"Soviet Russia", Dec 18, 1920:

The Peace with Finland

In an interview given by Kerzhentzev, a member of the Russian Peace Delegation in the negotiations that terminated in the conclusion of the peace with Finland, to Krasnaya Gazeta, Kerzhentsev said among other things the following:

"The peace negotiations between Russia and Finland lasted altogether four months. Both sides were operating with the utmost caution. The Finnish Delegation had already put in two months before the peace negotiations, working at Helsingfors as a special commission. To this commission there belonged a number of functionaries of bourgeois society, among them two former ministers of state, the former minister of war, and the former minister of finance, together with a number of other specialists on questions that were to be taken up during the peace negotiations.

"At times the negotiations were in a fair way to be broken off. The change for the worse in our military situation on the western front made the Finnish delegation particularly hostile to any concessions and aroused in Finland a veritable campaign against the conclusion of peace. In general, the conditions we obtained in the peace negotiations, in spite of the fact that we were forced to make certain material concessions to Finland, may be considered as satisfactory for us. At any rate, the peace is founded on an agreement that binds both sides, and therefore Finland will doubtless observe it honorably, and really fulfill its conditions.

"The chief point of contention was in territorial questions. Finland wanted to have the Pechenga region, up to the Murman Railway, two communes in Eastern Karelia (Repola and Porajarvo), and also desired a plebiscite in all of Eastern Karelia, to decide whether the Karelians wished to attach themselves to Finland. In all, Finland obtained an increase of territory amounting to nearly 70,000 square versts.

"By the treaty of peace, we relinquished to Finland a small portion of Pechenga, whereby Finland obtained access to the Arctic Sea, but we ceded less than we had previously offered to Red Finland. Simultaneously we secured for ourselves free right of transit through this region, as far as Morge, together with the fishery rights on that portion of the Arctic Coast that was assigned to Finland.

On the other hand, the Finns dropped their demands as to Eastern Karelia, and returned to us the two communes, which had for two years been occupied by Finnish troops. Similarly, Finland consented to limit its territorial waters and to recognize the Russian territorial waters in the tract of Kronstadt to the extent of considering the southern channel into the Finnish Gulf as belonging to Russian territorial waters. Furthermore, Finland agreed to neutralize all the islands in the Finnish Gulf, to dismantle the batteries at Ina and Pumala, as well as to limit the coast defences in the immediate vicinity of Kronstadt. Economic conditions have been regulated on the basis of the status quo, in other words, the two states have agreed mutually to relinquish their credit and other demands on each other. The property of the Finnish State in Russia passes to Russia, and vice versa. We are not obliged to pay anything to Finland.

"For a resumption of economic relations, measures have been planned to regulate commercial intercourse as well as connections between the railway and telegraph systems, the transit of goods from Finland, etc.

"Among the legal points, our proposal for amnesty, which was planned to include a rather considerable number of the Finnish comrades as well as Communists who had fled from the country, aroused particular attention.

"Finland agreed to resume diplomatic relations with us at once."

These are in a few words the general outlines of the main points in the peace treaty. Among the points that are of special interest to Petrograd Kerzhentsev mentioned the article in which Finland bound itself to facilitate the passport, railroad, and other conditions on the Karelian ness, which will make it possible for inhabitants of Petrograd to enjoy the advantages of the Finnish villa country. He also called attention to the article which places half of the accomodations in Halila Sanitarium at the disposal of the inhabitants of Petrograd and the environs.

"From the impressions I received from conversations with the Finnish representatives," said Kerzhentsev, "I gathered that Finland will be very glad to take up commercial relations with us very soon. It has great supplies of paper and agricultural products, while Finland, on its part, needs grain and raw materials. I believe that Petrograd will receive the greatest benefits from orderly and neighborly relations with Finland. The peace that has just been concluded will of course be of immense importance for the prosperity of Petrograd."
SOVIET RUSSIA. Official organ of the Russian Soviet Government Bureau, New York. Saturday, December 18,1920, Vol. III, No. 25. Digitized by Google from Univ. of Michigan.

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