1 March 1918
Mirnye Peregovy, p. 223

    The Russian delegation wish to make the following statement:

    The peace about to be concluded is not the fruit of agreement between the two sides. This peace, I repeat, is dictated to us at the point of the sword. We have no opportunity of examining the terms of this peace. It is clear to all that the three-day limit left to us in fact provides no possibility of subjecting the terms offered to a thorough scrutiny. At the same time, Germany is continuing its offensive operations against Russia. That being so, peace is being concluded in unprecedented circumstances, in an unparalleled atmosphere of violence. Since Russia has demobilized and since for its part it has ceased to wage war, the Russian delegation consider that the only dignified way out of this situation is to accept the conditions of peace in the form in which they are put forward.

    The Russian delegation are of the opinion that the elucidation of all questions connected with the peace treaty should be postponed until it is possible to undertake this through diplomatic channels and by means of special commissions. Therefore the Russian delegation have no intention of putting off the moment of signature of the peace treaty, and, for their part, they are ready, under the plenipotentiary powers conferred on them, to accept the conditions of peace and to sign them, as soon as it is practicable.

    The Russian delegation would welcome the opportunity of signing the peace treaty even as early as tomorrow. I propose that we start immediately to consider the form of signature of the peace treaty, and also come to an agreement upon the time of its signature.

Documents on Soviet Foreign Policy

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