760N.61/74: Telegram

The Chargé in the Soviet Union (Thurston) to the Secretary of State

620. … who has heretofore proved to be well-informed regarding Baltic matters and disposed to discuss them frankly, informed me this morning that he is not inclined to fear any general Soviet military action against the Baltic States at this time.

. … stated that as far as Estonian-Soviet relations are concerned, there has been no unfavorable development and that normal negotiations continue with respect to the numerous problems arising out of the presence of Soviet forces in Estonia—such as the use of Estonian telephone and telegraph services and highways and railways. He stated that the publication of the Tass despatch reported in the Embassy’s telegram No. 592 of May 28, noon,17 was interpreted in Estonia as conveying an official Soviet admonition but that it has not been followed up by any other action.

With respect to the current visit to Moscow of the Latvian Minister [Page 366] of War,17a he stated that he had no reason to ascribe to it any particular, much less any ominous, significance and that he is inclined to regard it as being of much the same nature as the visit made some months ago (Embassy’s telegram No. 1041, December 18 [8], 11 a.m.18) by General Laidoner.

… stated that he is less certain with respect to Lithuania and that the incident to which the Tass communiqué, cited in the Embassy’s telegram 601 of May 29, midnight, referred is not yet closed. In common with others who have sought an explanation of the Soviet action in this instance, he believes it to be not improbable that the Soviet Government is becoming somewhat apprehensive over the prospect of an early German victory in the current war and that it may be seeking to bring about a situation under cover of which it can strengthen the Lithuanian frontier against Germany.

… requested that the facts be kept secret in view of the harm which might befall his country should they become known.