Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Exchange of New Year Greetings Between the United States and the Soviet Union.

January 01, 1959

His Excellency

Kliment Efremovich Voroshilov

Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics


I thank you for your message and, on behalf of the American people, I extend greetings to you, Prime Minister Khrushchev and the people of the Soviet Union as the New Year begins. I share the hope expressed in your message that the coming year will see a substantial improvement in the relations between our countries, and significant steps toward a lasting solution of the problems which endanger world peace.

Peaceful relations with other friendly countries are the hallmark of our American tradition and we seek always to develop and strengthen such relations. We profoundly hope that your wish for peaceful coexistence may bring about in 1959 genuine efforts to solve existing world problems. All of us know that mutual understanding and respect for the rights and legitimate aspirations of others could not fail to be beneficial to all peoples. It would enable the nations to strive more effectively for universal spiritual and material well-being.

As of this moment it seems to us critically important to apply the sentiments expressed in your message to the Berlin situation. In this connection, I cannot fail to recall your government's declaration of intentions toward the people of Berlin. In my view, they are not in accord with your expressed aspirations and hopes for peaceful coexistence. The United States Government repeats that, in an atmosphere devoid of any kind of coercion and threat, it would welcome discussion on the question of Berlin in the wider framework of the whole German problem and European security. Positive progress in this specific problem would, I deeply believe, give real substance to the hope that 1959 would witness great advances toward the goal of a just and lasting peace.


Note: The message from Mr. Voroshilov and Prime Minister Khrushchev follows:

To His Excellency Dwight D. Eisenhower President of the United States of America

On the occasion of the New Year we send to you, Mr. President, and also to the people of the United States of America congratulations and best wishes from the people of the Soviet Union and from us personally. We would like to express the hope that in the coming year our countries will unite their efforts in the search for a way towards the settlement of urgent international problems, for the cessation of the arms race and of the cold war which is hated by the people, with the aim of reducing dangerous tensions in international relations. The development of friendly cooperation on the basis of principles of peaceful coexistence between states would permit the deliverance of mankind from feelings of alarm for their future, from the fears of the dangers of a new war. We would like to express confidence that in this year there will be taken a decisive step in the direction of an improvement of Soviet-American relations, in the development of mutual understanding between our countries whose responsibility for the fate of the world is particularly great. This would be an important contribution of our countries to the healthy improvement of the whole international atmosphere and for the achievements of the great goal--the triumph of peace in the entire world.


The messages were released at Gettysburg, Pa.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Exchange of New Year Greetings Between the United States and the Soviet Union. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/234818

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