JFK Was Completely Unprepared For His Summit with Khrushchev - HISTORY
Relations of the United States, –, Volume VI, Kennedy-Khrushchev . A slightly different translation is printed in Department of State Bulletin, May 8, . President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev meet in Vienna, 03 June . and their hopes that their two nations would have good relations in the future. Soviet diplomats were more dismissive than the KGB of Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev] and hopes that his relations with the Soviet leader will be but in Washington at the time there was no acceptable difference between.
Khrushchev understood Ulbricht's concern but feared that a potential intervention from Western powers would destabilize East Berlin further. Thompson warned in February that if there were "no progress" on Berlin and Germany, Khrushchev would "almost certainly proceed with [his] separate peace treaty The Berlin Question—whether or not the U.
The signing of a separate peace treaty with Berlin did not appeal to American policymakers, who felt comfortable with the division of Germany and Berlin itself.
A peace treaty threatened the established balance of power and could potentially lead to the United States losing all its influence in East Berlin. The Laos question[ edit ] A lesser-known conflict fueled controversy at the Vienna Summit as well. Under this context, Khrushchev and Kennedy discussed the Laos situation at length at the Vienna Summit.
On April 18,Khrushchev sent Kennedy a telegram that said, "Mr.
Avalon Project : The Kennedy-Khruschev Exchanges
President, I send you this message in an hour of alarm, fraught with danger for the peace of the whole world. Armed aggression has begun against Cuba. Kennedy knew that the Cuban invasion sparked controversy.
Therefore, Kennedy felt it crucial to meet with Khrushchev as soon as possible. He hoped that open channels of communication could remedy some of the conflict between the U. Khrushchev and Kennedy met in Vienna on June 4, Kennedy meeting Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev and Kennedy devoted a significant amount of time at the Vienna Summit to discussing the Berlin Crisis. Khrushchev opened the conversation by expressing the Soviet perspective that a united Germany "[constituted] a threat of World War III.
Only 15 years after the end of that war, Germany again posed a "military threat" as a member of NATO. Such a treaty, he argued, "would not prejudice the interests of the U.
Kennedy replied that American forces occupied Berlin "by contractual rights" rather than by the agreement of East Germans. Although Kennedy argued that the current balance of power in Germany was effective, Khrushchev said that "no force in the world would prevent the USSR from signing a peace treaty. He insisted that the city of Berlin should belong solely to the German Democratic Republic.
West Germany, Khrushchev told Kennedy, would remain under American influence. Kennedy countered by saying that the U. In light of this remark, Khrushchev suggested that an "interim arrangement" be considered. Khrushchev only rebuffed the United States for playing a significant role in the overthrowing of the Laos government. Therefore, the high points in the record of the political skirmishes between the United States and the Soviet Union around the world and the evolution of strategic doctrines and arms control undertakings are identified or summarized in editorial notes in Volume V so that readers can recognize in one single volume the main lines of bilateral U.
It is important for an understanding of this critical phase in U. The exchange of correspondence obviously had its own internal coherence as well as periodically addressing one or another of the ongoing crisis issues between the two nations documented fully elsewhere in the series.
The collected correspondence offers in one volume a comprehensive overview of major Cold War problems and possibilities. The correspondence between these two leaders was unique in a number of ways.
It gave rise to the first informal written exchange between Cold War leaders. Its existence as a reliable, direct, and quick channel of communications was instrumental in avoiding international catastrophe during the Cuban missile crisis. It was a key early contributor to the learning process that over several decades allowed leaders of the two nations to communicate with each other with growing mutual understanding and eventually trust.
In the field of arms control, the exchange allowed President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev to haggle over the details of an arms control agreement; in later years that function was assumed by growing arms control bureaucracies and standing delegations. The correspondence also showed clear differences in the personalities and leadership styles of the two men, as well as the larger political cultures in which they worked.
This correspondence includes both formal and public exchanges as well as the more informal and very confidential exchanges, transmitted through special emissaries, which became known as the "pen pal" correspondence. The channel was intended to give the two men a chance to exchange ideas in a "purely informal and personal way," as expressed by Chairman Khrushchev in his letter of September 29, Some of the informal messages were, however, made public immediately, sometimes before the recipient received them, but most of the messages were declassified only in later decades.
The editors have indicated in the source footnotes if and when a communication was released to the public if that information was found. The correspondence between President Kennedy and Chairman Khrushchev presented the editors of the Foreign Relations series with special problems.
JFK Was Completely Unprepared For His Summit with Khrushchev
All of the Khrushchev messages printed here are translations into English of the original Russian texts, but it was not always apparent where or by whom the translation was made. The editors have favored publishing the translations seen at the time by President Kennedy and his advisers and have attempted to identify the source of the original translation.
Some of these texts were hastily translated and many contain inaccuracies or errors. The editors have in a few cases indicated a more accurate translation of words or phrases. The exception among these contemporary translations is Chairman Khrushchev's message of April 1,unavailable in U. The editors have also identified, to the extent possible, the mode of transmission of the messages whether delivered in Moscow to the U.