"Pravda", March 13, 1940:

Yesterday in Moscow the peace treaty between the USSR and the republic of Finland is signed. Today from 12 o'clock in the afternoon hostilities will cease. The solutions, set for itself by the Soviet government, are resolved. Safety of our northwestern frontiers, especially safety of the world's greatest workers' center - Leningrad, is completely provided. The new triumph of the Soviet peace policy will be met with huge satisfaction not only by the whole Soviet people, but also by workers of the whole world.

The treaty between the USSR and the republic of Finland creates strong mutual peaceful relations. Their main requirement is to ensure mutual safety, including safety of the cities of Leningrad and Murmansk, and also the Murmansk railway. The USSR territorial area joins the whole Karelian Isthmus with Vyborg (Viipuri) and the Vyborg gulf, the western and northern coast of Lake Ladoga with the cities of Käkisalmi, Sortavala, Suojärvi, a row islands in the Gulf of Finland, the territory to the east of Märkäjärvi and mountains. Kuolajärvi, and a part of peninsulas of Kalastajansaarento (Rybachi and Srednyi).

The USSR receives for rent for 30 years the peninsula of Hanko with adjacent islands for creation there a naval base, capable to defend from aggression the entrance into the Gulf of Finland. Finland undertakes, as agreed in the treaty of 1920, not to establish military ports on the northern coast and not to keep in these waters warships, except small units.

The USSR acquires the right of transit through Petsamo area to Norway and back, as well as the right of transit of the goods between the USSR and Sweden.

The USSR and Finland undertake not to conclude any alliances, or to participate in coalitions, directed against one from contracting parties.

These are the main provisions of the peace treaty. They completely correspond to the statement made by the head of the Soviet government Comrade V.M. Molotov in his radio speech on November 29, 1939:

"The sole purpose of our actions is - to ensure the safety of the Soviet Union and especially of Leningrad with its population of three and a half million".

True to tasks of the peace policy, the Soviet government will never infringe the independence of other states. All this is convincingly testified by the history of the relationship with Finland. Finland gained the recognition of political independence from hands of the Soviet government on December 31, 1917. Since then, the mighty Soviet state respected peaceful contractual relations with her neighbor, who was far from always pursuing a policy of respect for the rights and interests of the peaceful Soviet people but prepared a bridgehead for war at very walls of Leningrad.

The breaking up of the second imperialistic war set the Soviet government an urgent problem of securing frontiers. It is a duty of the Soviet government, in front of the Soviet people, who does not want to participate in collision of imperialistic powers, to conduct its independent policy and let itself not to be involved in a war bearing incalculable disasters to peoples of the world. The treaties of the USSR and the neighboring Baltic states resolved the task of protecting Soviet borders. They promoted the strengthening of peace in the whole eastern Europe.

The USSR also proposed to the Finnish government to conclude a peace treaty on such provisions that would be equally favorable to both states, not affecting their sovereign rights and providing the safety of northwestern borders of the Soviet state, in particular of Leningrad. Explaining the tasks of the peace treaty achieved by the Soviet government Comrade M. I.Kalinin told:

"Contrary to the tendentious versions extended by circles who, obviously, are not interested in peace in Europe, the sole purpose of the indicated negotiations was to produce consolidation of relationship between the Soviet Union and Finland and strengthening of friendly cooperation of both countries in matters of safety of the Soviet Union and Finland".

These negotiations which took place in October-November in 1939, were not, as we know, finished for reasons not depending on the Soviet Union. The hoped-for course of negotiations was hampered then by the influence of ruling circles of some European states, which in the slightest degree were not interested in establishing a solid and lasting peace in eastern Europe, but, on the contrary, exerted all forces to kindle a military fire in this corner of Europe and to direct fire on the Soviet Union.

The Anglo-French imperialistic circles incited Finland, as earlier Poland and other states, to war with the Soviet Union promising "guarantees" and support in this war, sowing illusions as if the fortifications constructed with Anglo-French help were inaccessible for the Red Army.

Three months of military actions was enough for these illusions not to leave a trace. They evaporated together with that dense and fetid cloud of anti-Soviet slander and lie through which the corrupt Anglo-French press tried to mislead the public opinion of the whole world.

The valorous Red Army broke strongholds of the Karelian Isthmus, which Anglo-French engineering declared to be impregnable. Inspired with a patriotic ardour, fighters, commanders and political workers of Red Army and Navy showed that there are no such fortresses that Bolsheviks could not take, that the Red Army is a reliable defence of the Soviet Union and a terrible sword for all her enemies.

Plans of the Anglo-French imperialists also failed in inciting war over all areas of Europe. Shady tricks in the League of Nations, threats, bribes did not help.

By illusion some states promised for giving help. In vain wrenched the imperialistic press, summoning volunteers to fight against the Soviet Union. Sympathy of millions of workers was on the side of the Soviet Union. It became clear that the international provokers of war cared only for one thing, namely, to continue by all means the anxiety in the east, war operations, fights and enmities.

What happened could easily be expected by any person who was not blinded by an animal rage, not fooled by the yapping bourgeois press. The Soviet Union, contrary to the efforts of warmongers, provided forces for safety of her borders, when, without own fault, it could not achieve this in peace talks. But also in changed conditions the Soviet Union is true to the peace policy. The peace treaty concluded now with Finland shows this to the whole world. The only, now resolved task in the northwest, of the Soviet foreign policy is the securing of safety of the Soviet Union. It is reached by transferring to the Soviet Union the Karelian Isthmus and the northern coast of Lake Ladoga, handing over to the Soviet Union for rent for 30 years the peninsula of Hanko with the marine territory around it for creation there a naval base of the USSR, capable to defend from aggression the entrance to the Gulf of Finland.

The Soviet people reached what it wanted. It is indebted in it to the heroic Red Army, memory of whose feats will eternally live among the Soviet people. It is obliged by the wise and firm policy of the government who never will renounce interests of the Soviet people and will be able to stay firm in demands for peace, safety and tranquility of the Soviet country.

The world triumphs at borders of the Soviet Union. It is a new great victory of the Stalin peace policy. It is welcomed with pleasure by the whole progressive mankind interested in termination of the criminal imperialistic war. As powerless, slanderers will die away. Warmongers suffered a cruel defeat. They lost one of the major bases in the planned campaign against the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union stands unshakably as the guard of peace, as a support and hope of workers.

Leading article of the "Völkischer Beobachter", March 14, 1940. Back to the contents. Machine assisted translation by Pauli Kruhse.

Finland in the Soviet foreign policy 1939-1940