NOTE FROM TROTSKY TO THE ALLIED AMBASSADORS ON THE
NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE CENTRAL POWERS
6 December 1917
Trotsky, iii, 2, p. 192
The negotiations being conducted between the delegates of Germany, Austria-Hungary, Turkey, and Bulgaria on the one hand, and the delegates of Russia on the other, have been suspended at the request of our delegation for one week in order to provide an opportunity of informing the peoples and Governments of the Allied countries of the fact of the negotiations and of the course they have taken.
On the Russian side it is proposed:
1.To proclaim that the proposed armistice has for its aim a peace on a democratic basis on the lines formulated in the manifesto of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies;
2.That as a condition of the armistice no troops are to be transferred from one front to another;
3. That the Moon Islands be evacuated.
With regard to war aims, the delegates of the opposing side declined to give a definite reply, stating that they had been instructed to deal only with the military side of the armistice. On the question of a general armistice also, the delegates of the opposing side claimed that they had no authority to consider the question of an armistice with countries whose delegates were not taking part in the negotiations.
On their part the delegates of the opposing side put forward terms for an armistice on the front from the Baltic to the Black Sea, to last for twenty-eight days. They also undertook to transmit to their Governments the Russian delegation's proposal for an immediate address to all belligerent countries, that is to all Allied countries besides Russia, inviting them to take part in the negotiations.
Since our delegation refused to sign a formal armistice in the present stage of negotiations, it was once more agreed to cease hostilities for a week and to suspend negotiations for the same period.
Thus, between the Soviet Government's first decree on peace (26 October) [8 November] and the time when the peace negotiations will be resumed (29 November) [12 December], more than a month will have passed. This time limit, even with the present disorganized means of international communication, is considered quite sufficient to give the Governments of the Allied countries an opportunity to define their attitude to the peace negotiations-that is, to express their readiness or their refusal to take part in the negotiations for an armistice and peace, and in the case of a refusal to state openly before all mankind, clearly, exactly, and definitely, in the name of what aims must the peoples of Europe shed their blood in the fourth year of war.
Documents on Soviet Foreign Policy
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