740.00119 EW/2–746: Telegram

The Secretary of State to the Chargé in the Soviet Union (Kennan)


324. We are unable to accept position taken by Gen. Biryusov in his communication quoted in Sofia’s Tel. 129, Feb. 7. Regardless of [Page 79] nature of capitulation of Bulgaria, which we consider to have been unconditional, it is clear that the stipulations of the armistice and protocol are binding on Bulgaria and are not subject to further discussion with the Bulgarian Gov’t. It is also impossible for us to reconcile his view of Bulgaria’s inability at present to furnish foodstuffs to Greece with the fact that large quantities of such supplies are now known to be going to the U.S.S.R. from Bulgaria. As for further consideration of matter on governmental level it would appear that Gen. Biryusov is unaware of the exchange of correspondence which has taken place between your Embassy and FonOff (urtel 350, Feb. 5)61 in the course of which the Soviet Gov’t. stated it agreed to immediate consideration by governmental representatives on ACC and had sent instructions accordingly to Sofia.

Unless you perceive objection please inform FonOff along foregoing lines and add that this Gov’t. which has on several occasions in the past indicated the importance it attaches to this matter and has within the last few days again apprised Mr. Vyshinski of its attitude (info tel., Feb. 19, 8 a.m.),62 feels that the Soviet Gov’t. should take immediate steps to instruct Gen. Biryusov to come to agreement with his U.S. and Brit. colleagues and to see that Bulgarian deliveries of foodstuffs to Greece begin without further delay.63

Brit. Embassy should be informed your action.

Sent to Moscow, repeated to London, Sofia and Athens.

  1. Not printed; it transmitted the text of a January 30, 1946, communication from the Soviet Foreign Commissariat which referred to the fact that the Allied Control Commission for Bulgaria, at its meeting on December 18, 1945, discussed Greek claims for deliveries of foodstuffs from Bulgaria (740.00119 EW/2–546).
  2. Not printed; for the report on the Cohen–Vyshinsky conversation in London on February 16, 1946, see telegram 1968, February 16, from London, p. 75.
  3. Telegram 582, February 28, 1946, and airgram 94, March 2, from Moscow, reported that the British had made strong representations to the Soviet Government regarding Bulgaria’s failure to fulfill the armistice terms in respect to reparations (740.00119 EW/2–2846 and 740.00119 EW/3–246). In telegram 690, March 7, from Moscow, it was reported that Vyshinsky had informed the British Chargé in Moscow, on March 1 that there was no foundation to the Bulgarian Government’s allegation that it was not bound by the protocol annexed to the armistice. Vyshinsky further stated that the Soviet representative on the Allied Control Commission for Bulgaria was being instructed to discuss with his British and American colleagues the question of Greek claims for the delivery of foodstuffs from Bulgaria. In view of Vyshinsky’s statements, Kennan expressed the view that it would be preferable to await the outcome of the discussions in the Control Commission before approaching the Soviet Government in accordance with the Department’s instructions. (740.00119 EW/3–746)