipped out, rather than something else, the Americans are requesting that the covers or casings be removed from certain missiles during the observation. The desire was expressed that the missiles be shipped on the decks of the ships. Gilpatrick emphasized that they did not have in mind the sort of unveiling of the missiles that would allow a disclosure of their technical characteristics.


The Americans emphasized that they considered it important to become convinced that the entire quantity of missiles that they had been informed of was being removed from Cuba.


The question was raised as to how and where a meeting could be arranged between the American ships with the Soviet vessels carrying the missiles. The Americans proposed that we inform them of the ship's numbers of all our vessels which are headed out of Cuba bearing missiles, so that the captains of the American ships from which the observations will be conducted can be able to make contact with the captains of our ships, and arrange a meeting-place with them without disturbing the itineraries of the Soviet vessels. We said that in that case it would be necessary for the captains of our vessels to have the ship's numbers of the American ships as well, in order to find out whether they should get in contact with those particular ships. Gilpatrick agreed, and proposed that the ship's numbers of the Soviet and American vessels be exchanged.


The Americans also requested to be informed of the departure schedules of the other ships carrying missiles out of Cuba after 7 November.


We believe that the American proposals for carrying out an observation of the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba are acceptable. In the event that they are approved, we ask to be immediately informed of the ship's numbers of the Soviet vessels, and of the departure schedules of the ships carrying missiles out of Cuba after 7 November, unless all the missiles will have been removed by 6 or 7 November.

7.XI.62 V. KUZNETSOV

[Source: AVP RF; copy obtained by NHK, provided to CWIHP, and on file at National Security Archive; translation by John Henriksen.]