The Reich Foreign Minister to the German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg)
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BERLIN, October 7, 1939.

No. 518

I am receiving reliable reports from Istanbul to the effect that Russo-Turkish negotiations might yet lead to the signing of a mutual assistance pact. Hence I request you to call on Herr Molotov immediately and to emphasize strongly once more how much we would regret it if the Soviet Government were unable to dissuade Turkey from concluding a treaty with England and France or to induce her to adopt all unequivocal neutrality. In the event that the Soviet Government itself cannot avoid concluding a mutual assistance pact with Turkey, we would regard it as a foregone conclusion that she would make a reservation in the pact whereby the pact would not obligate the Soviet Government to any kind of assistance aimed directly or indirectly against Germany. Indeed, Stalin himself promised this. Without such a reservation, the Soviet Government, as has been previously stressed, would commit an outright breach of the Non-aggression Pact concluded with Germany. It would, moreover, not suffice to make this reservation only tacitly or confidentially. On the contrary, we must insist that it be formally stipulated in such a manner that the public will notice it. Otherwise a very undesirable impression would be created on the public, and such an act would be apt to shake the confidence of the German public in the effectiveness of the new German-Russian agreements.

Please take this opportunity to inform yourself on the other details concerning the status of the Russo-Turkish negotiations and to find out what is to be agreed upon between the two Governments in regard to the question of the Straits.

Report by wire.

Reich Foreign Minister

Note: I communicated the contents of this instruction to Count Schulenburg this afternoon by telephone. The transmission was very good. Count Schulenburg said he had just come from Molotov, who had told him that he had not talked with the Turkish delegation since Sunday. Hence our warning certainly arrived in time. I replied that Count Schulenburg should nevertheless lose no time, as it was a matter of decisive importance, and the reports received here pointed to a rather advanced stage in the negotiations. Accordingly, Count Schulenburg is to call on Molotov again tomorrow morning.

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