Nikita Khrushchev’s remarks upon meeting President John F. Kennedy (excerpt)

Speaker: Nikita S Khrushchev
Delivered On: 6/15/1961
Place: Moscow, USSR
Subject: Soviet Union–Foreign relations–1945-1991.
Audio/Video Available:

Description: Khrushchev recalls his first meeting with Kennedy
On June 15, 1961, the Soviet radio and TV broadcast the speech of The Chairman of
The Council of Ministers of the USSR Nikita Sergeevitch Khrushchev. In conclusion,
speaking about his meetings and talks with the President of The United States of
America John Kennedy, in Vienna, Nikita Sergeevitch Khrushchev said:
“I would like to point out that in general I am satisfied with these talks. If you
asked me, ‘Was it worth arranging the meeting, was it worth having it?’ I would
say without hesitation ‘It was worth having it, and we needed to have it.’ In our
talks with the President of the USA neither of the parties avoided raising and discussing
the most urgent issues. It could be said that we had had a very open conversation.
We have studied attentively the position of the USA government and have stated in
detail the position of the Soviet government concerning some major international
issues. This fact itself is of paramount importance. Nobody, of course, expected
us to reach complete agreement _ the courses our countries are pursuing are too
different to expect this happen. I am under the impression that President Kennedy
is aware of the great responsibility that is resting with the governments of such
powerful states as ours. Hopefully the awareness of this responsibility will not
fade away in the future, so that we would be able to solve the new international
problems that will arise, and clear the stones from the road that block our way
to stable peace and better relations between the Soviet Union and the USA. Our relations
at the moment leave much to be desired, and the Soviet Union is not to blame for
such a situation. But we would like to believe that time will come when Soviet-American
relations improve and this will have a positive impact on the international situation
at large.”

(Translation: Professor Olga Mindrul, Moscow State University)

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