The statement by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland

November 1st, 1939

In connection with the speech yesterday in Moscow by Soviet Commissar for Foreign Affairs Molotov, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland gives the following statement:

The Soviet Union has announced that it wants to discuss with Finland about the issues mentioned by the Commissar for Foreign Affairs Molotov in his speech. By disclosing the Soviet position now, at a time when the Finnish delegation has just left Helsinki to give the answer of the Finnish government to the government of the Soviet Union, Commissar Molotov has created a new situation. Until now the discussions have been confidential and Finland, sovereignty and without any prejudices, without any influence of a foreign power, has tried to find a solution to the presented questions, however difficult they are due to Finland's policy of neutrality. At the same time Finland has also wanted to consider the efforts of the Soviet Union to enhance the security of Leningrad, however without endangering its own security.

It is premature to say anything about whether the statement by Commissar Molotov will in any way affect the position adopted by the Finnish government. In any case, this statement presented has already caused a situation, in which there will be an obvious delay in the continuation of the negotiations.

Referring to the fact that Commissar Molotov has stated in his speech that the Soviet Union has the right and duty to use effective measures aimed for protecting its security in the Gulf of Finland and on the border close to Leningrad, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland points out that in the non-aggression pact it concluded with Finland in 1932, the Soviet Union has committed itself to respect the borders, agreed in the Tartu Peace Treaty between Finland and the Soviet Union, and to resolve all disagreements between these countries by peaceful way. Finland wants to trust that the Soviet Union will respect this pact, the validity of which was extended until the end of 1945 by the agreement between Finland and the Soviet Union in 1934.