The German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office
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Moscow, August 19, 1939.

No. 189 of August 19

Supplementing my telegram No. 187 of August 19.

In my first conversation of today with Molotov-which began at 2 o'clock and lasted an hour-after having made the communications I had been charged with, I repeatedly tried to convince M. of the fact that a visit of the Reich Foreign Minister to Moscow was the only way of achieving the speed that was urgently called for because of the political situation. M. acknowledged the positive importance of the proposed trip, stressed the fact that the Soviet Government understood and esteemed the underlying purpose, but persisted in his opinion that for the present it was not possible even approximately to fix the time of the journey since it required thorough preparation. This applied both to the non-aggression pact and to the contents of the protocol to be concluded simultaneously. The German draft of the non-aggression pact was by no means exhaustive. The Soviet Government desired that one of the many non-aggression pacts that the Soviet Government had concluded with other countries (for example with Poland, Latvia, Estonia, etc.) should serve as a model for the non-aggression pact with Germany. He left it to the German Government to choose from among them the one that seemed suitable. Further, the content of the protocol was a very serious question and the Soviet Government expected the German Government to state more specifically what points were to be covered in the protocol. The attitude of the Soviet Government toward treaties which it concludes was a very serious one; it respected the obligations which it undertook and expected the same of its treaty partners.

To the reasons I repeatedly and very emphatically advanced for the need for haste, M. rejoined that so far not even the first step-the closing of the economic agreements-had been taken. First of all, the economic agreement had to be signed and proclaimed and put into effect. Then would come the turn of the non-aggression pact and protocol.

M. remained apparently unaffected by my protests, so that the first conversation closed with a declaration on the part of M. that he had imparted to me the views of the Soviet Government and had nothing to add to them.

Hardly half an hour after the close of the conversation, M. sent me word, asking me to call on him again at the Kremlin at 4:30 p. m.

He apologized for putting me to the trouble and explained that he had reported to the Soviet Government and was authorized to hand me a draft of the non-aggression pact. As far as the Reich Foreign Minister's trip was concerned, the Soviet Government agreed to Herr von Ribbentrop's coming to Moscow about a week after proclamation of the signing of the economic agreement. Thus, if this proclamation takes place tomorrow, Herr won Ribbentrop might arrive in Moscow on August 26 or 27. M. did not give reasons for his sudden change of mind. I assume that Stalin intervened. My effort to get M. to accept an earlier date for the Reich Foreign Minister's trip was, unfortunately, unsuccessful.

The text of the non-aggression pact draft will follow by wire.


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