Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918

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World History

254–256.

THE FINNISH-SOVIET WAR OF 1939–1940

254.

The Soviet Memorandum to Finland, October 14, 1939

3

In the negotiations with Finland the Soviet Union is mainly concerned with the settlement of two questions:

(a) Securing the safety of Leningrad.

(b) Becoming satisfied that Finland will maintain firm, friendly relations with the Soviet Union.

Both points are essential for the purpose of preserving against external hostile aggression the integrity of the Soviet Union coast of the Gulf of Finland and also of the coast of Estonia, whose independence the Soviet Union has undertaken to defend.

In order to fulfil this duty, it is necessary:

(1) To make it possible to block the opening of the Gulf of Finland by means of artillery fire from both coasts of the Gulf of Finland in order to prevent warships and transport ships of the enemy from penetrating to the waters of the Gulf of Finland.

(2) To make it possible to prevent the access of the enemy to those islands in the Gulf of Finland which are situated west and northwest of the entrance to Leningrad.

(3) To have the Finnish frontier on the Carelian Isthmus which is now at a distance of 32km. from Leningrad, i.e., within the range of long-distance artillery, moved somewhat farther northwards and northwestwards.

A separate question arises with regard to the Kalastajasaarento, in Petsamo, where the frontier is unskillfully and artificially drawn and has to be adjusted in accordance with the annexed map.

With the preceding as a basis it is necessary to settle the following questions by having in view a mutual arrangement and common interests:

(1) Leasing to the Soviet Union for a period of thirty years the port of Hanko and a territory adjoining thereto, situated within a radius of 5–6 nautical miles southwards and eastwards and within a radius of 3 nautical miles westwards and northwards, for the purpose of creating a naval base with coastal artillery capable of blocking by artillery fire together with the naval base of Paldiski, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, the access to the Gulf of Finland. For the protection of the naval base the Finnish Government should permit the Government of the Soviet Union to keep in the port of Hanko the following garrison:

1 Infantry regiment.

2 Anti-aircraft battery groups.

2 Air-force regiments.

1 Battalion of armoured cars, altogether not more than 5000 men.

(2) Granting to the naval forces of the Soviet Union the right of using the Bay of Lappohja as an anchorage.

(3) Ceding to the Soviet Union, in exchange for other territories, the following territories:

The islands Suursaari, Seiskari, Lavansaari, Tytärsaari, and Koivisto, part of the Carelian Isthmus from the village of Lipola to the southern border of the town of Koivisto, and the western parts of the Kalastajasaarento, in all 2761 sq. km., in accordance with the annexed map.

(4) In exchange for the territories mentioned in paragraph 3, the Soviet Union cedes to the Republic of Finland Soviet Union territory in the districts of Repola and Porajärvi to the extent of 5529 sq. km., in accordance with the annexed map.

(5) Strengthening the Treaty of Non-Aggression between the Soviet Union and Finland by including therein a paragraph according to which the Contracting Parties undertake not to join any groups or alliances directly or indirectly hostile to either of the Contracting Parties.

(6) Suppression of the fortified zones situated on both sides of the frontier between Finland and the Soviet Union and leaving frontier-guard troops only at the frontier.

(7) The Soviet Union does not object to the fortifying of the Aaland Islands by Finland’s own work provided that no foreign Power, Sweden included, has anything to do with the question of fortifying the Aaland Islands.

3 Finland, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, The Finnish Blue Book. The Development of Finnish-Soviet Relations During the Autumn of 1939 Including the Official Documents and the Peace Treaty of March 12, 1940, Philadelphia and New York, 1940, pp. 49–51. By permission of the J. B. Lippincott Company, publishers.

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Chicago: "The Finnish-Soviet War of 1939– 1940," Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918 in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan (Chicage: Lippincott, 1951), 863–865. Original Sources, accessed September 24, 2021, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=24W9982IRKTNFXN.

MLA: . "The Finnish-Soviet War of 1939– 1940." Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, edited by Walter Consuelo Langsam and James Michael Egan, Chicage, Lippincott, 1951, pp. 863–865. Original Sources. 24 Sep. 2021. originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=24W9982IRKTNFXN.

Harvard: , 'The Finnish-Soviet War of 1939– 1940' in Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918. cited in 1951, Documents and Readings in the History of Europe Since 1918, ed. , Lippincott, Chicage, pp.863–865. Original Sources, retrieved 24 September 2021, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=24W9982IRKTNFXN.