Chicherin to German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
on failure of Germany to abide by the treaty of Brest-Litovsk

26 April, 1918
US Foreign Policy, Vol. I (Summers No. 451)

    Relations which should exist between the Russian Soviet Republic and the German Empire were established by Brest peace. Russian treaty from their side, and in this way to secure for our people the chief aim of this treaty, a state of peace. But in reality no such state of peace exists. In south of Russian Republic there is further advance northwards of German troops and detachments of Ukrainians. They are advancing upon Kursk and Voronezh territory undoubtedly Great Russian. They have crossed into the Crimean Peninsula. That frontier line which was one-sidely established by the Ukrainian Rada itself and officially made known to us by the German Government has been infringed by German and Ukrainian troops. Simultaneously in the north of Finland Russian military property is being seized by White Gaurd detachments operating in agreement with German landing detachments and under direct instruction from German General Staff. In order to fulfil* the Brest treaty which is the legal basis for the relations between Germany and Russia the Soviet government has officially declared its readiness to open immediate negotiations with the Ukranian Central Rada. No answer, however, has come from this government which is now directed by Germany. German Government having likewise proposed question of peace treaty has in no way given any answer to our offer to open peace negotiations. Instead of this the advance of German-Ukrainian troops against Russia continues as has already been pointed out. Owing to such circumstances the Soviet government considers itself compelled to mobilize all necessary forces in order to secure the freedom and independence of the Russian Republic which is now menaced beyond the limits established by the Brest treaty. To-day when the German Ambassador was presenting his credentials to the Russian Government the Soviet government expressed its assurance that he will undertake by all possible measures to make government declare defintely whether it considers the conditions of the Brest treaty as remaining in force. If so what measures it means to take to stop the above-mentioned military operations openly threatening the peace treaty between Russia and Germany.

    If the German Government considers it impossible to maintain these conditions ratified by both the treating governments, it is absolutley necessary to establish with precision what are the exact new demands in the name of which the German Government directs Ukrainian, Finnish and German troops against the Russian Soviet government. A precise and clear answer to these questions is absolutely necessary and the Russian Government expressed its hope that the answer will be such as to create a possible basis for peace so fervently desired by the working classes of Russia, whose most cherished aspiration is peace among all nations.


Documents on Soviet Foreign Policy

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