RESOLUTION OF THE FOURTH ALL-RUSSIAN (EXTRAORDINARY) SOVIET CONGRESS
RATIFYING THE TREATY OF BREST-LITOVSK
15 March 1918
Lenin (i), xv, p. 183
The Congress ratifies the treaty of peace concluded by our representatives at Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918.
The Congress approves the action of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars in concluding this incredibly oppressive, coercive, and humiliating peace, because we have no army and because of the extreme exhaustion of the people, who received no support from the bourgeoisie and the bourgeois intelligentsia; these latter indeed exploited the situation for rapacious class purposes.
The Congress also unconditionally approves the action of the peace delegation in refusing to discuss the details of the terms of peace proposed by the Germans, since these conditions were imposed on us as an ultimatum and with undisguised violence.
In the most emphatic manner the Congress puts before all workers, soldiers, and peasants, all the labouring and oppressed masses, the most vitally urgent and essential task of the present moment: to improve the activity and self-discipline of the workers, to create everywhere strong and well-ordered organizations to embrace, as far as possible, the entire production and distribution of goods, to conduct a merciless struggle against the chaos, disorganization, and devastation, which were the historically unavoidable consequence of the most cruel war, but which are at the same time the greatest obstacle to the final victory of socialism and the consolidation of the foundations of a socialist society.
Now, after the October revolution, after the downfall of the political power of the bourgeoisie in Russia, after we have torn up and published all the secret imperialist treaties, after the cancellation of foreign loans, after the offer by the workers' and peas~tnts' Government of a just peace to all peoples without exception, Russia, having pulled itself out of the clutches of the imperialist war, has the right to declare that it will not take part in the plunder and subjection of foreign countries.
The Russian Soviet Federal Republic, unanimously condemning henceforth all wars of plunder, recognizes its right and its duty to defend the socialist fatherland against any possible attack on the part of any Imperialist Power.
The Congress therefore recognizes it as the unconditional duty of the working masses to exert all their forces to re-establish and to increase the capacity of our country to defend itself, to re-create its military power on the basis of a socialist militia and the universal training of all youths and adult citizens of both sexes in military knowledge and military affairs.
The Congress expresses its unshakeable conviction that the Soviet Government, which has steadfastly carried out all the obligations of international solidarity with the workers of all countries in their struggle against capitalism for socialism, will in the future too do everything in our power to help the international movement, to guard and to proceed more rapidly along the road leading mankind to deliverance from the yoke of capital and from bond slavery, to the creation of socialist society and an enduring and just peace between peoples.
The Congress is most deeply convinced that the international workers' revolution is close at hand, and that the complete triumph of the socialist proletariat is assured, notwithstanding that the imperialists of all countries will not hesitate to use the most barbarous means to suppress the socialist movement.
Documents on Soviet Foreign Policy
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