Foreign Office Memorandum : (May 29, 1939)
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Foreign Office Memorandum

I suggest that the request of the Soviet Embassy in Berlin for permission for the further maintenance of the Soviet Russian commercial agency in Prague as a branch of the Russian commercial agency in Berlin be used as the occasion for the following statement, to be made by Herr von Weizsacker to the Russian representative in Berlin.

1. The question of the continued maintenance of the Russian commercial agency in Prague is one of principle. For that reason the Minister believed that in this matter he could not make a decision on his own responsibility and presented the matter to the Fuhrer.

2. The German Reich Government would like to know whether the Soviet Government wishes to consider the maintenance of its commercial agency in Prague on a permanent basis or whether it has only a limited period in mind. What, in the latter case, would be the time limit

3. It is not easy for the German Reich Government, under the present circumstances, to consent at all to the maintenance of this Russian commercial agency, even as a branch of the Berlin Office. To its last suggestion particularly, of taking up direct commercial negotiations with Moscow, it received an answer in Moscow from which it believes it must infer that the Soviet Government is at present very little interested in resuming and strengthening German-Russian commercial relations. There is, in addition, the development of the foreign policy of the Soviet Union, which also calls for caution on the part of the German Reich Government with respect to the examination and granting of special Soviet Russian wishes, such as in this case of the Prague commercial agency. For the Reich Government has no doubt that Russia seems to be inclined actively to support the British policy of encirclement directed against Germany. The Reich Government, therefore, for its part, too, in its own understandable interest, considers a clarification of this development as the necessary condition for the granting of special concessions. But above all, as stressed in point 2, it would be important to know for how long, under those circumstances, the Soviet Government requests permission for the continuance of its commercial agency in Prague.

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