860D.6359 International Nickel Company/27: Telegram

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

458. My 378, February 26, 9 p.m. The Finnish Minister told me yesterday that Molotov had sent for him 2 days ago and rather peremptorily informed him that the matter of the Petsamo nickel mines must be settled without further delay as the negotiations have [Page 14] been too long drawn out and that the Soviet Government insists that a Soviet representative be in control of the company. Molotov [told?] Paasikivi that the Soviet attitude is based upon “purely economic” grounds and that the Soviets have “no political interests in Finland.” He also told the Minister that none of the numerous outstanding questions between the two countries would be settled and no deliveries of petroleum products and cereals which the Finns anticipate receiving from the Soviets would be made until the matter of the nickel mines had been “satisfactorily settled.”37

Paasikivi said he will leave for Helsinki tomorrow to discuss the matter with his Government and that he intends to suggest a compromise which would give the Soviet Government “substantially what it wants.”

  1. Compare the telegram of March 5, 1941, from Paasikivi to the Finnish Foreign Office, in Finland Reveals Her Secret Documents on Soviet Policy, March 1940–June 1941, p. 94.