740.0011 European War 1939/7580: Telegram

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

64. Pravda this morning publishes the following Tass statement:

“A report is being disseminated in the foreign press giving certain circles in Bulgaria as the source of information to the effect that a certain number of German troops have already been transferred into Bulgaria, that the transfer of German troops into Bulgaria is continuing with the knowledge and consent of the Soviet Government and that in response to an inquiry of the Bulgarian Government concerning the passage of German troops into Bulgaria the Soviet Government gave its consent.

Tass has been authorized to state that: [Page 279]

If in fact German troops are in Bulgaria and if the transfer of additional troops into Bulgaria is actually taking place all this has occurred and is occurring without the knowledge or consent of the Soviet Government, inasmuch as Germany has never put to the Soviet Government the question of the sojourn in Bulgaria or the transfer into Bulgaria of German troops.
In particular the Bulgarian Government has never asked the Soviet Government about the passage of German troops into Bulgaria and consequently could not have received any reply from the Soviet Government.”