760I.61/162: Telegram

The Chargé in Estonia ( Leonard ) to the Secretary of State

48. According to information obtained informally and unofficially at the Foreign Office, Molotov1 recently in a conversation with Estonian [Page 362] Minister asked for the island of Osmussaar and two Estonian Foreign Office representatives and one military officer have left for Moscow to negotiate. It is anticipated that the island will be leased to the Soviet Government in the hope of obtaining concessions in removing Soviet airbase at Kuusiko 100 kilometers south of Tallinn and to restrict garrison at Tallinn and possibly other concessions.

Am informed that the foregoing does not mean that the Soviets have further designs on Estonia but that they wish to consolidate their strategic position in the Baltic.

  1. Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.