In Finnish

Telegram from the Finnish Legation in Moscow to the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, September 14, 1940

On September 13 I had a conversation with Commissar Molotov about the nickel affair. It was very disagreeable, as I had expected. I laid the matter before him in conformity with your telegram. Commissar Molotov replied that the sale of the output of nickel and the concession are two different things. The USSR wants the concession or a joint company. He said it depended on the Finnish Government whether or not the matter was arranged. Seeing that the Finnish Government had found it possible to allow a British-owned corporation to sell nickel to Germany, which was at war with Great Britain, it should not be impossible for the Finnish Government to arrange the concession question as well. When I emphasized the point that the government had no right to cancel the concession when the owners of the concession do not give their consent, he asked whether he was to understand the matter to mean that the Finnish Government is prepared to arrange the matter, provided a proper legal formula is found. This was possibly a hint that the USSR would be able to make arrangements with the British company. I answered that the representatives of the company had given us their final, negative answer, and that, as was known to Molotov from the company's report to the Sojuspromexport of August 17, the company has concluded an agreement with [I.G.] Farben. I remarked that Germany too had wanted the concession and been given the same answer. When I pointed out that the company was prepared to conclude a long-term contract with the USSR for 40 per cent, Commissar Molotov replied that he did not want to negotiate with the nickel company but with the Finnish Government. He stressed that the USSR attached great importance to this matter, and regarded the granting of the concession to outsiders as being counter to the interests of the USSR. He added that the concession was also in conflict with both the 1920 and the 1940 Peace Treaties, as the USSR had been granted free transit through the very area in question. I protested against this interpretation, and brought forward all possible other arguments. He repeated, what he has said before, that it was not only the nickel that was important to the USSR, but the area itself, and that only Finland and the USSR were involved in the area. It appeared to me that our conversations and agreements with Germany were not to his liking. He said that this matter also again revealed the unfriendly attitude of the Finnish Government to the USSR, declaring that one could negotiate with Germany but not with Finland. Finally he asked me to lay the matter once more before the government, again emphasizing that the USSR attaches great importance to it.


Source: Finland reveals her secret documents on Soviet policy, March 1940—June 1941. Doc. nr. 27. Wilfred Funk, New York 1941.
The book is a verbatim translation of the "Blue-White Book" published by the Foreign Ministry of Finland, 1941.

Finland in the Soviet foreign policy 1939-1940