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The Ambassador of the United States of America presents his compliments to the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and, with reference to the Ministry's note of April 21(2) regarding the lost American airplane has the honor to communicate the following:
The Government of the United States of America notes that the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics continues to refer to an American airplane of the B-29 type, which allegedly penetrated Soviet territory on April 8, despite the fact that it has been made clear that the only American military airplane in the Baltic area on April 8 was a United States Navy airplane of the Privateer type. The United States Government reiterates that this United States Navy airplane was unarmed and was at no time over Soviet or Soviet-occupied territory or territorial waters. It is thus apparent that the Soviet Government's account of this incident is not factual. The reply of the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United States Government's communication of April 18 makes it obvious that the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics continues to base its position on the erroneous account which it put forward shortly after the incident occurred and that it has failed to carry out the careful investigation suggested by the Government of the United States which would enable it to correct these errors.
The United States Government categorically denies that the American airplane violated Soviet or Soviet-occupied territory and rejects as wholly without foundation the protest contained in the last paragraph of the note of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of April 21.
In these circumstances, the Government of the United States has no alternative but to conclude that the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics has not only failed to meet but has no intention of meeting the obligations which international law and practice impose on members of the family of nations. It is clear that this disregard for law, custom, and the opinion of mankind constitutes a further obstacle to the establishment of harmonious relations among nations and cannot be reconciled with the Soviet Government's continued protestations of its devotion to the cause of peace.
It is clearly impossible to resolve this issue so long as the Soviet Government refuses to base its position upon the facts of the case. The Soviet Government must, however, bear the responsibility both for the action of its Air Force and for the manner with which it has dealt with this incident. The Government of the United States must warn the Government of the [Union of] Soviet Socialist Republics of the seriousness with which it regards the attitude of the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in matters of such grave consequence.
American Foreign Policy 1950-1955
Basic Documents Volumes I and II
Department of State Publication 6446
General Foreign Policy Series 117
Washington, DC : U.S. Government Printing Office, 1957