V. I. Lenin

In Reply To Questions Put By

A Correspondent Of The Daily Express

Interviewed: 18 February, 1920
First Published: Published on February 28, 1920 in the Daily Express No. 6198; First published In Russian on April 22, 1950 in Pravda No. 112; Published according to the manuscript
Source: Lenin’s Collected Works, 4th English Edition, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1965, Volume 30, pages 368-369
Translated: George Hanna
Transcription/HTML Markup: David Walters & Robert Cymbala
Copyleft: V. I. Lenin Internet Archive (www.marx.org) 2002. Permission is granted to copy and/or distribute this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

1. What is our attitude towards the raising of the blockade?

We consider it a big step forward. The possibility is being opened for us to pass from a war that was forced on us by the capitalist governments of the Entente to peaceful reconstruction. This is of the greatest importance to us. Straining all our efforts towards the restoration of the economic life of the country, ruined first by the war between capitalists over the Dardanelles and the colonies, then by the war of the capitalists of the Entente and Russia against the workers of Russia, we are now, among other measures, working out, with the aid of a number of scientists and experts, a plan of electrification of the whole country This plan is to be realised over a period of many years. The electrification will rejuvenate Russia. Electrification based on the Soviet system will mean the complete success of the foundations of communism in our country—foundations of a cultured life, without exploiters, without capitalists, without landlords, without merchants.

The raising of the blockade will help to accomplish Russia’s electrification.

2. What influence will the Allies’ decision to cease offensive action have on the offensive actions of the Soviet power?

The Allies, together with their allies and their lackeys—Kolchak, Denikin, and the capitalists of the surrounding countries—have attacked us. We did not attack anyone. We concluded peace with Estonia even at the cost of material sacrifices.

We are impatiently waiting to see the Allies’ “decision” supported by their deeds, but the story of the Versailles Peace and of its consequences, unfortunately, indicates that in most cases the Allies’ words disagree with their deeds and the decisions remain scraps of paper.

3. Is the present status quo satisfactory from the standpoint of Soviet policy?

Yes, because every status quo in politics is a transition from old forms to new ones. The present status quo is, from many points of view, a transition from war to peace. Such a change is desirable to us for this reason, and insofar do we consider the status quo satisfactory.

4. What are our aims in connection with the cessation of hostilities on the part of the Allies?

Our aims, as already mentioned, are peaceful economic building. A detailed plan of it, on the basis of electrification, is being at present worked out by a committee of scientists and technicians—or rather, by a number of committees—in accordance with the resolution of the February (1920) session of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee.