(On questions relating to events in Finland)

On December 2, 1939

In connection with the statements made by the ambassador of the USA on by Steinhardt, on instructions of president Roosevelt, V.M. Molotov made the following explanations on the questions relating to events in Finland.
The wish of Mr. Roosevelt about prevention of aerial bombardment of the population of the cities of Finland, inasmuch as it is addressed to the Soviet government, is caused by misunderstanding. The Soviet planes did not fire at the cities and do not intend to do it, but they fired at airfields because our government values the interests of the Finnish population in no way less than any other government. Certainly, from America which is from Finland at distance more than 8 thousand kilometers, this may not be seen, but nevertheless facts remain facts. So the specified statement of Mr. Roosevelt is, apparently, pointless.
As to resignation of the Cajander government and its replacement with Tanner's government, V.M. Molotov told that this fact, unfortunately, does not improve the matter. Tanner's candidacy is obviously a poor one. Mr. Tanner was and undoubtedly stays as the evil spirit of the Soviet-Finnish negotiations. If in the negotiations from Finland's side had been Mr. Paasikivi, without participation of Mr. Tanner as it was during the first period of negotiations, the negotiations, possibly, would have ended with an acceptable agreement. But participation of Mr. Tanner in negotiations spoiled all business and, probably, tied hands of Mr. Paasikivi. So the Soviet Union does not wait for anything good of Tanner's government. Besides the formation of the new government of Finland — the People's government led by Kuusinen brings a new important opportunity in a situation and evokes hope in the Soviet government for a peaceful and satisfactory settlement for the arisen crisis.

"Izvestiya" No. 278 (7048) from December 2, 1939.

Source: [Highest Party School of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party.] Foreign policy of the USSR. Collection of documents. T. IV. No. 380. Moscow — 1946.

Finland in the Soviet foreign policy 1939-1940