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This afternoon I had a conversation with Molotov, who received me immediately after I had been announced. The conversation lasted over an hour and proceeded in a friendly manner.
I described to Molotov the impressions which I had gained from talk with influential personalities in Berlin, particularly with the Reich Foreign Minister. I pointed out that we would welcome a normalization of the relations between Germany and Soviet Russia, as the State Secretary had stated to the Soviet Chargé in Berlin. For this we had furnished a number of proofs, such as reserve in the German press, conclusion of the non-aggression treaties with the Baltic countries and desire for resumption of economic negotiations. From all this it was evident that Germany did not have any bad intentions toward the Soviet Union, particularly since the Berlin Treaty (1) was still in force. We, on the German side, would continue to take advantage of any opportunity to prove our goodwill. However, we had had no answer from the Soviet Union to the question of what Molotov meant in his last conversation with me by "creation of a new basis of our relationship" ["Schaffung einer Neuregelung der Basis"]. We also objected to the attitude of the Soviet press.
Molotov replied that he received my statements with satisfaction. The foreign policy of the Soviet Government was, in accordance with the pronouncements of its leaders, aimed at the cultivation of good relations with all countries, and this of course applied-provided there was reciprocity-to Germany too. He was gratified that in the opinion of the German Government the Berlin Treaty was still in force, particularly since the Soviet Government had had doubt about that. As to the question of the treaty negotiations for non-aggression pacts with the Baltic countries, Molotov remarked that Germany had concluded them in her own interest, and not out of love for the Soviet Union. He had to doubt the permanence of such treaties after the experience which Poland had had; to which I replied that Poland had herself caused the termination of the treaty by joining a combination hostile to us, which was irreconcilable with friendly relations to us.
Concerning the question of resuming economic negotiations Molotov referred to the last conversation between Mikoyan and Hilger. Molotov showed himself informed, approved the attitude of Mikoyan, and suggested that we give Mikoyan the desired information. After settlement of this question the trip to Moscow contemplated by Schnurre would perhaps prove useful.
My impression is that the Soviet Government is greatly interested in knowing our political views and in maintaining contact with us. Although a strong distrust was evident in everything that Molotov said, nevertheless he described normalization of relations with Germany as desirable and possible. Progress is to be seen also in the fact that Molotov, in connection with the resumption of economic negotiations, this time did not speak of prior creation of a political basis, but confined himself to Mikoyan's demand.
I request telegraphic instructions whether and in what form compliance should be given to Mikoyan's requests, presented also by Molotov.
(Cf. telegraphic reports No. 111 and 113 of the 20th and the 27th of this month.) (2)