The Ambassador in the Soviet Union ( Steinhardt ) to the Secretary of State
[Received 7:13 p.m.]
220. At a luncheon which Molotov gave in my honor today I had an opportunity to discuss with him at considerable length and with unusual intimacy a number of subjects of current interest. As a result of our conversation I received the definite impression that the Soviet Government is not yet prepared to consider a negotiated peace with Finland but is on the contrary determined after taking Viborg to endeavor to press on toward Helsinki. Should this effort fail of success within a reasonable time the Soviet Government might consider a negotiated peace but I doubt it will do so until this test has been made. I likewise gained the impression that the Soviet Government considers the formal entry of Sweden or Great Britain into the Finnish-Soviet conflict to be unlikely, although not impossible. With respect to my telegram No. 219, February 28, 6 p.m., Molotov made it quite evident that the Soviet Government is well aware of the selfish interest of Sweden with respect to an early settlement of the Finnish-Soviet conflict.
With respect to Japan Molotov’s remarks implied that despite the current trade and boundary negotiations the Soviet Government regards that country to be its enemy as well as that of the United States, apropos of which he remarked that he would not be surprised were the American Navy and the Red Army some day to collaborate in suppressing this common foe.
Molotov stated that the Soviet Government is not greatly concerned over developments in the Black Sea area and does not anticipate hostilities there with France, Great Britain, or Turkey. (See last paragraph my 209, February 24, 4 p.m.68)
As to relations with the United States it was apparent from Molotov’s remarks that the Soviet Government is acutely aware of the present anti-Soviet sentiment in the United States and that it is both annoyed and disturbed thereby. At the same time, however, Molotov clearly indicated that the Soviet Government desires to relax the resulting strain on Soviet-American relations.
In conclusion I sensed that Molotov desired to leave with me the impression that in general the Soviet Government is neither disturbed by nor dissatisfied with its present position and that with regard to [Page 296] certain internal inconveniences it is expected that the advent of spring will result in an improvement, especially with respect to food supplies, transportation, etc.
- Not printed.↩