The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State

No. 417

Sir: I have the honor to enclose herewith a memorandum93 setting forth certain observations on the present status of Soviet-German [Page 550] relations in the light of the information available in Moscow. An attempt has been made in this memorandum to assess the realities that lie at the bases of these relations as well as the prospects of their future development under existing conditions. The conclusions reached in the memorandum are (1) that the present political and economic relations between the Soviet Union and Germany which have been formulated in the series of agreements reached since August, 1939, are under present conditions satisfactory to both countries; (2) that, in the absence of some external developments resulting from French and British initiative,94 it is not to the interest of either country to expand the relations beyond their present content; (3) that there is little likelihood of a reversal of the present attitude of the Soviet Government under present conditions, since any reversion to a policy of hostility towards Germany may only be envisaged if (a) the Soviet Government believes that Germany is sufficiently weakened or militarily occupied elsewhere to obviate the risk of a German military retaliation and (b) if such a reversal is dictated by Soviet interests. The foregoing conclusions are, of course, based on the supposition that Germany on its part will continue its present policy vis-à-vis the Soviet Union.

Respectfully yours,

Laurence A. Steinhardt
  1. Not printed.
  2. For correspondence regarding the relations of the United Kingdom and France with the Soviet Union, see pp. 589 ff.