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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Aide-mémoire from the Soviet Foreign Minister (Gromyko) to the American Ambassador (Thompson), regarding a summit meeting, March 24, 1958,   pp. 258-263 PDF (2.7 MB)

Page 259

lay the foundations for better mutual understanding among states
and for the settlement of other international problems.
It is the deep conviction of the Soviet Government-that the fol-
lowing are the questions of great international significance which
must be given priority: immediate ending of tests of atomic and
hydrogen weapons; renunciation of the use of nuclear weapons by
the U.S.S.R., the United States and Great Britain; establishment of a
zone free from nuclear and rocket weapons in Central Europe; sign-
ing of a nonaggression agreement between states belonging to the
North Atlantic alliance and the Warsaw treaty member states; re-
duction of the numerical strength of foreign troops stationed on the
territory of Germany and in other European states; drafting of an
agreement on questions involved in the prevention of surprise attack;
measures for extending international trade; ending of war propa-
ganda; ways to reduce tension in the area of the Near and Middle
Are there any grounds to claim that only the Soviet Union is in-
terested in a positive solution of the above questions and that for the
peoples of other countries, including the United States, these ques-
tions are of a lesser importance? The questions listed above have
been posed by life itself, by the entire trend of development of inter-
national relations in the past few years. If we are to be guided by
the interests of consolidating peace, there can be no other opinion
but that it would be equally to the benefit of the U.S.S.R., the United
States, Great Britain, France, and other countries if agreed measures
were adopted to lessen the danger of rocket-nuclear war, to end the
armament race, to abolish tension in international relations caused by
the "cold war," and to diminish the danger of conflicts in those
of the world where, in view of the tension existing there, such conflicts
are especially liable to break out.
The Soviet Government gave full consideration to the wishes of
the U.S. Government and the governments of other Western powers
regarding the questions they would like to propose for discussion at
a summit meeting.
Guided by the desire to pave the way for a meeting at the highest
level and taking note of the considerations of the Western powers,
the Soviet Government announced its consent to discuss at a summit
meeting the problem of forbidding the use of outer space for warlike
purposes and of scrapping foreign military bases on the territories
of other countries. Moreover, the Soviet Government declared that it
was prepared to discuss the problem of concluding a German peace
treaty and of the development of ties and contacts among countries.
Thus, the problems which the Soviet Government proposes for
discussion at the summit meeting also take into account those pro-
posals of the U.S. Government on which useful negotiations could
be conducted for the purpose of reducing the tension in the interna,-
tional climate. Therefore, one cannot agree with the contention made
in the aide memoire of the U.S. Government that the Soviet Govern-
ment claims a veto power in determining the range of problems to be
examined at the summit meeting or special privilege and powers at
the conference itself. Such an arbitrary interpretation of the Soviet
Union's'position with regard to the preparation of the international
meeting has nothing to do with the actual state of affairs.

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