INTERVIEW BY CHICHERIN ON THE DEPARTURE OF ALLIED DIPLOMATS FROM VOLOGDA FOR ARCHANGEL
25 July 1918
Izvestia, 25 July 1918
Questioned as to the political significance of the departure of Entente diplomats from Vologda, the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs, Chicherin, said: I can say, in the most categorical fashion, that this event will have no influence on the policy of the Russian Soviet Republic, which is based entirely upon principles, and not upon any diplomatic combinations among the two coalitions involved in the war. The Soviet Government deeply regrets the departure of the Vologda diplomats from Russia. It was thought that nothing need have prevented these diplomats at Vologda from accepting the proposal of the Soviet Government to return to Moscow, the seat of the Government, which offers those conditions of security which Vologda at the present moment cannot provide, and all those comforts and advantages not to be found in Vologda, a small and distant provincial city. The Vologda diplomats decided otherwise, and preferred to go to Archangel, where, in view of the military situation, their stay is clearly impossible. Archangel can only be regarded as a stage in their departure from Russia.
For the Soviet Government this solution is wholly undesirable. While it energetically protests against the entry into Soviet territory of AngloFrench troops, without any provocation, and against the political support given by the Allied Powers to the counter-revolutionary Czecho-Slovak mutiny, even in these conditions it does not seek a rupture of diplomatic relations, and it hopes that the departure of these diplomats from Vologda will not be interpreted in such a way.
The workers' and peasants' Government, embodying wholly and exclusively the interests of the broad working masses, has no other aspirations in its foreign policy than to support the interests of the working classes in the whole world, and therefore it stands firmly on the ground of peace and friendship with all nations and seeks agreement with all nations for their mutual advantage and the general welfare of the workers. It seeks economic agreements with the peoples of both of the opposing sides now at war, with the view to an exchange of goods and mutual support in developing productive activity amongst all peoples. It will not give way before provocations to hostilities, which might interrupt friendly intercourse with all peoples. The Soviet Government does not see any reason why, even after the departure of diplomats from Vologda, diplomatic relations with the Entente Powers should not be maintained through the intermediary of their representatives in Moscow. The Soviet troops are combating the Anglo-French troops, which have invaded Russian territory. I am firmly convinced that we shall succeed in putting an end to this infringement of the inviolability of our territories and to the Czecho-Slovak mutiny, which threatens the masses with fresh slavery, if it should be extended.
Documents on Soviet Foreign Policy
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