661.6231/300: Telegram

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

51. The Moscow press this morning publishes the following communiqué.

“Concerning the conclusion of an economic agreement between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany.”

“The Soviet-German economic negotiations which have been taking place in Moscow since the end of October 1940 were completed by the signature on January 10, 1941 of an expanded economic agreement. [Page 119] The agreement was signed by Comrade A. I. Mikoyan, the People’s Commissar for Foreign Trade of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, for the Soviet Party and by Dr. K. Schnurre, an envoy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, for the German Party.

The new agreement is based on the Soviet-German economic agreement of February 11, 19405 and represents a further stage in the realization of the economic program planned by both Governments in 1939. The agreement regulates trade turnover between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany up to August 1942. The amount of mutual deliveries which [it?] provided for very considerably exceeds the scale of the first agreement year. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will deliver to Germany industrial raw materials, oil products and foodstuffs, particularly grain; Germany will deliver industrial equipment to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The negotiations took place in a spirit of mutual understanding and confidence in accordance with the existing friendly relations between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany. All economic questions including those which have arisen in connection with the adherence of new territories to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were decided in conformity with the interests of both countries.”6

The Moscow press today carries a further communiqué.

“Concerning the conclusion of Soviet-German agreements regulating mutual property claims in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia as well as resettlement.”

“During recent weeks negotiations have been conducted in Riga and Kaunas by German and Soviet delegations with regard to the resettlement of German citizens and persons of German nationality from the Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian Soviet Socialist Republics to Germany and with regard to the resettlement of Lithuanian citizens and persons of Lithuanian, Russian and White Russian nationality from Germany (former Memel and Suvalki) to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. These negotiations terminated in the signature of agreements on January 10, 1941 in the city of Riga and the city of Kaunas regulating all questions connected with resettlement. By virtue of these agreements the above indicated persons who shall have declared their desire to resettle may do so in the course of two and half months from the date of the signing of the agreements in accordance with the procedure establishment by these agreements.

[Page 120]

The agreement concerning resettlement from and to Latvia and Estonia was signed by V. B. Bochkarev7 the chairman of the Soviet Government’s delegation, and by F. Bentsler, the chairman of the German governmental delegation.

The agreement concerning resettlement from and to Lithuania was signed by N. G. Pozdnyakov,8 the chairman of the Soviet governmental delegation, and G. V. Neldeke, the chairman of the German governmental delegation.

At the same time an agreement was signed in Moscow between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany regulating mutual property claims connected with this resettlement.9

The agreement was signed by A. Ya. Vyshinski,10 Vice President of the Soviet of People’s Commissars for the Soviet Government, and by Dr. K. Schnurre, the Envoy of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs for the German Government.”

The press also publishes this morning a communiqué “concerning the conclusion of a treaty between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany in regard to the Soviet-German boundary from the Igorka River to the Baltic Sea” as follows:

“A treaty was signed in Moscow on January 10, 1941 between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and Germany respecting the Soviet-German border from the Igorka River to the Baltic Sea.11 This treaty establishes that the state border between the Soviet Union and Germany on the above indicated territory runs along the line of the former actual state border between Lithuania and Poland and further along the agreements between Germany and Lithuania of January 29, 192812 and March 22, 1939.”13

The foregoing communiqué goes on to give the full text of this boundary agreement which details the exact course of the border line.

Steinhardt
  1. This economic agreement had been signed at Moscow; for text, see Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, Series D, vol. viii, p. 762. See also telegram No. 172, February 13, 1940, from the Chargé in the Soviet Union, and telegram No. 186, February 18, 1940, from the Ambassador in the Soviet Union, Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. i, pp. 544 and 546, respectively.
  2. The Chargé in Germany, Leland Morris, stated in his despatch No. 4262, January 18, 1941, that “the text of the agreement, which is regarded as of military significance, apparently will not be released at Berlin”. (661.6231/303) Further details on the negotiation and substance of this agreement will be found in Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, Series D, vol. xi.
  3. Vladimir B. Bochkaryev had been the Soviet Minister in Estonia.
  4. Nikolay Georgevich Pozdnyakov had been the Soviet Minister in Lithuania.
  5. The Chargé in Germany, Leland Morris, wrote in despatch No. 4262, January 18, 1941, that an informed German banker had asserted that “under the settlement of property claims agreement the Soviet Union is obligated to compensate Germany to the extent of over 200,000,000 marks for capital investments in the former Baltic States and the property left behind there by Volksdeutsche sent to Germany.” (661.6231/303) Additional material on these subjects will be found in Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, Series D, vol. xi.
  6. Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky was also Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  7. The text of this treaty is printed in Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, Series D, vol. xi. For the secret protocol signed in Moscow on January 10, 1941, by which a strip of Lithuanian territory in the Suvalki district was turned over to the Soviet Union, see Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939–1941, p. 267; or Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918–1945, Series D, vol. xi. See also telegram No. 552, March 5, 1940, from the Chargé in Germany, Foreign Relations, 1940, vol. i, p. 548.
  8. Treaty of Arbitration and Conciliation signed at Berlin; for text, see League of Nations Treaty Series, vol. xc, p. 245.
  9. Treaty reuniting the Memel District with the German Reich, signed at Berlin; for text, see German Foreign Office, Documents on the Events Preceding the Outbreak of the War (New York, 1940), p. 363; or Reichsgesetzblatt, 1939, Teil ii, p. 608.