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April 5, 1918
In accordance with the German-Russian Treaty of Peace and in order to clarify the status of the Baltic Fleet in Helsingfors when this city will occupied by German military troops, and also in order to prevent whenever possible any outbreak of hostile actions or any destruction by some incautious actions, the German Naval Commander in Hangö notifies the Commander of the Russian Fleet in Helsingfors in response to his question, expressed through a Commission of the Baltic Fleet, after a meeting with this Commission and in agreement with it, the following:
The Russian Fleet, stationed in Helsingfors, and its personnel are provided a complete safety and protection in accordance of the following conditions:
1. From moment of the arrival of the returning to Helsingfors members of the Commission, no damage should be carried out either to military and merchant ships, or to port structures and coastal fortresses.
2. After the arrival of the German military forces, a small protective squads only can stay in the Russian warships (see par. 6). Coastal fortifications and naval structures are leaving by the Russians.
3. The locks and sights of all the cannons of all ships and coastal fortresses, as well as all torpedo heads, explosive cartridges, etc., shall be immediately gathered into barges and transports, which shall be anchored in the outer harbor. This gathering shall be finished in five days after the returning members of the Commission have left Hangö. The completion of this work shall be reported by radiotelegraph using a wave of 600 m to the address “WA” for the members of the Commission, who will stay with the German naval forces.
4. All squads, staying in the Russian warships, in accordance with paragraphs 6 and 7, will be transferred by the German Naval Commander to Russia in complete safety and with the full freedom and good food during the transferring. Immediately after the arrival of the German military forces, all the crews, not staying in Russian warships, are transferred to transports, which should be prepared by the Russian Naval Commander for this purpose now. Transports leave the harbor under German protection immediately after the embarkation of the crews.
5. Immediately after the arrival of the returning to Helsingfors members of the Commission, should begin the preparation to long-term conservation of Russian warships, in order to transfer its to the Russian protective squads, which then staying there. This action shall be taken urgently. It is expected that it will be completed no longer than 14 (fourteen) days.
6. Protective squads, including officers, cannot be larger than:
7. Crews, remaining in the ships along with the protective squads until the finish of preparation to long-term conservation, cannot be larger than double number of the protective squad, specified in paragraph 6.
8. As a signal that all the aforesaid actions have been or are being realizing and that the Russian Fleet and coastal fortresses intend to be complete neutrality, all Russian warships and coastal fortresses raise a white-red flag in a good visible place after approaching of the German military forces.
9. Due to the fact that the immediate returning to Helsingfors of all members of the Commission is not possible for military reasons; four members of the Commission stays in Hangö. Immediately after the occupation of Helsingfors, they will be allowed to return there.
Member of the Commission Captain 1st Rank Novopashenny, returning to Helsingfors now, gives his word of honor that neither he nor the commissar, who returning with him together, will not give anyone any information, which could harm for the German military forces.
10. When these aforesaid conditions are completed, in the Russian warships, staying in Helsingfors, the Russian military flag still keeping.
Meurer, Rear Admiral,
The above message was compiled on the basis of negotiations with us by the head of the negotiations, Captain-Lieutenant Kiep, the Staff Officer under the Admiral of the Baltic Sea Special Forces Detachment, and we accept as correct the text of this message.
Members of the Commission, sent by the Commander of the Russian Fleet in Helsingfors to Hangö: