871.6363/1–545: Telegram

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

55. ReEmb’s 4979, December 24, 6 p.m.52 I have received today a letter from Vyshinski,53 dated January 4, on the subject of the removal of Rumanian oil equipment in answer to the letter which I addressed to him on December 24. The reply states that since the Germans delivered pipe and other oil equipment to Rumanian oil enterprises in order to supply their own military and para military units with oil products thereby obtained, such property obviously falls within the terms of paragraph 2 of the armistice agreement54 and the Soviet Government sees no grounds for changing its view on this point. The Soviet Government has in mind, however, the interests and needs of the Rumanian oil industry and is prepared to meet our wishes in this respect. Vinogradov55 has accordingly given orders to cease further removal of such equipment from Rumania to the USSR.

The information at the disposal of this Embassy with respect to what has actually taken place in Rumania along these lines is so fragmentary and out of date that I am unable to comment on this reply. The last information I have with respect to loadings and removal of this equipment is to the effect that loading of tubing and casing was resumed on November 26. I have no knowledge of what has happened since that date.

I am also hesitant in these circumstances to address any further communication to Vyshinski with respect to our proposal for a tripartite commission, which he ignores in his reply. I would be glad to be informed whether this proposal has in the meantime been the subject of any further discussions in Rumania.

Repeated to Amrep Bucharest56 as 3, January 5, 8 p.m.

  1. For text of this telegram, which reported the delivery to the Soviet Foreign Affairs Commissariat of a letter dated December 24, 1944, setting forth American proposals regarding the question of the removal of Rumanian oil equipment to the USSR, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, p. 288.
  2. Andrey Yanuaryevich Vyshinsky, First Deputy Peopled Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union.
  3. For text of the Allied armistice with Rumania, signed at Moscow, 5 a.m., September 13 (as of September 12), 1944, see Department of State Executive Agreement Series No. 490, or 59 Stat. (pt. 2) 1712; for documentation regarding the negotiation of the armistice, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, pp. 133 ff.
  4. Lt. Gen. Vladimir Petrovich Vinogradov, Deputy Chairman (Soviet) of the Allied Control Commission for Rumania.
  5. Burton Y. Berry, American Representative in Rumania, stationed at Bucharest.