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Digital Archive International History Declassified

August 27, 1950

LETTER FROM FILIPOV (STALIN) TO SOVIET AMBASSADOR IN PRAGUE, CONVEYING MESSAGE TO CSSR LEADER KLEMENT GOTTWALD

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    Stalin lists the reasons for the Soviet withdrawal from and the return to the United Nations Security Council.
    "Letter from Filipov (Stalin) to Soviet Ambassador in Prague, conveying message to CSSR leader Klement Gottwald" August 27, 1950, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Russian State Archive of Socio-Political History (RGASPI), fond 558, opis 11, delo 62, listy 71-72. Published in: Andrei Ledovskii, “Stalin, Mao Tsedunh I Koreiskaia Voina 1950-1953 godov,” Novaia I Noveishaia Istoriia, No. 5 (September-October 2005), 79-113. Translated for NKIDP by Gary Goldberg. http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112225
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Top Secret

Prague, Soviet Ambassador

Pass Gottwald the following message orally. Put it in writing if he so requests.

We view the issue of the Soviet Union's withdrawal from the Security Council on 27 June and the events which unfolded afterwards somewhat differently from Comrade Gottwald.

We left the Security Council for four reasons: first, to demonstrate solidarity of the Soviet Union with the new China.

Second, to underscore the foolishness and idiocy of the United States policy of recognizing the Guomindang puppet in the Security Council as the representative of China and not wanting to admit the genuine representative of China to the Security Council; third, to render decisions of the Security Council illegitimate by virtue of the absence of representatives of two great powers; fourth, to give the American government a free hand and give it an opportunity to commit more foolishness using a majority in the Security Council so that public opinion can see the true face of the American government.

I believe that we have achieved all of these goals.

Following our withdrawal from the Security Council, America became entangled in a military intervention in Korea and is now squandering its military prestige and moral authority. Few honest people can now doubt that America is now acting as an aggressor and tyrant in Korea and that it is not as militarily powerful as it claims to be. In addition, it is clear that the United States of America is presently distracted from Europe in the Far East. Does it not give us an advantage in the global balance of power? It undoubtedly does.

Let us suppose that American government continues to be tied down in the Far East and also pulls China into the struggle for the freedom of Korea and its own independence. What might come of this?

First, America, just like any other country, cannot cope with China, a country with such large armed forces at the ready. It follows that America would overextend itself in this struggle. Second, having overextended itself in this matter, America would be incapable of a third world war in the near future. Therefore, a third world war would be postponed for an indeterminate period, which would provide the time necessary to strengthen socialism in Europe, not to mention that the struggle between America and China would revolutionize the entire Far East. Does all this not give us an advantage from the perspective of the global balance of power? It unquestionably does.

As you can see, the question of whether or not the Soviet Union participates in the Security Council is not as simple as it might appear at first glance.

By virtue of all this, we cannot say that the democratic camp has no need to leave the Security Council. Whether we leave or stay depends on the circumstances. We might leave the Security Council again and come back once again, depending on the international situation.

One might ask why we have now returned to the Security Council. We have returned to continue exposing the aggressive policy of the American government and to prevent it from using the flag of the Security Council as a smokescreen for its aggression. Now that America has become aggressively involved in Korea, it will be very easy to achieve this goal while in the Security Council. I think that this is clear and needs no further explanation.

FILIPPOV [Stalin]

27 August 1950