J.V. Stalin’s Directives to V.M. Molotov Prior to the Visit to Berlin in November 1940

Extremely secret. To V.M. Some directives for the Berlin visit. (November 11, 1940)

1. Purpose of visit:

a) To find out the true intentions of Germany and all the participants of the pact of three (Germany, Italy and Japan) in the execution of the plan to form the ‘New Europe’ and similarly the ‘Great Eastern-Asian space’: the borders of the ‘New Europe’ and the ‘Eastern-Asian space’; character of government structure and relationship of different European governments in ‘New Europe’ and in ‘Eastern-Asian Territory’; stages and time frame of realisation of these plans and, at least those which are planned at earliest; prospects of other countries joining the pact of three; position of USSR in these plans in the present and in future.

b) To prepare the initial draft of the spheres of interests of USSR in Europe and also in Central Asia and Middle East, to try and explore the possibilities of agreement on these with Germany (and similarly with Italy; considering the continuation of the negotiations in Moscow, to which Ribbentrop must come in near future no such agreement should yet be signed with Germany and Italy at the given stage of negotiations.

2. Proceeding from that, that Soviet-German agreement on the partial segregation of the spheres of interest of USSR and Germany, has due to current events exhausted, (except in case of Finland), to achieve in negotiations the inclusion of the following to the sphere of interest of USSR:-

a) Finland: on the basis of the Soviet-German agreement of 1939, Germany must overcome all the difficulties and misunderstandings (withdrawal of German armed forces, curtailment of all political demonstrations in Finland and Germany which are against the interests of USSR)

b) Danube: In the parts of Danube adjoining sea: – in accordance to the directives to Com. Sobolev. (Sobolev Arkady Aleksandrovich: 1939-1942 Gen. Secretary to National Committee on International affairs of USSR. He visited Bulgaria in 1940 with Soviet proposal to conclude the pact for mutual cooperation).

Similarly to state our dissatisfaction that Germany did not consult USSR on the matter of guarantees and about sending troops to Romania.

c) Bulgaria: – Should be the major issue of dialogues. In agreement with Germany and Italy it should belong to the sphere of influence of USSR on the same grounds guarantee to Bulgaria will be provided by USSR, as it is done by Germany and Italy in respect to Romania, with deployment of army of USSR in Bulgaria.

d) The question of Turkey and its future cannot be decided without our participation, since we have serious interests in Turkey.

e) Question of long term future of Romania and Hungary is much to our interest as they border USSR, and we wish to conclude agreements on these issues.

f) Question of Iran cannot be decided without the participation of USSR as we have serious interests there. Do not discuss this unless it is required.]

g) Concerning Greece and Yugoslavia we want to know what Axis powers are planning.

h.) Concerning Sweden USSR stands by the opinion that preserving its neutrality is in the interests of USSR and Germany. Does Germany also stand on the same position?

i) The USSR as a Baltic state is concerned about free transit of vessels from the Baltic in times of peace and war through the Great and Little Belts, Oresund, Kattegat, and Skagerrak. It would be best, on the example of the Conference on the Danube, to arrange a conference on this question with the representatives of the interested countries.

j) On Spitzbergen: our coal concessions must get the work contract.

3. Transit Germany-Japan – We are in commanding position. That should be in mind.

4. If enquired about our relationship with Turkey: – Inform about our reply to Turkey; specifically: we have told them that in the absence of pact of mutual cooperation with USSR they have no right to demand help from USSR.

5. If asked about our relationship with England, then inform in the spirit of exchange of opinions at Stalin’s dacha.

6. Say, we were informed about the English proposals for peace made through Roosevelt from German side. Is it in line with the reality and what is the reply?

7. On the possible question on our relationship with USA reply, that USA is also asking us: whether we can provide support to Turkey and Iran in case of any threat arising to them. We have not yet replied to these questions.

8. Ask. Which are the borders of the ‘East-Asian Space’ as per the pact of three.

9. With respect to China in a secret protocol, as one of the points of this protocol; say that it is absolutely necessary to achieve an honourable peace for China (Chiang Kai-shek); in which USSR, maybe with participation of Germany and Italy, is prepared to take the responsibility to mediate. At the same time we are not against Indonesia being recognised as belonging to the Japanese sphere of influence. (Manchuguo remains with Japan).

10. Propose peaceful action (in the form of open declaration of the 4 blocs (if the outcome of the basic dialogue: Bulgaria, Turkey and others is positive) on the condition of conservation of the British Empire (less territories under Mandate) with all the possessions that are under English control and under the condition of non-interference in European matters and immediate withdrawal from Gibraltar and Egypt and similarly with compulsion of immediate handover to Germany of its earlier colonies. (Further the words: ‘and immediate restoration of status of a dominion state to India.’ have been struck off).

11. About Soviet-Japan relations: initially to stand within the limits of my answer to Tatskava (The Soviet stand was laid down in the answer to Tatskava; Japanese ambassador to Russia in Moscow was that USSR agrees to conclude a treaty of neutrality and not just of non-aggression – editorial note of the Russian edition).

12. To ask for the future of Poland: on the basis of the agreement of 1939.

13. About compensation for belongings in the Baltic states: 25% in one year, 50% and three years (in equal instalments).

14. On economic matters: in case of satisfactory direction of the dialogues.

From: ‘Novaya I Noveyeshaya Istoriya’ No. 4, 1995, pp. 77-79.

Translated from the Russian by Anand Shintre

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