NEUTRALITY DECLARATION OF THE U.S.S.R., COMMUNICATED BY M. MOLOTOV, COMMISSAR FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS, TO M. YRJÖ-KOSKINEN, FINNISH MINISTER AT MOSCOW, WITH A NOTE OF SEPTEMBER 17th, 1939.

Monsieur le Ministre,

In transmitting to you the enclosed copy of the Soviet Government's Note of September 17th to the Polish Ambassador in Moscow, I have the honour, on the instructions of my Government, to inform you that the U.S.S.R. will pursue a policy of neutrality in her relations with Finland.

Accept, Monsieur le Ministre, the assurance of my high consideration.

Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R.
V. Molotov.
September 17th, 1939.

M. Yrjö-Koskinen,
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister
Plenipotentiary of Finland,
Finnish Legation,
Moscow.

Translation of Enclosure.

Monsieur l'Ambassadeur,

The Polish-German war has shown the internal bankruptcy of the Polish State. During the course of ten days' hostilities Poland has lost all her industrial areas and cultural centres. Warsaw, as the capital of Poland, no longer exists. The Polish Government has disintegrated and no longer shows any sign of life. This means that the Polish State and its Government have, in point of fact, ceased to exist. In the same way, the Agreements concluded between the U.S.S.R. and Poland have ceased to operate. Left to her own devices and bereft of leadership, Poland has become a suitable field for all manner of hazards and surprises, which may constitute a threat to the U.S.S.R. For these reasons the Soviet Government, who have hitherto been neutral, cannot any longer preserve a neutral attitude towards these facts. The Soviet Government also cannot view with indifference the fact that the kindred Ukrainian and White Russian people, who live on Polish territory and who are at the mercy of fate, should be left defenceless. In these circumstances, the Soviet Government have directed the High Command of the Red Army to order the troops to cross the frontier and take under their protection the life and property of the population of the Western Ukraine and Western White Russia. At the same time the Soviet Government propose to take all measures to extricate the Polish people from the unfortunate war into which it was dragged by its unwise leaders.

Accept, Monsieur l'Ambassadeur, the assurance of my high consideration.

Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the U.S.S.R.
V. Molotov.
September 17th, 1939.

M. W. Grzybowski,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Poland,
Polish Embassy,
Moscow.


Source: The development of Finnish-Soviet relations during the autumn 1939 in the light of official documents. Publication of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Doc. nr. 7. Suomen Kirja, Helsinki 1940.

The contemporary People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs document (in Russian).

Back to Finland in the Soviet foreign policy 1939-1940