861.014/286

Memorandum by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs ( Bohlen ) to the Secretary of State

Mr. Secretary: The attached statement47 to be issued by the Soviet Government relative to the advance of the Red Army into Rumania is a reiteration of the official position announced by the Soviet Government relative to their territorial aims in eastern and southeastern Europe, i.e., that they would restore the western boundaries of the Soviet Union as they existed on June 22, 1941 when the German attack was launched. The only modification in this stand was the recent proposal to establish the frontier with Poland on the basis of the so-called Curzon Line, which in certain parts is slightly to the east of the June 1941 frontier.48

As far as Rumania is concerned this statement signifies that the Soviet Government intends to reincorporate all of Bessarabia and all of Bucovina into the USSR. Bessarabia formed part of the Czarist Empire from 1812 to the end of the first World War, and although it was under the political control of Rumania until 1940 the Soviet authorities never officially relinquished their claim to this area, which was finally incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940.

The former Austrian province of Bucovina never formed part of the Czarist Empire and was only incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 at the same time as Bessarabia was taken over. The annexation of Bucovina gives the Soviet Union a common frontier with the eastern tip of Czechoslovakia.

Charles E. Bohlen
  1. Supra.
  2. For correspondence on the interest of the United States in the Polish Government in Exile at London and in its relations with the Soviet Union, see vol. iii, pp. 1216 ff.