Memorandum of the II All-Karelian Congress of Soviets in response to the memorandum attached to the note issued by the Finnish government on August 26, 1921
1. It is incorrect to say that during the 1st All-Karelian Congress of Soviets on 11-19 February the Presidium was the sole acting factor and author of all the resolutions. The discussion was extremely broad, the draft resolutions proposed by the speakers received numerous amendments from the Congress delegates and were only put to the vote by the Presidium.
2. It is a complete fabrication to say that the resolutions of this Congress were dispatched to the localities before the Congress began. Even draft resolutions were not sent to the localities.
3. It is a provocation to say that special local needs are not taken into account in Karelia and that the result is the complete destruction and collapse of the economic life of Karelia. All the needs of autonomous Karelia are discussed in detail by the Congresses of Soviets and implemented by Executive Committees. If Karelia is still poor and the economy is not very well developed, it is primarily the fault of white Finland, which took part in the economic blockade of the RSFSR and the armed raids against Karelia.
4. It is false to say that the rights of refugees returning from Finland to Karelia have been curtailed and that a number of established return conditions are illegal. The Tartu peace treaty is enforced by Karelia and returning refugees have the same rights as other citizens of the Commune. As a corollary to the Tartu treaty, the procedure of legal return is regulated in detail by the agreement between the Karelian Executive Committee and the delegation of refugees from Finland, concluded on March 1-3, 1921, which was recognized by the representatives of the refugees as quite satisfactory. If the condition of return is the pledge to stop the armed struggle against the Commune and to recognize the Soviet system, established by the plenipotentiary Congresses of Karelia, then no one government allows into the country active supporters of changing the existing political system.
5. it doesn't correspond to the facts to say that, as a general rule, the property of refugees is confiscated. On the contrary, refugees are given every possible help and individual misunderstandings are being resolved.
6. Only provocative white Finnish espionage in Karelia could give the Finnish government materials about illegal arrests and even about executions of refugees. In the Kemsky uezd, a citizen of Tähti, who had fled from the convoy, was indeed killed; in the Olonetsky uezd – there's no mention in the memorandum – spies Veshkalsky and Nazarov, who appeared with counter-revolutionary proclamations, makeup and weapons, were executed. There have been arrests, but they're legal, and any complaints of illegality are investigated.
7. Regarding Rebolskaya and Porosozerskaya volosts:
a) It is incorrect to say that Karelia has not complied with Article 11 of the peace treaty on full amnesty to the residents of these volosts. The arrests of the residents mentioned in the memorandum took place mainly for criminal offences: Pekka Saavanen – for wasting public food and money, Fedor Nechaev – for wasting money, Mikko Romanainen – for not carrying out government orders, etc. Political crimes, committed before the Tartu Treaty was concluded, were amnestied; even former executioners who publicly shot workers and activists of the Soviet power are free.
b) It is incorrect to say that there is a violation of paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the peace treaty on the militia of these volosts, which, according to the memorandum, was disarmed, partially arrested and the rest fled to Finland. Indeed, in view of the full clarity of paragraph 2 of Article 11 of the peace treaty, the militia of these volosts was disarmed as being financed not by the local population, but by the White Finnish foreign union “Karjalan Litto” – proof – paragraph 38 of the Protocol of the Porosozero Local Self-Government Council dated March 10-14, 1921, but received weapons and equipment from Finland with the consent and assistance of the Finnish Government, as confirmed by the Minister of Internal Affairs Ritavuori. The peace treaty does not give Finland the right to organize armed detachments in the territory of Karelia, even under the name of the militia. None of the disarmed militiamen was arrested for serving in the militia. Were arrested of them: Fomin – for organizing an armed uprising, Romanov – for espionage, Orehov – for threatening the authorities. The now working militia is elected by the volost delegate assemblies of these volosts and is financed by the central authorities of the Karelian Commune.
c) The peace treaty did not provide for a special form of government for these volosts and after the disarmament of the financed by Finland militia the population without any compulsion elected the Soviets.
d) No seizure of property of the residents.
e) There is no prohibition for citizens of volosts to legally move out of Karelia. The border is closed to private crossing due to the unresolved passport problem.
f) It is wrong to accuse of not carrying out the statement of the Russian delegation in Tartu about the restriction of the entry of armed forces into these volosts to a small guard detachment. Armed people for customs and border services were brought in these volosts due to the increased activity of the white Finnish agents on the border.
g) Members of Local Self-Governments were not expelled, but moved to Finland themselves, taking most of the volost’s money.