The President of the Soviet All-Union Central Executive Committee (Kalinin) to President Roosevelt 16

My Dear Mr. President: I have received your message of October tenth.

I have always considered most abnormal and regrettable a situation wherein, during the past sixteen years, two great republics—the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics—have lacked the usual methods of communication and have been deprived of the benefits which such communication could give. I am glad to note that you also reached the same conclusion.

There is no doubt that difficulties, present or arising, between two countries, can be solved only when direct relations exist between them; and that, on the other hand, they have no chance for solution in the absence of such relations. I shall take the liberty further to express the opinion that the abnormal situation, to which you correctly refer in your message, has an unfavorable effect not only on the interests of the two states concerned, but also on the general international situation, increasing the element of disquiet, complicating the process of consolidating world peace and encouraging forces tending to disturb that peace.

In accordance with the above, I gladly accept your proposal to send to the United States a representative of the Soviet Government to discuss with you the questions of interest to our countries. The Soviet Government will be represented by Mr. M. M. Litvinov,17 People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, who will come to Washington at a time to be mutually agreed upon.

I am [etc.]

Mikhail Kalinin
  1. File copy bears the following notation: “Correct. Boris E. Skvirsky.” Mr. Skvirsky was Soviet trade representative in the United States.
  2. The forms “Litvinov” and “Litvinoff” were both in common use in the transliteration of this name into English. The latter was the spelling which the Soviet Foreign Commissar himself used as his signature. The two spellings as used in the documents have been retained by the editors.