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In a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko on October 10, 1963, Mr. Gromyko commented that the present US-USSR relations did not offer much of a “fresh look”.

 In response, President Kennedy suggested recent achievements were evidence of how far relations between the two nations had actually progressed.

Transcript

Gromyko: Not much of a fresh look.

President Kennedy: I think we’ve done, ah, I don’t want you to get discouraged. We’ve done – you may not be conscious of much progress where you sit, but we’ve been pulling and hauling around the United States for the last three months in a couple, several directions. And we think, for us, we’ve made some progress in our relations with the Soviet Union. We may not get the German question disposed of and may not have solved all the matters, but considering some of the difficulties that both of our countries face – and internally and externally – it seems to me we’ve done pretty well. So I’m rather encouraged, not discouraged. I don’t want you to be discouraged.

Gromyko: Well there is improvement in some things…

President Kennedy: There is only a certain tempo which you can move in these matters. We’ve gone ahead with the test ban, we’ve made some progress which for the United States is rather – do you realize that in the summer of 1961, the Congress unanimously passed resolutions against trade with the Soviets and now we’re going ahead, we hope, with this very large trade arrangement that represents what’s changed in American policy of some proportions. That’s progress. We’re talking about next week going ahead with this matter on the space, we’re talking about getting the civil air agreement settled, we’ve got good communications…I agree we haven’t settled Berlin but considering that we’ve got a lot of problems, we’ve —you’ve taken out some of your troops out of Cuba so it’s less of a problem for us here. I – that’s some progress.

Gromyko: You are right, Mr. President, there is change in the atmosphere and … in more matters important to our relations, affects relations between United States and Soviet Union are concerned.

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