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The Relations Between the U.S.S.R. and the Capitalist States

3. The Relations Between the U.S.S.R. and the Capitalist States

It is easy to understand how difficult it has been for the U.S.S.R. to pursue its peace policy in this atmosphere poisoned with the miasma of war schemes.

In the midst of this eve-of-war frenzy which has affected a number of countries, the U.S.S.R. during these years has stood firmly and unshakably by its position of peace: fighting against the menace of war; fighting to preserve peace; meeting half-way those countries which in one way or another stand for the preservation of peace; exposing and tearing the masks from those who are preparing for and provoking war.

What did the U.S.S.R. rely on in this difficult and complicated struggle for peace?

a) On its growing economic and political might.

b) On the moral support of the vast masses of the working class of all countries, who are vitally interested in the preservation of peace.

c) On the prudence of those countries which for one motive or another are not interested in disturbing the peace, and which want to develop trade relations with such a punctual client as the U.S.S.R.

d) Finally — on our glorious army, which stands ready to defend our country against assaults from without.

It was on this basis that we began our campaign for the conclusion with neighboring states of pacts of non-aggression and of pacts defining aggression. You know that this campaign has been successful. As you know, pacts of non-aggression have been concluded not only with the majority of our neighbors in the West and in the South, including Finland and Poland, but also with such countries as France and Italy; and pacts defining aggression have been concluded with those same neighboring states, including the Little Entente. 6

On the same basis the friendship between the U.S.S.R. and Turkey has been consolidated; relations between the U.S.S.R. and Italy have improved and have indisputably become satisfactory; relations with France, Poland and other Baltic states have improved; relations have been restored with the U.S.A., China, etc.

Of the many facts reflecting the successes of the peace policy of the U.S.S.R. two facts of indisputably material significance should be noted and singled out.

1) I have in mind, firstly, the change for the better that has taken place recently in the relations between the U.S.S.R. and Poland and between the U.S.S.R. and France. In the past, as you know, our relations with Poland were not at all good. Representatives of our state were assassinated in Poland. Poland regarded itself as the barrier of the Western states against the U.S.S.R. All the various imperialists counted on Poland as their advanced detachment in the event of a military attack on the U.S.S.R. The relations between the U.S.S.R. and France were no better. We need only recall the facts relating to the trial of the Ramzin group of wreckers in Moscow to bring to mind a picture of the relations between the U.S.S.R. and France. But now those undesirable relations are gradually beginning to disappear. They are giving way to other relations, which can only be called relations of rapprochement.

The point is not merely that we have concluded pacts of non-aggression with these countries, although the pacts in themselves are of very great importance. The point is, primarily, that the atmosphere of mutual distrust is beginning to be dissipated. This does not mean, of course, that the incipient process of rapprochement can be regarded as sufficiently stable and as guaranteeing ultimate success. Surprises and zigzags in policy, for example in Poland, where anti-Soviet sentiments are still strong, can as yet by no means be regarded as out of the question. But the change for the better in our relations, irrespective of its results in the future, is a fact worthy of being noted and emphasized as a factor in the advancement of the cause of peace.

What is the cause of this change? What stimulates it?

Primarily, the growth of the strength and might of the U.S.S.R.

In our times it is not the custom to take any account of the weak—only the strong are taken into account. Furthermore, there have been some changes in the policy of Germany which reflect the growth of revanchist and imperialist sentiments in Germany.

In this connection some German politicians say that the U.S.S.R. has now taken an orientation towards France and Poland; that from an opponent of the Versailles Treaty it has become a supporter of it, and that this change is to be explained by the establishment of the fascist regime in Germany. That is not true. Of course, we are far from being enthusiastic about the fascist regime in Germany. But it is not a question of fascism here, if only for the reason that fascism in Italy, for example, has not prevented the U.S.S.R. from establishing the best relations with that country. Nor is it a question of any alleged change in our attitude towards the Versailles Treaty. It is not for us, who have experienced the shame of Brest Peace, to sing the praises of the Versailles Treaty. We merely do not agree to the world being flung into the abyss of a new war on account of that treaty. The same must be said of the alleged new orientation taken by the U.S.S.R. We never had any orientation towards Germany, nor have we any orientation towards Poland and France. Our orientation in the past and our orientation at the present time is towards the U.S.S.R., and towards the U.S.S.R. alone. (Stormy applause.) And if the interests of the U.S.S.R. demand rapprochement with one country or another which is not interested in disturbing peace, we adopt this course without hesitation.

No, that is not the point. The point is that Germany's policy has changed. The point is that even before the present German politicians came to power, and particularly after they came to power, a contest began in Germany between two political lines: between the old policy, which was reflected in the treaties between the U.S.S.R. and Germany, and the "new" policy, which, in the main, recalls the policy of the former German Kaiser, who at one time occupied the Ukraine and marched against Leningrad, after converting the Baltic countries into a place d'armes for this march; and this "new" policy is obviously gaining the upper hand over the old policy. The fact that the advocates of the "new" policy are gaining supremacy in all things, while the supporters of the old policy are in disfavour, cannot be regarded as an accident. Nor can the well-known statement made by Hugenberg in London, and the equally well-known declarations of Rosenberg, who directs the foreign policy of the ruling party in Germany, be regarded as accidents. That is the point, comrades.

2) I have in mind, secondly, the restoration of normal relations between the U.S.S.R. and the United States of America. There cannot be any doubt that this act is of very great significance for the whole system of international relations. The point is not only that it improves the chances of preserving peace, improves the relations between the two countries, strengthens trade connections between them and creates a basis for mutual collaboration. The point is that it forms a landmark between the old position, when in various countries the U.S.A. was regarded as the bulwark for all sorts of anti-Soviet trends, and the new position, when that bulwark has been voluntarily removed, to the mutual advantage of both countries.

Such are the two main facts which reflect the successes of the Soviet policy of peace.

It would be wrong, however, to think that everything went smoothly in the period under review. No, not everything went smoothly, by a long way.

Recall, say, the pressure that was brought to bear upon us by Britain, the embargo on our exports, the attempt to interfere in our internal affairs and to use this as a probe—to test our power of resistance. True, nothing came of this attempt, and later the embargo was lifted; but the unpleasant after effect of these sallies still makes itself felt in everything connected with the relations between Britain and the U.S.S.R., including the negotiations for a commercial treaty. And these sallies against the U.S.S.R. must not be regarded as accidental. It is well known that a certain section of the British Conservatives cannot live without such sallies. And precisely because they are not accidental, we must reckon that in the future, too, sallies will be made against the U.S.S.R., all sorts of menaces will be created, attempts will be undertaken to damage the U.S.S.R., etc.

Nor must we lose sight of the relations between the U.S.S.R. and Japan, which stand in need of considerable improvement. Japan's refusal to conclude a pact of non-aggression, of which Japan stands in no less need than the U.S.S.R., once again emphasizes the fact that all is not well in the sphere of our relations. The same must be said of the rupture of negotiations concerning the Chinese-Eastern Railway, due to no fault of the U.S.S.R.; and also, of the outrageous actions of the Japanese agents on the Chinese-Eastern Railway, the illegal arrests of Soviet employees on the Chinese-Eastern Railway, etc. That is apart from the fact that one section of the military in Japan, with the obvious approval of another section of the military, is openly advocating in the press the necessity for a war against the U.S.S.R. and the seizure of the Maritime Region; while the Japanese Government, instead of calling these instigators of war to order, pretends that the matter is no concern of its. It is not difficult to understand that such circumstances cannot but create an atmosphere of uneasiness and uncertainty. Of course, we shall persistently continue to pursue a policy of peace and strive for an improvement in our relations with Japan, because we want to improve these relations. But it does not depend entirely upon us. That is why we must at the same time take all measures to guard our country against surprises and be prepared to defend it against attack. (Stormy applause.)

As you see, alongside the successes in our peace policy there are also a number of unfavourable features.

Such is the external situation of the U.S.S.R.

Our foreign policy is clear. It is a policy of preserving peace and strengthening trade relations with all countries. The U.S.S.R. does not think of threatening anybody—let alone of attacking anybody. We stand for peace and uphold the cause of peace. But we are not afraid of threats and are prepared to answer the instigators of war blow for blow. (Stormy applause.) Those who want peace and seek business relations with us will always have our support. But those who try to attack our country will receive a crushing repulse to teach them in future not to poke their pig snouts into our Soviet garden. (Thunderous applause.)

Such is our foreign policy. (Thunderous applause.)

The task is to continue to implement this policy with unflagging perseverance and consistency.

The Continuing Progress of the National Economy and the Internal Situation in the U.S.S.R.
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