Friday, 26 October 2007

Brezhnev offered his support for Nixon over Watergate

It has emerged that as Richard Nixon succumbed to the Watergate affair in 1974 he received support from an unlikely source – Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev.

Brezhnev recognised the pressures being brought to bear on Nixon by the scandal and was concerned that the disruption might have a detrimental effect on improving relations between the two superpowers.

This fascinating insight into relations between the two most powerful men in the world has been uncovered in newly released US State Department documents. Through the Soviet ambassador to the United States, Brezhnev urged “self-control and fortitude” from his American counterpart. The secret message expressed confidence in Nixon’s ability to withstand the mounting pressures

"No doubt, there are some people -- and not only in the United States -- who anticipate that Richard Nixon won't be able to take it and will crack under the pressure," Dobrynin said he told the president on Brezhnev's behalf. "But, we are pleased to note, you have no intention of giving them that satisfaction."

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