Memorandum of Conversation, by the Chief of the Division of Eastern European Affairs (Thompson)

In the course of a conversation which took place at lunch today Mr. Tarassenko1 informally raised the question of the United States establishing separate diplomatic representation with the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.2 He began by inquiring whether we had any consulates in the Soviet Union. I replied that we had a consulate at Vladivostok but that the Soviet Government had not yet replied to our overtures for the establishment of consulates elsewhere. He asked if [Page 537] we had attempted to open a consulate at Odessa. I replied that this had been discussed but that we were pressing at the moment for first opening a consulate in Leningrad. He stated somewhat jokingly that the Ukranian Government would not allow us to establish a consulate in Odessa until we had established diplomatic relations with that republic. He continued in a serious vein urging the desirability of this step. I was non-committal but inquired whether, in the event that this were done, the Ukrainian Government would establish representation in the United States separate from that of the Soviet Union, to which he replied, “Of course.”

Mr. Tarassenko is himself a Ukrainian, which fact he emphasizes on every occasion, and he endeavors to convey the idea that he is at present more or less representing the Ukraine.

L[lewellyn] E. Thompson
  1. Vasily Akimovich Tarasenko was Counselor of the Embassy of the Soviet Union; at times Chargé d’Affaires.
  2. The Deputy Director (Director, from August 24) of the Office of European Affairs John D. Hickerson wrote in a memorandum of March 1 to Llewellyn E. Thompson: “As far as I am aware, this is the first suggestion of this sort from Soviet sources.… Heretofore we have felt that on balance it would be preferable for the United States not to take the initiative in this matter.” For documentation about the reorganization of the Foreign Office of the Soviet Union and the creation of Commissariats for Foreign Affairs in the Union Republics by the law of February 1, 1944, see Foreign Relations, 1944, vol. iv, pp. 809813.