President Nixon–Vadim Trapeznikov memcon (March 20, 1973)

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President Nixon
Vadim A. Trapeznikov, Soviet Academician
Dr. Guyford Stever, Science Adviser
Major General Brent Scowcroft, Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs
Amb. Anatoli F. Dobrynin, Soviet Ambassador to the United States
Tuesday, March 20, 1973
12:00 Noon
The Oval Office

[The press came in for photographs.]

The President: Here, take the seat of honor. General-Secretary Brezhnev sat there. Ambassador Dobrynin sets there [indicating].

I am sorry to hear about Mr. Kirillin.

Trapeznikov: He had an operation. He is getting better.

The President: Give him my regards.

Trapeznikov: He sends his best wishes.

Stever: Trapeznikov has done a great job in taking over as chairman. We will have a heart agreement in six months.

Trapeznikov: The work we are doing is very important, based on the important agreement signed in Moscow.

Stever: This agreement has triggered a great deal of cooperative interest in many areas.

[At 12:12 the press left.]

Trapeznikov: There will be more and more topics of interest to both countries.

The President: While science is not as spectacular as SALT, both are important and greatly affect what we can do in the future.

Trapeznikov: Sometimes the question arises which country will profit more, but in reality both will benefit.

The President: Cooperation between the intellectuals of both sides will help the whole world.

For example, in the field of medicine, cancer, we are spending a lot of money and hope we will find answers. It doesn'1t matter who finds it first; it will benefit the whole world. So it is in all these scientific fields.

Trapeznikov: That is right, but much brain power is used for destruction. We must use our brains to bring better life for all people on earth.

We know you want to avoid pollution and we are interested too. As we develop industry, we pollute the environment. We review these questions with Dr. Stever. They are of immense importance.

A well known scientist said "We cannot expect love from nature after what we have done to it." So we have to work to save it, and it is a very important task for our two countries.

Our two countries must play the leading role because we are the most highly advanced. Therefore, we should make our joint work as effective and as practical as possible.

We are starting with basic sciences, but they eventually lead to practical results and that is what we are after. Therefore our cooperation should be not just meetings but practical results of benefit to both.

There was much preparatory work for this meeting, after your visit to Moscow.

Now we are summing up our work and Dr. Stever and I are very pleased with the cooperation.

We would like to firm up the individuals and organizations who will cooperate with each other.

I might ask, is Dr. Stever pleased?

Stever: Yes, very pleased. The best work is in the working groups where we are in close contact. The meeting has been very productive.

The President: This kind of conversation probably could not have taken place a year ago. As Mr. Trapeznikov knows, there have been exchanges, but more atmospheric than substantive. Now after my meeting, we have moved from symbolism to the hard substance. General-Secretary Brezhnev and I share the same feeling. We want results. Not just get to know each other -- though that is good -- but to work for results. It doesn't matter who is first because we will share the results.

This hopefully is what the Moscow summit will be known for in fifty years -- that our two peoples went from getting to know each other to working together.

Dobrynin: On behalf of General-Secretary Brezhnev, I agree, but we will remember it for 100 years. I just came back, there is a feeling in our country going deeper and deeper. These two gentlemen symbolize our cooperation.

The President: I am glad you will see the West. Have you gone there yet?

Stever: They will go first to Los Angeles, then Salinas, and Chicago, etc.

The President: That is a good trip.

Stever: We are amazed at the number of industries who want to get on our schedule. We can't accommodate them all.

[Mr. Trapeznikov and Dr. Stever departed at 12:33 p.m. Ambassador Dobrynin mentioned that a new version of the nuclear treaty was coming, along with ideas for the summit meeting agenda.]


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).