760c.61/2153: Telegram

The Chargé Near the Czechoslovak Government in Exile (Schoenfeld) to the Secretary of State

Czechoslovakia 1.

[The first part of this telegram describing relations between Poland and the Soviet Union is printed in volume III, page 1225.]

Speaking of Russian policy generally Ripka13 said Beneš14 had taken away three principal impressions: (1) The Russians desired sincerely to carry forward the policy of cooperation with Britain and the United States. He was convinced this was not a tactical move but a long range policy. (2) They desired to assure that Germany should not be able to disturb the peace. (3) They desired the neighboring states to have governments with which they could maintain good relations.

On the latter point Stalin had said to Beneš that Russia would have plenty to do to take care of its own internal problems without trying to interfere in those of other states. He did not [underestimate?] the value of the recently concluded treaty. Stalin and Molotov had indicated that the Czechoslovak Government should occupy Czechoslovakia within its prewar frontiers on liberation. There were no frontier disputes with Russia. Other frontier adjustments should be left for the peace conference. Stalin was also in agreement regarding the transfer of the Sudeten German population.

With regard to Soviet relations with other countries of southeastern Europe, Ripka was less precise as to Beneš’ impressions. The Russian attitude regarding Austrian independence he said had been made public at the Moscow Conference.15 As for Austrian-Czechoslovak relations the Soviet Government favored close cooperation but the forms was left vague and was to develop in an evolutionary manner.

With regard to Rumania, the Soviets would claim the return of Bessarabia and Bukovina.16 They were willing to support the Rumanians with regard to Transylvania. They felt very strongly about the Hungarians.

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As regarded Yugoslavia,17 they were not opposed to the King and favored the continuation of the Yugoslav State, believing that it was better to have the difficulties between the conflicting elements handled within the limits of a single state than to allow them to be divided into their component parts and thus become a cause of constant international disturbance.

  1. Hubert Ripka, at times Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Czechoslovak Government in Exile in place of Jan Masaryk.
  2. Eduard Beneš, President of the Czechoslovak National Committee in London, 1939–1945, recognized as President of Czechoslovakia by the Allied Powers after July 1940.
  3. The text of the declaration regarding Austria agreed on at the Moscow Conference is printed in Foreign Relations, 1943, vol. i, p. 761.
  4. For correspondence concerning the activities of the Soviet Union in the Balkans and its seizure of Bessarabia, see ibid., 1940, vol. i, pp. 444 ff.
  5. In regard to the concern of the United States with internal conditions in Yugoslavia, see pp. 1330 ff.