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DISCOURS DU SECRÉTAIRE GÉNÉRAL DU PC SOVIÉTIQUE SUR LE TRAITÉ FINNO-SOVIÉTIQUE



Date: 7 avril 1948

Le 6 avril 1948, la Finlande et l'Union soviétique (URSS) signent un traité visant à «développer des relations d'amitié, de bon voisinage et de coopération» dans leur intérêt mutuel. D'une part, le traité protège l'URSS contre d'éventuelles agressions en provenance de la frontière finlandaise. De l'autre, il assure à la Finlande le respect de son indépendance par les Soviétiques. Le traité prévoit aussi des liens économiques et culturels accrus. Le 7 avril, le leader soviétique Joseph Staline prononce un discours célébrant cette entente lors d'une réception en l'honneur de la délégation finlandaise.

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I should like to say a few words about the significance of the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance signed yesterday between the Soviet Union and Finland.

This Treaty signifies a turn in the relations between our countries. IL is known that in the course of 150 years, relations between Russia and Finland were marked by mutual mistrust. The Finns mistrusted the Russians, while the Russians mistrusted the Finns.

In the past the Soviet side made an attempt to break the mistrust which existed between the Russians and the Finns. This happened when Lenin proclaimed the independence of Finland in 1917. This was an outstanding act from the viewpoint of history. Unfortunately, however, this failed to break the mistrust; the mistrust remained mistrust. As a result there were two wars between us.

My wish is that from the lengthy period of mutual mistrust, in the course of which we fought each other twice, we should pass to a new period in our relations -a period of mutual trust. It is necessary that the Treaty we have concluded should break this mistrust and create a new basis for the relations between our peoples, and that it should signify an important turn in the relations between the two countries in the direction of trust and friendship.

We wish this to be well understood, not only by those present in this hall, but also by those who are outside of this hall, both in Finland and in the Soviet Union.

We should not think that mistrust between peoples can be liquidated at once. You cannot accomplish this quickly. The survivals of mistrust, its wake, remain for a long time, and to liquidate them we should work much and struggle to form traditions of mutual friendship between the USSR and Finland and to make these traditions enduring.

There are equal and unequal treaties. The Soviet-Finnish Treaty is an equal Treaty, for it has been concluded on the basis of complete equality of the parties.

Many people do not believe that relations between a big nation and a small nation can be equal. But we Soviet people hold that such relations can and must exist. Soviet people hold that each nation - whether big or small - has its own qualitative peculiarities, its specific nature, which belong only to it and which other nations lack. These peculiar features form the contribution which each nation makes to the common treasury of world culture and which supplements and enriches it. In this sense all nations—big and small—are in a similar position, and each nation is equivalent to every other nation.

For this reason Soviet people hold that although Finland is a small country, she comes out in this Treaty as an equal of the Soviet Union.

Not many politicians can be found in the great Powers who would regard the small nations as being equal to the big nations. The majority of them look down, from above, on the small nations. Sometimes they are not averse to giving a unilateral guarantee to the small nations. But, generally speaking, these politicians do not agree to conclude equal treaties with small nations since they do not treat small nations as their partners.

I raise my glass to the Soviet-Finnish Treaty, to that turn for the better in the relations between our countries which this Treaty signifies. Extrait du Soviet News du 14 avril 1948


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