124.61/171: Telegram

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

991. The Embassy has received from the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs the following note verbale dated May 16:

“The People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs has the honor to bring to the attention of the Embassy of the United States of America the fact that from this date a procedure has been established by the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in accordance with which the travel, in the territory of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, of diplomatic and consular representatives of foreign states in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, as well as of employees of foreign embassies, missions, and consulates, may take place only on condition that a preliminary notification be filed by these persons with the appropriate authorities of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs, the People’s Commissariat for Defense, and the [Page 882] People’s Commissariat for the Naval Fleet, concerning projected trips, in which connection the route, the stopping places, and the duration of the trip shall be indicated for the purpose of registering these trips with the above mentioned authorities.

Simultaneously, by the same decision of the Soviet Government, the points and districts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics enumerated in the list attached herewith are declared forbidden areas.”

The “list of forbidden points and districts of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics” which accompanied the note verbale follows: Arkhangelsk, Arkhangelsk Oblast. Murmansk, Murmansk Oblast. Petrozavodsk. Leningrad, Leningrad Oblast. The Karelian Isthmus. Estonian SSR, Latvia SSR, Lithuanian SSR, Western Oblasts of the White Russian SSR, Minsk, Western Oblasts of the Ukrainian SSR, Kiev. Dnepropetrovsk Oblast. Zaporozhe Oblast. Chernovitsy. Moldavian SSR, Odessa, Nikolaev, Kherson, Crimean ASSR,89 Sevastopol, Taganrog, Rostov, Novorossiisk, Tuapse, Bereznyaki,90 Gorki, Kazan, Kuibyshev, Sverdlovsk, Stalingrad, Engels, Grozny, Baku, Baku oil districts. Erevan, Turkmen SSR, Uzbek SSR, Tadzhik SSR, Kirgiz SSR, Kazakh SSR, Buryat-Mongol ASSR, Irkutsk. Chita Oblast, Khabarovsk, Khabarovsk Krai. Vladivostok, Maritime Krai. In addition to this, all points located in the frontier zone.

It will be noted that the list of forbidden points and districts is virtually all-inclusive.91

Should the Department consider it expedient to establish a similar prohibition with respect to travel in the United States I would recommend that the prohibition be not limited to diplomatic and consular representatives of the Soviet Union and their employees but apply as well to all Soviet citizens who have arrived in the United States since the outbreak of the war, inasmuch as any Soviet citizen who has been permitted to travel abroad since then is of course an agent of the Soviet Government.

Steinhardt
  1. Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.
  2. Probably Berezniki (Usolskaya) is intended.
  3. Some further information is in Department of State Bulletin, October 24, 1948, p. 525, and ibid., March 24, 1952, p. 452.