Moscow News, December 4, 1939:
Radio Speech of Comr. V. M. Molotov, Chairman
of Council of People's Commissars of USSR
Nov. 29, 1939.
Men and women, citizens of Soviet Union!
The hostile policy pursued by the present Government of Finland towards our country compels us to take immediate measures to insure the external security of the state.
You know that in the course of past two months, the Soviet government patiently conducted negotiations with the Government of Finland concerning proposals which, in the present alarming international situation, it regarded as the minimum essential for insuring the security of the country and particularly the security of Leningrad. In these negotiations the Government of Finland adopted an attitude of irreconcilable hostility towards our country. Instead of finding ground for agreement in a friendly manner, the present rulers of Finland, to please foreign imperialists who kindle hostility towards the Soviet Union, took a different course. Despite all the concessions we made, the negotiations ended without yielding any result.
The consequences of this are now known.
In the past few days outrageous provocations by the military of Finland began on the Soviet-Finnish frontier, including even artillery firing on our troops near Leningrad, which caused grave losses in Red Army units. The attempts of our Government to forestall a repetition of these provocations by means of practical proposals addressed to the Government of Finland, far from finding any support, again met with the hostile policy of the ruling circles of Finland. As you know from yesterday's note of the Soviet Government, they replied to our proposals by a hostile refusal and brazen denial of facts, by a derisive attitude toward the victims we have lost, by undisguised striving to keep Leningrad under the direct threat of their troops.
All this has definitely shown that the present Government of Finland, which become entangled in its anti-Soviet ties with the imperialists, does not wish to maintain normal relations with the Soviet Union. It continues in its hostile attitude towards our country and does not wish to pay any regard the provisions of the non-aggression pact concluded between our countries, desiring to keep our glorious Leningrad under a military threat. From such a government and from its harebrained military, we can now expect only fresh insolent provocations.
Therefore the Soviet government was yesterday compelled to announce that from now on it considers itself free from the obligations taken on by virtue of the non-aggression pact concluded between the USSR and Finland and now irresponsibly broken by the government of Finland.
In view of the new facts that the Finnish military units have launched an assault on Soviet troops at the Soviet-Finnish border, the Government is now been compelled to adopt new decisions.
The Government can no longer tolerate the present situation, responsibility for which fully rests with the Government of Finland.
The Government of the USSR arrived at the conclusion that it can no no longer maintain normal relations with the Government of Finland and therefore found it necessary immediately to recall its political and economic representatives from Finland.
Together with this, the Government gave orders to the Chief Command of the Red Army and Navy to be ready for any surprises and immediately to cut short possible fresh sallies on the part of the military of Finland.
The hostile foreign press asserts that the measures being taken by us are aimed at the seizure or annexation to the USSR. This is malicious slander. The Soviet Government has not had and does not have such intentions. Moreover, if Finland herself had pursued a friendly policy towards the Soviet Union, the Soviet Government, which always strove for friendly relations with Finland, would be ready to meed her halfway in regard to territorial concessions on the part of the USSR. Under this condition the Soviet government would be ready favorably to consider even suh a question as of reuniting the Karelian people inhabiting the main districts of present Soviet Karelia, with the kindred Finnish people in a single and independent Finnish state. For this, however, it is necessary that the Government of Finland should maintain not a hostile but a friendly attitude toward the USSR, which would correspond to the vital interests of both states.
Others assert that the measures carried out by us are aimed against Finland's independence or at interference in her internal and external affairs. This is equally malicious slander. Irrespective of the regime existing in Finland, we consider her an independent and sovereign country in her external and internal policies. We firmly hold that the people of Finland should itself decide its internal and external affairs in the manner it itself deems necessary. At the proper time the peoples of the Soviet Union did, what was necessary for the creation of an independent Finland. The peoples of our country are ready to render the people of Finland assistance in the future also, in insuring its free and independent development.
The Soviet Union has equally no intention to prejudice to any extent the interests of other states in Finland. Questions of the relations between Finland and other states form a matter of exclusively concern of Finland herself, and the Soviet Union does not consider itself entitled to interfere in this matters.
The only purpose of our measures is to insure the security of the Soviet Union and particularly of Leningrad with its population of three and a half million. In the present international atmosphere heated by war, we cannot make the solution of this vital and urgent state problem dependent on the ill will of the present rulers of Finland. This problem will have to be solved by the efforts of the Soviet Union in friendly cooperation with the people of Finland.
We do not doubt that the favorable solution of the problem of insuring the security of Leningrad will provide the foundation for indestructible friendship between the USSR and Finland.
Source: The weekly newspaper "Moscow News", published by Mezhdunarodnaya Kniga, Moscow, Dec. 4, 1939.
Contemporary and officially published Russian and Finnish diplomatic and other documents on Soviet-Finnish relations 1939-1940
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