STATEMENT OF THE MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF FINLAND ON NOVEMBER 1st, 1939.

With reference to the speech which Foreign Commissar Molotov made yesterday in Moscow, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs issues the following statement:
The U.S.S.R. has stated that it desires to discuss with Finland the questions mentioned by Foreign Commissar Molotov. Commissar Molotov has created a new situation by giving publicity to the point of view of the U.S.S.R, at a moment when the Finnish delegates had just departed from Helsinki to deliver the Finnish Government's reply to the Soviet Government. So far the negotiations have been confidential, and Finland has, independently and without influence on the part of any foreign power whatsoever, impartially tried to find a solution to the questions put foward, however difficult they are, owing to the neutral policy which Finland has adopted. In doing so Finland has likewise been desirous of considering the aims of the U.S.S.R. to increase the security of Leningrad, however without imperilling Finland's own safety.
It is too early to express any opinion as to whether Commissar Molotov's statement will affect, in any manner, the point of view of the Finnish Government. The statement has, at all events, caused a natural delay to occur in the continuation of the negotiations. Because Commissar Molotov made the remark in his speech, that the U.S.S.R. has a right and a duty to resort to effective measures which are intented to protect its security in the Gulf of Finland and on the frontier next to Leningrad, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs points out that the U.S.S.R. has pledged itself, in the treaty of 1932 with Finland concerning non-aggression, to respect the frontiers between Finland and the U.S.S.R., which were established in the Treaty of Peace of Tartu, and to settle all disputes between the two countries by pacific means. Finland trusts that the U.S.S.R. respects this treaty, the continuation of the validity of which until the end of 1945 was agreed upon between Finland and the U.S.S.R. in 1934.


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. 17. Suomen Kirja, Helsinki 1940

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