Written: Written on November 23, 1918
Published: First published in 1965 in Collected Works, Fifth Ed., Vol. 50. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1975, Moscow, Volume 44, pages 165c-166a.
Translated: Clemens Dutt
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
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A very detailed and caustic reply must be drawn up. Do we recognise the German Government? Is it recognised by all the Councils of Deputies in Germany? If it is, then we, too, recognise it.
“Not to influence”? By word of mouth, by the press? From the viewpoint of democracy or dictatorship? Please clarify, but we declare that if they demand in the form of an ultimatum that we do not carry on agitation, we shall not break with them on that account.
 Lenin wrote this directive to Chicherin in connection with a radio-telegram from the German Government, which was set up on November 10, 1918, and consisted mainly of Right-wing Social-Democrats and Centrists. In its radio-telegram of November 21, 1918, the German Government requested the Soviet Government to issue a statement about its recognition and the obligation “to refrain from exerting any influence on the German population for the purpose of forming a different government”.
Lenin’s instructions were reflected in the Note to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs dated November 25, 1918, which was signed by G. V. Chicherin (see Dokumenty vneshnei politiki SSSR, Vol. I, 1957, pp. 576–77).