761.74/45: Telegram

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

14. The Bulgarian Minister80 said to me today that the Yugoslav Government is complaining against Bulgaria’s friendship with Russia. He explained the improved relations as being caused by the same reasons which have brought about the improvement in relations between Yugoslavia and Germany and Italy, namely prudence in the face of a strong neighbor. He added that there is no more communism in Bulgaria than there is in Yugoslavia and no desire on the part of the Bulgarian Government to espouse the Communist cause.

He said that it is in the interest of Europe that the Balkan States should remain united and should not allow war to develop among them. The proposed Balkan bloc would have accomplished this but unfortunately Rumania made as a condition of the formation of the bloc the postponement of Bulgarian territorial revindications until after the war. Bulgaria knows too well from past experience that she cannot trust Rumania and for that reason refused to accept the proposal. In his opinion the Balkan Entente81 meeting in Belgrade next month82 will accomplish nothing.

He complained against the Yugoslav distrust of Bulgaria’s intentions which he claimed are not belligerent. He said that if Bulgaria should go to war it would be the end of Bulgaria. Bulgaria he continued is no danger to Yugoslavia or to Rumania. He expressed the fear that the present bad relations between Bulgaria and Yugoslavia may be attributed to some of the great powers who are anxious to create dissension in the Balkans.

  1. Ivan Popov.
  2. Formed at Athens on February 9, 1934, between Greece, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Turkey; for text of treaty, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. cliii, p. 155.
  3. Meeting held February 2–4.