740.0011 European War 1939/1883: Telegram

The Minister in Bulgaria (Earle) to the Secretary of State

24. Asked Foreign Minister94 during long discussion if he believed that Russia would overrun Bessarabia in order to retrieve military prestige seriously damaged in Finland. Foreign Minister answered definitely no, giving following reasons. First, Bessarabia has no important strategic objectives such as Finnish positions; Russia already has more than enough undeveloped land and plenty of coast on Black Sea. Second, Germany would oppose such invasion as war would interrupt vital flow of oil to Germany. Third, Stalin wants no war as his position in peace much more secure than in war surrounded by powerful generals. Foreign Minister thinks sturdy Finnish resistance was great surprise to Russian general staff who expected slight resistance not amounting to war.

Personally believe Foreign Minister neglected to mention importance of controlling the mouth of the Danube.

  1. Ivan Popov, since February 19, 1940, in Cabinet of Bogdan Filov.