The Consul at Tihwa (Smith) to the Secretary of State
[Received May 23.]
Sir: I have the honor to report that during a recent all night ride on a weekend hunting trip, Vice Consul Kurdiakoff of the Soviet Consulate General, Tihwa, took the opportunity to explain Soviet Foreign Policy in this area with only a Soviet Consular Chauffeur and a Soviet Vice Consul much junior in rank within possible earshot.[Page 774]
Mr. Kurdiakoff is the Senior Assistant to the Soviet Consul General here and is usually entrusted with the discussion of matters of Sino-Russian relations with the Special Commissioner for Foreign Affairs, Chaucer H. Wu, in the company of one or more of the junior Vice Consuls. If the Consul General is present, Mr. Kurdiakoff acts as interpreter.
I had opened the conversation with a remark about the reports on the Teheran Conference appearing in the New York Times Overseas Weekly and Time magazines which I had loaned him to read. He said that he had been most interested in those reports as well as in the almost weekly remarks on Soviet Foreign Policy or possible after-the-war policy. He said that he thought that the people of Soviet Russia were more convinced of the sincere friendliness of the American people than of any other people and that it was the hope of Soviet Russia that our people would come to understand Russia’s problems and aspirations and be as friendly toward them as the Soviet people already were toward what they understood to be American aspirations in the present and the post-war world. From what he had read and heard he did not believe that the American people yet understood Soviet Russia’s basic problems and aspirations and her resultant policy.
Mr. Kurdiakoff stated that the key to an understanding of Russia’s Foreign Policy was that while friendly and willing to cooperate in efforts at collective security, she was determined at all costs to prevent any possible recurrence of an unfriendly “cordon sanitaire” of border states leagued against her. He stated that Soviet Russia did not wish to interfere in any way in the realization of the internal aspirations of the peoples of the states bordering on Soviet Russia and were determined that no other large state should interfere either. They were also determined that the Foreign Policies of border States should be friendly to the Soviet Union and free from unhealthy domination by or linkage with other great powers. Where border peoples in the past had been oppressed against their will by the large powers, as he said Outer Mongolia had been by the Chinese, the Soviet Union was prepared to enter into Mutual Assistance Pacts, such as that existing with Mongolia since 1936, to prevent a recurrence. The Soviet Union had helped in a military and economic way the people of Sinkiang, but when they found out recently that the Chinese no longer wanted this assistance, they at once withdrew. Outer Mongolia is recognized as a part of China just as Sinkiang is, but Sinkiang’s people have not the same suppressed aspirations toward liberty at any cost that the Mongols have and furthermore “there are more Mongols in Russia than in [Page 775] Mongolia and all are interested in freeing Mongolia from Chinese oppression”.
I intend to make an opportunity to follow up this conversation at an early date and to comment on it in an early despatch.