740.0011 European War 1939/423: Telegram

The Minister in Yugoslavia (Lane) to the Secretary of State

279. While it is generally admitted in Government and diplomatic circles here that Russia invaded Poland with the understanding and approval of Germany it is felt that the Soviet move was, I am satisfied, intended against further German advance in the east.

It is considered furthermore that the Soviet advance effectively gives notice of Russia’s reentry into European affairs. Regardless of the well known attitude of the Royal family towards the Soviet Government a reorientation of Yugoslav policy towards the Soviet Union is expected.

If the Soviets are in fact acting now as the ally of Germany it will be difficult, if not impossible, to evoke any enthusiasm on the part of the Serbs to fight against one or the other of the combined forces. The Serbian people do not share the views of the Royal family. On the other hand they recall with gratitude Russia’s support of Serbia during the past war and contemptuously compare this support to the lack of support given by France and Great Britain to Poland at the present time.