Franklin D. Roosevelt

Exchange of Messages with President Kalinin of Russia

October 11, 1939

Message of the President.

The President of the United States sends his greetings to President Kalinin with the following personal message:

While the United States is taking no part in existing controversies in Europe, the President wishes to call attention to the long-standing and deep friendship which exists between the United States and Finland. He feels that he can call this to the attention of President Kalinin because of their joint efforts a number of years ago which resulted in the resumption of friendly relations between the Soviet Union and the United States.

Such being the case the President expresses the earnest hope that the Soviet Union will make no demands on Finland which are inconsistent with the maintenance and development of amicable and peaceful relations between the two countries, and the independence of each.

The President feels sure that President Kalinin and the Government of the Soviet Union will understand the friendly spirit in which this message is sent, and extends to President Kalinin an expression of his highest consideration.


Reply of M. Kalinin.

[APP Note: October 16, 1939]

MR. PRESIDENT: I thank you for your greetings and for the friendly sentiments expressed in your message transmitted to me on October 12th.

I consider it appropriate to remind you, Mr. President, that the state independence of the Finnish Republic was recognized by the free will of the Soviet Government on December 31, 1916, and that the sovereignty of Finland was guaranteed to it by the Peace Treaty of October 14, 1920, between the Russian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic and Finland. By the above-mentioned acts of the Soviet Government the basic principles of the reciprocal relations between the Soviet Union and Finland were defined. The present negotiations between the Soviet Government and the Government of Finland are also being conducted in conformity with these principles. Despite the tendentious versions which are being disseminated by circles evidently not interested in European peace, the sole aim of the negotiations referred to above is the consolidation of the reciprocal relations between the Soviet Union and Finland and a strengthening of friendly cooperation between both countries in the cause of guaranteeing the security of the Soviet Union and Finland. I beg you, Mr. President, to accept the expression of my deep respect.


Franklin D. Roosevelt, Exchange of Messages with President Kalinin of Russia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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