740.00119 European War/2329

The Soviet Embassy to the Department of State


Stated below is the answer of the Finnish Government74 to the notification of the Soviet Government of March 10 and the consequent reply of the Soviet Government.

“The Government of Finland has acquainted itself with the notification of the Soviet Government which was transmitted on March 1075 by its Ambassador to Stockholm, Madame A. M. Kollontai, to Mr. Boheman.

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“As the Government of Finland has informed on March 8, it was ready to state its opinion regarding various questions, touched in the peace terms put forward by the Soviet Government. Besides it wanted also to receive explanation regarding the formal interpretation as well as regarding the real contents of those points, in which the terms were formulated. Such an explanation would be necessary in order that the Diet of Finland could determine its attitude towards the terms which touch a number of complicated questions. The Government of Finland regrets that the Soviet Government had not found it possible to give it the opportunity to state its point of view on these special questions and that the negotiations were announced possible only after the peace terms put forward by the Soviet Government are accepted by the Finnish Government. The Government of Finland which, as before, is seriously striving to establish peaceful relations and desires to start negotiations cannot, however, declare beforehand acceptance of the terms in question, which touch the existence of the whole nation, not having even a firm sureness regarding the interpretation of these terms and their meaning (totag [toute] leur portée).”

On March 18 the Soviet Government has instructed Madame Kollontai to transmit to Mr. Boheman the following reply of the Soviet Government to the Finnish Government.

“The Soviet Government has received the reply of the Finnish Government transmitted on March 17 by Mr. Boheman to Madame A. M. Kollontai, where it expresses the desire to get the interpretation of the Soviet peace terms before it makes a decision to the point regarding these terms.

“First. The Soviet Government does not object against the sending by the Finnish Government one or several of its representatives to receive from the Soviet Government the interpretation of the Soviet peace terms.

“Second. The Soviet Government considers that Moscow would be the most suitable place where the representatives of the Finnish Government could receive the most complete interpretation.”

  1. This reply was given to the Soviet representatives at 4 p.m., March 17, in Stockholm. On March 18, the Chargé in Finland received from the Finnish Foreign Minister an unofficial text in English and cabled it to the Department in his telegram 244, that day (740.00119 EW/2298).
  2. See aide-mémoire dated March 11 from the Soviet Embassy, and footnote 64, p. 574.