Foreign Office Memorandum; June 11, 1940
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Frames 219495-219496, serial 432

BERLIN, June 11, 1940


The Lithuanian Minister called on me today to inform me of the further progress of the discussions with the Soviet Union. After the Soviet Union had raised the question of the safety of the Soviet garrisons in Lithuania and had rejected the suggestion for a mixed commission to investigate the incidents, the Lithuanian Government had of its own accord taken a series of measures which it thought would satisfy the Soviet Union. It might perhaps be admitted that relations between the Soviet garrisons and the Lithuanian population had earlier been treated too casually. Restrictive and control measures had now been taken, and many arrests and house searches made, etc. It was known that no reply was received to the Lithuanian suggestion of sending the Foreign Minister to Moscow. It was, therefore, all the more surprising that not the Foreign Minister but Minister President Merkys was summoned to Moscow.

On June 7 Merkys had had his first conversation with Molotov. The latter had reproached him severely regarding the safety of the Soviet garrisons and in this connection presented a great many detailed incidents. Molotov had in particular maintained persistently that Butayeff, a member of the Red Army, who according to Lithuanian reports had committed suicide, had been shut by Lithuanians. He had expressed his dissatisfaction very plainly and stressed that the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior was not equal to its task.

In a subsequent conversation on June 9, Molotov had brought up questions of foreign policy, which had increased Lithuanian fears regarding the course of the conversations. Molotov had maintained that a military alliance existed between the three Baltic States and as proof had referred to the frequent meetings of the chiefs of staff of the three countries and to other frequent conferences between Baltic personalities. Merkys had replied that there existed neither secret nor open agreements which could violate the letter or the spirit of the Agreement of October 10, 1939. There was the old political treaty between the Baltic States but no military alliance. Merkys had then himself expressed the wish to invite the Foreign Minister to the conversations. The latter had arrived in Moscow yesterday afternoon. Herr Skirpa had not yet received any more recent reports. From the standpoint of protocol, everything had taken place in very polite form.

The Lithuanian Government still did not know what the intentions of the Soviet Union might be. The Lithuanian Government was prepared to do even more for the safety of the garrisons than it had done so far. If the Soviet Union now made broader political or military demands, the Lithuanian Government could not take the responsibility for their acceptance. Thus far, the subject of Lithuania's relations with Germany had not been discussed during the foreign policy conversations. However, it was no doubt to be expected that the Soviet Union would raise questions in this respect, too. Here I interjected that there was nothing in German-Lithuanian relations which was not or should not be known by the Soviet Union.

Herr Skirpa asked whether we had not instructed our Ambassador in Moscow to make inquiries. I replied in the negative and avoided further discussion of the matter with the remark that our Ambassador would certainly make a report of his own accord.


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