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Status of the negotiations on removal of IL-28's
We have exchanged a series of messages with Moscow in recent days, and the sum and substance is as follows:
The Soviets say that they will take the IL-28's out, not now but at some later point, and the offer so far appears to be tied to a series of prior actions on our part: lifting of the blockade, registering assurances, etc. We have made it clear that this is quite unacceptable. Our view is that the first step must be a Soviet order to remove the IL-28's within a period of 30 days. We have said that when that order is given, we are willing to announce the lifting of the quarantine. We have given a tone of increasing urgency to our messages on this subject, and yesterday we informed Ambassador Dobrynin that this matter was reaching a turning point and that if progress cannot be made, we may soon find ourselves back in a position of increasing tension.(1)
These exchanges with Moscow have included reiteration of our position on the present urgent need for surveillance, and they have produced on the Russian side support for UN observation posts in the Caribbean area, including the U.S. We have replied to this last proposal by indicating that any reciprocal inspection which included the U.S. should logically include appropriate ports of the Soviet Union.
We have strongly attacked the Soviet claim that its part of the bargain has been fulfilled. Our position is that the Soviets are in default on three points: 1) removal of the IL-28's; 2) on the spot verification of removal; and 3) adequate safeguards against reintroduction of offensive weapons.
The one piece of information not on the Washington-Moscow channel, which is some novelty, is the statement of Kuznetsov to Stevenson last night that he was instructed to report that "all nuclear weapons have been removed from Cuba."(2)
Source: Kennedy Library, National Security Files, Countries Series, Cuba, General, 11/16/62-11/20/62. Top Secret.