740.0011 European War 1939/8772: Telegram
The Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Steinhardt) to the Secretary of State
[Received 5:24 p.m.]
428. My 418, March 3, noon. All of the Moscow papers this morning publish a Foreign Office statement concerning the entrance of German troops into Bulgaria as follows:
“On March 1, Mr. Altinoff, a representative of the Bulgarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs informed A. A. Lavrishchev, the Soviet Minister to Bulgaria, that the Bulgarian Government had agreed to the entrance of German troops into Bulgaria having in view the preservation of peace in the Balkans.
On March 3 Comrade A. Ya. Vyshinski, an Assistant People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, transmitted to Mr. Stamenoff, the Bulgarian Minister, the following reply:
In response to the communication from the Bulgarian Government which was transmitted on March 1, 1941 by Mr. Altinoff, a representative of the Bulgarian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, through A. A. Lavrishchev, the Soviet Minister to Bulgaria, to the effect that the Bulgarian Government had agreed to the entrance of German troops into Bulgaria and that this action pursues peaceful aims in the Balkans, the Soviet Government deems it necessary to state:
- The Soviet Government cannot share the opinion of the Bulgarian Government concerning the correctness of the latter’s position in the given question inasmuch as this position results, regardless of the desire of the Bulgarian Government, not in the strengthening of peace but in the expansion of the sphere of the war and in the involvement of Bulgaria in the war;
- The Soviet Government, true to its policy of peace, cannot therefore render any support whatever to the Bulgarian Government in the conduct of the latter’s present policy.
The Soviet Government is compelled to make the present statement particularly in view of the fact that the Bulgarian press is loosely disseminating rumors which fundamentally distort the real position of the Soviet Union.[”]
Repeated to Sofia.