• Short Summary

    President Nixon is scheduled to fly to Moscow for a week-long official visit on May 22 - with the escalation of the Vietnam war, the arms race and world peace expected to be among the major topics at summit talks.

  • Description

    President Nixon is scheduled to fly to Moscow for a week-long official visit on May 22 - with the escalation of the Vietnam war, the arms race and world peace expected to be among the major topics at summit talks.

    With the exception of Vietnam, the central issues are likely to be similar to the ones during Mr. Nixon's last visit to the Soviet Union - as Vice President in 1959. Highlights of his trip are recalled in this library compilation.

    That visit was notable for the public battle of words and wit with Mr. Nikita Khrushchev, then the Soviet Premier, beside a washing machine at the American Exhibition in Moscow.

    Mr. Nixon extolled the American way of life and made much of his countryman's freedom to speak, read, criticise and travel. And he observed that even after fighting two world wars, the United States had not asked or received "an acre of land from any other people. We have no desire to impose our rule on other lands," he said then.

    But he warned that dedication to peace, good will and human brotherhood should never be mistaken for weakness, softness and fear - a stance he is likely to stress again when the Vietnam issue comes up for discussion.

    Mr. Nixon also visited Novosibirsk, Sverdlovsk and other Siberian towns usually barred to visitors during his 1959 visit. Everywhere, he was given an enthusiastic welcome - although he was questioned closely and critically by Soviet workers on U.S. foreign policy.

    The Vice President defended that policy vigorously in a nationwide broadcast before his departure from Moscow. Neither country would tolerate being pushed around, he said. And the arms race was intended to defend the United States, not to attack the Soviet Union.

    Mr. Nixon noted that one-fourth of the Soviet Union's entire production went into armaments and that its leaders had repeatedly rejected international controls of atomic energy, open skies, aerial inspection in the disarmament issue. Summing up, he said both countries should recognise very frankly that they had "some very real differences not easily settled".

    Many of those differences still remain. And Mr. Nixon's conclusion in 1959 is almost certain to hold good when he leaves Moscow for Iran on May 30 this year.

    SYNOPSIS: Moscow--where President Nixon will have talks with Soviet leaders in May. He was last here in nineteen-fifty-nine...as Vice President. And since then, the topics haven't changed much. The agenda will still include the arms race, international relations and world peace. Thirteen years ago, Mr. Nixon defended United States foreign policy. This time, he's expected to take a tough line with Soviet leaders on the Vietnam issue.

    During that last visit, Mr. Nixon was shown Sverdlovsk and other Siberian towns. Everywhere, he was given an enthusiastic welcome. But he was questioned closely...and critically.... by the crowds. The Unites States, he said, had no desire to impose its rule on other lands.

    In a television broadcast, he noted that armaments comprised one quarter of the entire production in the Soviet Union...and that the country's leaders had repeatedly rejected aerial inspection in the disarmament issue.

    The nineteen-fifty-five visit was a constant battle of words and wit with Mr. Khrushchev, then the Soviet Prime Minister. Mr. Nixon praised the American way of life. Mr. Khrushchev said the Soviet Union would soon overtake the United States in economic competition. But the Vice President warned that the dedication to peace should never be taken for weakness or fear. And that's a stand he's likely to take again this month. Relations between the two powers are strained. American bombing raids in Vietnam haven't helped. And neither have supplies of Soviet arms for the Communist offensive in the south.

    These weapons are made in factories like the iron foundry at Walwask in Siberia, which Mr. Nixon visited 13 years ago. Then, he concluded that both countries should recognise--very frankly--that there were very real differences between them. And with Vietnam the central issue, President Nixon may well find himself reaching that same conclusion this time.

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