V. I.   Lenin



Written: Written on November 19, 1920
Published: First published in 1959 in Lenin Miscellany XXXVI. Printed from the original.
Source: Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, 1976, Moscow, Volume 45, page 54b.
Translated: Yuri Sdobnikov
Transcription\Markup: R. Cymbala
Public Domain: Lenin Internet Archive You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit “Marxists Internet Archive” as your source.
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Comrade Chicherin,

The news from Britain, especially from Krasin (and extracts from the newspapers), and particularly the news that America will at once join (a trade agreement between Russia and Britain) raises the urgent and extremely important issue of a trade agreement with Britain.[2]

If it is a question of peace or war,[1] it should be tied in with Batum and Georgia.[3]

Then, on the question of debts, we should be absolutely sure that we are not made to pay.

If there is a trade agreement who will have the right to sign the final text? Krasin alone? or the Council of People’s Commissars?

This question must be urgently worked out in all its aspects.

With communist greetings,



[1] In the original the last three words are in English.—Ed.

[2] The Soviet Government concluded a trade agreement with Britain on March 16, 1921.

[3] A reference to the occupation of Batum Ivy British troops planned with the consent of the Georgian Menshevik government. On November 16, 1920, People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, G. V. Chicherin, sent a Note to the representative of the Georgian Menshevik government Makharadze and a radio telegram to the British Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, stating that the Soviet Government regarded the occupation of Batum as an attempt to start another war in the Caucasus and to create a direct threat to the security of the Soviet Republic. He drew attention to the possible dire consequences, the responsibility for which would fall entirely on the invaders and their accomplices.

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