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Digital Archive International History Declassified

May 27, 1946

SOVIET RECORD OF CONVERSATION OF GEN. I.V. STALIN WITH MARSHAL TITO, 27-28 MAY 1946

This document was made possible with support from the Leon Levy Foundation

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    Stalin and Tito discuss the economic situation of Yugoslavia and a plan for the Soviet Union providing assistance for further industrial and military development. Yugoslav foreign relations are also discussed.
    "Soviet Record of Conversation of Gen. I.V. Stalin with Marshal Tito, 27-28 May 1946," May 27, 1946, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Archive of the President, Russian Federation (APRF), f. 45, op. 1, d. 397, ll. 107-110. Published in Istoricheskii arkhiv, No. 2, 1993. Translated by Daniel Rozas https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/117097
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Record of Conversation of

Generalissimus I.V. Stalin with Marshal Tito

27 May 1946 at 23:00 hours[1]

Secret

Present:

from the USSR side - [USSR Foreign Minister] V.M. Molotov, USSR Ambassador to Yugoslavia A.I. Lavrent'ev;

from the Yugoslav side - Minister of Internal Affairs, A. Rankovich; Head of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General K. Popovich; Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Serbia, Neshkovich; Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Slovenia, Kidrich; Yugoslav Ambassador to USSR, V. Popovich.[2]

At the start of the meeting com. Stalin asked Tito whether, in the instance of Trieste being granted the status of a free city, this would involve just the city itself or the city suburbs, [3] and which status would be better - along the lines of Memel [Klaipeda, Lithuania] or those of Danzig [Gdansk, Poland].[4] Tito replied that the suburbs of the city are inhabited by Slovenians. Only the city itself would be acceptable. Though he would like to continue to argue for including Trieste in Yugoslavia. Further, Tito, in the name of the Yugoslav government, expressed gratitude to com. Molotov for the support that the Soviet delegation showed in the discussion of the question of the Italian-Yugoslav border at the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in Paris.[5]

Com. Molotov gave a report on the differences in status between Memel and Danzig, pointing out that the status along the lines of Memel is more acceptable.

Com. Stalin asked Tito about the industrial and agricultural situation in Yugoslavia.

Tito replied that all land had been sown the intermediate crop was awaited, and that industry was working well.

After which, com. Stalin invited Tito to present the group of questions which the Yugoslav delegation wished to discuss this evening.

Tito put forth the following questions: economic cooperation between USSR and Yugoslavia, military cooperation,[6] and Yugoslav-Albanian relations.

Regarding the question of economic cooperation, Tito said that Yugoslavia did not want to turn to the United States for credit. If America were to agree to provide loans, then this would be tied to demands for political concessions from Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia does not have the means for further industrial development. The Yugoslav government would like to receive assistance from the Soviet Union, in particular, through the establishment of mixed Soviet-Yugoslav associations. Yugoslavia has a fair amount of mineral and ore deposits, but it is in no position to organize production, since it does not possess the necessary machinery. In particular, Yugoslavia has oil deposits, but no drilling machines.

Com. Stalin said: "We will help."

Regarding com. Stalin's questions, whether Yugoslavia was producing aluminum, copper and lead, Tito answered in the affirmative, noting that Yugoslavia had many bauxite and ore deposits for the production of these metals.

Com. Stalin noted that the Ministry of Foreign Trade had informed Yugoslavia of its readiness to participate in talks regarding the establishment of mixed associations, but no final answer had been received from Yugoslavia. As a result, the impression was created that Yugoslavia was not interested in forming such associations.[7]

Tito objected, stating that on the contrary, he had spoken several times with ambassador Sadchikov[8] about the Yugoslav government's desire to create mixed Soviet-Yugoslav associations.

Regarding com. Stalin's note whether it will not be necessary to allow other powers into the Yugoslav economy following the formation of mixed Soviet-Yugoslav associations, Tito answered that the Yugoslav government had no intention of allowing the capital of other powers into its economy.

Subsequently, com. Stalin summarized, saying that in this way the Soviet-Yugoslav economic cooperation was being conceptualized on the basis of forming mixed associations.

Tito affirmed this, stating that he was intent on presenting the following day his proposals, in written form, on this subject.[9]

With respect to the question of military cooperation, Tito said that the Yugoslav government would like to receive shipments from the Soviet Union to supply the military needs of Yugoslavia, not in the form of mutual trade receipts, but in the form of loans. Yugoslavia has a small military industry which could produce grenade launchers and mines. In a number of places there were cadres. But there were no corresponding arms, since the Germans carried them away. The Yugoslav government would like to receive some machinery from Germany as reparations for the reconstruction of certain military factories. But Yugoslavia cannot by itself provide for all of its military needs, and in this regard, the Yugoslav government is hoping for assistance from the Soviet Union.

Com. Stalin said that Yugoslavia ought to have certain military factories, for example, aviation [factories], for Yugoslavia may produce aluminum given the presence of rich bauxite deposits. In addition, it was necessary to have artillery munitions factories.

Tito noted that [artillery] gun barrels may be cast in the Soviet Union and then further assembly may be done in Yugoslavia.

Touching upon the question of Yugoslavia's water borders, com. Stalin said that, for the purpose of safeguarding them, it was important to have a good naval fleet. You need to have torpedo boats, patrol boats, and armored boats. Although the Soviet Union is weak in this regard, we will nevertheless, in the words of com. Stalin, help you.[10] Regarding Albania, com. Stalin pointed out that the internal political situation in Albania was unclear. There were reports that something was happening there between the Communist Party Politburo and Enver Hoxha. There had been a report that Kochi Dzodzej[11] wants to come to Moscow in order to discuss certain questions prior to the party congress.[12] Enver Hoxha has also expressed desire to come to Moscow together with Dzodzej.

Com. Stalin asked Tito whether he knows anything about the situation in the Communist Party of Albania.

Tito, appearing unacquainted with these questions, replied that Hoxha's visit to Belgrade was being proposed for the near future. That is why he, Tito, believes that the reply to the Albanians should note that Dzodzej's and Hoxha's proposed visit to Moscow will be examined following Hoxha's visit to Belgrade.

Com. Molotov noted that we were trying to hold back the Albanians' efforts to come to Moscow, but the Albanians were determined in this.

Com. Stalin noted that the Albanians' visit to Moscow might bring an unfavorable reaction from England and America, and this would further exacerbate the foreign policy situation of Albania.

Further, com. Stalin asked Tito whether Enver Hoxha agreed with including Albania in the Federation of Yugoslavia.

Tito replied in the affirmative.

Com. Stalin said that, at the present time it would be difficult for Yugoslavia to resolve two such questions as the inclusion of Albania into Yugoslavia and the question of Trieste.

Tito agreed with this.

As a result, continued com. Stalin, it would be wise to first examine the question of friendship and mutual assistance between Albania and Yugoslavia.

Tito said that, above all, this treaty must provide for the defense of the territorial integrity and national independence of Albania.

Com. Stalin said that it is important to find a formula for this treaty and to bring Albania and Yugoslavia closer together.[13]

Com. Stalin touched on the question of including Bulgaria in the Federation.

Tito said that nothing would come of the Federation.

Com. Stalin retorted: "This must be done."

Tito declared that nothing would come of the federation, because the matter involved two different regimes. In addition, Bulgaria is strongly influenced by other parties, while in Yugoslavia the entire government, [though] with the presence of other parties, is essentially in the hands of the Communist Party.

Com. Stalin noted that one need not fear this. During the initial stages things could be limited to a pact of friendship and mutual assistance, though indeed, more needs to be done.

Tito agreed with this.

Com. Molotov noted that at the present time difficulties may arise from the fact that a peace treaty had not yet been signed with Bulgaria. Bulgaria was perceived as a former enemy.[14]

Com. Stalin pointed out that this should not be of significant importance.[15] For example, the Soviet Union signed a treaty of friendship with Poland before Poland was even recognized by other countries.[16]

Further, com. Stalin summarized the meeting, saying that what the Yugoslav government is looking for in economic questions and in military matters can be arranged. A commission must be established to examine these questions.

Tito informed com. Stalin of Yugoslavia's relations with Hungary, notifying of Rakosi's[17] visit to Belgrade. Tito declared that the Yugoslav government had decided not to raise the question of Yugoslavia's territorial demands against Hungary (demands on the Ban'skii triangle ["Baiskii triangle," the region along the Hungarian-Yugoslav border centered on the city of Baia.])[18] in the Council of Ministers.[19] Tito expressed his satisfaction with Yugoslavia's signing of an agreement with Hungary on reparation payments.

Com. Stalin noted that if Hungary wanted peaceful relations with Yugoslavia, then Yugoslavia had to support these endeavors, bearing in mind that Yugoslavia's primary difficulties were in its relations with Greece and Italy.

Recorded by Lavrent'ev

[1] According to the register of persons received by Stalin, the meeting lasted from 23:00 hours, 27 May 1946, to 00:30 hours, 28 May 1946. Note by Yu.G. Murin, Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (APRF), Fond (f.) 45, Opis' (op.) 1, Delo (d.) 416, List (l.) 95 ob.

[2] I. V. Stalin (Djugashvili; 1879 (1878)-1953 - chairman of the USSR Soviet of Ministers, member of the Politburo, secretary (essentially general secretary) of the Central Committee [CC] of the All-Union Communist Party (bolshevik) (TsK VKP(b)); Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980) - chairman of the Council of Ministers of Yugoslavia, general secretary of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (CPY); V.M.Molotov (Skriabin: 1890-1986) - vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers, USSR Minister of Foreign of Affairs, member of TsK VKP(b) Politburo; A.I. Lavrent'ev (1904-1984); Aleksandr Rankovich (1909-1983) - Politburo member, secretary of CC CPY, in charge of organizational and cadre affairs; Kocha Popovic (b.1908); Blagoe Neshkovich (b. 1907), also CC secretary of the C[ommunist] P[arty] of Serbia; Boris Kidrich (1912-1953), at the 7 May 1946 meeting of the CC CPY Politburo was appointed to the post of Chairman of the Economic Council and Minister of Industry and Trade (AJ-CK SKJ.III 19) in place of Hebrang (see introduction), the official appointment took place in June after returning from Moscow; Vladimir Popovic (1914-1972).

Only the more important Yugoslav activists who had arrived in Moscow were present at the meeting with Stalin. In addition to those noted above, the delegation accompanying Tito in his visit to USSR included the assistant Chief of the General Staff Rade Khamovich, Chief of Staff of the Air Force Zdenko Ulepich, directors of the departments of the Navy and of Military Industry in the Ministry of People's Defense of Yugoslavia, Srechko Manola and Miyalko Todorovich, commander of the People's Defense Corps of Yugoslavia (state security force) Jovo Vukotich, member of the Union Planning Commission Zvonko Morich, author Radovan Zogovic, in charge of cultural policy affairs and CC CPY agit[ation]-prop[aganda]. See Archive of Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation (AVP RF), f. 144, op. 6, p. 8, d. 2, ll. 169-170; Arhiv Josipa Broza Tita (Josip Broz Tito Archives, Belgrade), F. Kabinet Marsala Jugoslavije [hereafter AJBT-KMJ], I-1/7, L.1.)

[3] The majority of the Trieste population was Italian, while the adjoining region [oblast'] was settled primarily by Slovenians and Croatians. Yugoslavia, with the USSR's support, claimed this entire territory, which had been included as a part of Italy following World War I. The Yugoslav proposal was to grant Trieste the status of a separate federal unit, within the parameters of the Federated Yugoslav state, while granting the port of Trieste the jurisdiction of a free port. The Western powers came out against transferring Trieste and its adjoining regions to Yugoslavia. Western diplomats were discussing possible compromises by granting Trieste and its adjoining regions the special status of a "free city." Later, by the end of June 1946, such a proposal was made by France.

[4] Under the Versailles treaty of 1919, Danzig (Gdansk) and an adjoining region, up until that time under claim by Poland from Germany, were given a special status under the protection of the League of Nations. Danzig had the status of a demilitarized free city with its own laws and government organs, while control of its foreign relations and its water and rail transport lines was held by Poland, to whose customs system it also belonged. Memel (Klaipeda) and its adjoining region, until 1919 having also belonged to Germany but now claimed by the new Lithuanian state, was at first put under the control of the Entente, and then transferred to Lithuanian authority under the conditions of the special convention of 1924. It stipulated significant autonomy for Memel in its internal affairs, laws and executive organs, but which nevertheless had to operate under the parameters of the Lithuanian constitution.

[5] The Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the USSR, USA, Great Britain, France and China was created by the decision of the Potsdam conference in preparation for a peace treaty with Germany and its former European allies. At the CFM meeting in Paris during 25 April - 16 May 1946, where, among other things, the peace treaty with Italy was being drafted for later examination by the Paris peace conference, a central point of discussion became the establishment of a new Italian-Yugoslav border, in connection with the problem of Trieste and its adjoining territory. The Soviet delegation under Molotov's leadership actively supported Yugoslav territorial claims.

[6] During the meeting with Lavrent'ev on 18 April 1946, Tito announced his intention to visit Moscow to discuss economic cooperation, and also noted that such cooperation "must also include the sphere of military industry." (See AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 15, l. 31.) Yugoslavia, having received from the USSR during 1944-46 large-scale shipments of weapons, ammunition, military equipment, and military machinery (including equipment for 32 infantry divisions, several aviation divisions, tank and artillery brigades), had made similar requests previously. Since the summer of 1945, Yugoslavia had been sending requests to the Soviet government for captured factories, workshops, and materials for the production of ammunition, mainly from Soviet occupation zones in Germany and Austria. The Soviet side tried to fulfill these incoming requests in part. (Ibid., d. 10, ll. 18-19; ibid., f. 144, op. 5, p. 5, d. 2, ll. 44, 46, 49-50; ibid., op. 7, p. 12, d. 1, l. 43.) However, Tito, who had proposed even in January 1946 to send a military delegation to Moscow for the purpose of agreeing on a general plan for the training and equipping of a 350-400,000 men-strong Yugoslav army, tried to get the USSR to render broader assistance in the construction of the Yugoslav military industry, possibly through mixed Soviet-Yugoslav enterprises. (Ibid., f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 10, ll. 19-20.) On April 9, during an expanded meeting of the CC CPY Politburo, the members of the military delegation which was to go to USSR for negotiations were mentioned: K. Popovic, Z. Ulepic, S. Manola, M. Todorovic (Arhiv Jugoslavije (Archives of Yugoslavia, Belgrade), F. SKJ, CK SKJ [hereafter AJ-CK SKJ] III/16), that is, the same people who later accompanied Tito to Moscow.

[7] Stalin was referring to the situation as of mid-April 1946 (see introduction). However, following this, the trade delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Trade Petrovic, which visited Moscow during the first half of May, was assigned the task, in addition to preparing an agreement for mutual shipments of goods, of also holding negotiations to draft agreements on economic cooperation, including the establishment of joint enterprises. Thus, these questions were discussed by the delegation during its negotiations with the Soviet partners prior to Tito's arrival. (See AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 12, l. 5; ibid., d. 15, ll. 38, 90.) On the question of joint enterprises, there were disagreements, which had emerged already during late April, when separate negotiations commenced in Belgrade on the first of these, an aviation enterprise: the Yugoslav delegates considered the Soviet version of the agreement on this enterprise unacceptable to Yugoslavia. The examination of this question was transferred over to the Moscow talks on the general problems of organizing future enterprises. Both sides expressed mutual dissatisfaction with each other's position with regard to the negotiations on the aviation enterprise. (See ibid., d. 10, ll. 6-7; d. 15, ll. 89-90; Arhiva Saveznog sekretarijata za inostrane poslove SFRJ (Archives of the Federal Secretariat for Foreign Affairs of the SFRY [Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia], Belgrade), Politicka arhiva (hereafter ASSIP-PA), 1948 god. F-I, Pov. 1535; V. Dedijer, Novi prilozi za biografiju Josipa Broza Tita [New Materials for Josip Broz Tito's Biography], T. 3 (Belgrade, 1984), pp. 244-245.)

[8] I.V. Sadchikov (b. 1906), USSR ambassador to Yugoslavia from March 1945 to February 1946. He was replaced by Lavrent'ev.

[9] On the following day Tito proposed that in order to make comments the Yugoslav delegation should take the draft of the agreement put together by the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade. (See AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 15, l. 119.) As a result, on 8 June 1946, concurrently with the inter-government agreement on mutual shipment of goods for 1946 (Historical-Foreign Economic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Economic Ties of the Russian Federation, f. Treaty-Legal Department, op. 11876, d. 55, ll. 14-16), Mikoian and Petrovic signed an agreement on economic cooperation. This agreement provided for the creation of eight Soviet-Yugoslav joint-stock enterprises in Yugoslavia: extraction and refinement of crude oil, extraction of bauxite and production of aluminum, extraction and production of lead, exploration and extraction of coal, ferrous metal production, civilian aviation, the Danube shipping company, and the Soviet-Yugoslav bank. It also provided for further examination of the proposed lumber and paper-cellulose enterprise. The agreement contained the overall equal-term scheme for enterprise organization, while the actual establishment of each of these was to be formulated by separate concrete agreements. (See ibid., ll. 17-19.) In addition to the establishment of enterprises, the agreement provided for Soviet technical assistance to Yugoslavia in areas of electrical, food, textile, chemical, and metal forging industries, as well as the production of building materials and in agriculture (ibid., l. 17). Like other documents signed during this visit, the agreement on economic cooperation was not published. The joint communique issued in connection with the visit stated only that "decisions were made concerning close economic cooperation between both friendly countries." Pravda, 12 June 1946.

But the carrying out of the agreement met with difficulties. By February 1947, an agreement had been reached only with regard to the establishment of two enterprises: civilian aviation and the Danube shipping company. As for the others, the main stumbling block was tied to the production of Yugoslav mineral resources: Yugoslavia insisted that the value of mineral deposits be counted as part of their share of the investment, while the Soviet side maintained that the overall value of mineral deposits could not be counted as investment. (See AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 16, ll. 75, 109-110.) This was discussed by the CC CPY Politburo in late September 1946, where frustration with the Soviet position was voiced, with some members, as Lavrent'ev later found out, going so far as to compare this to the "capitalist countries'" mining of Yugoslav mineral resources before the war. (See AJ-CK SJK. III/21; AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 16. ll. 75-76.) And when in early 1947 the Yugoslav government sought decisive action from Molotov and even Stalin himself for the swift establishment of the planned enterprises on the basis of Yugoslav proposals, Stalin, during a 19 April 1947 meeting with Kardelj, announced that there must be no further establishment of enterprises and proposed instead to assist Yugoslav industrialization through Soviet shipments of complex machinery and materials, access to blueprints and technical documentation, and the dispatch of specialists on terms of credit. (See ASSIP-PA, 1947 god, F-IV, Str. Pov. 125, 1234, 1238; AJBT-KMJ, I-3-6/639, ll. 2-3; ibid., I-3-6/646, ll. 9-11.) Yugoslavia agreed, and the corresponding agreement was signed in Moscow on 25 July 1947.

[10] The outcome of the visit was announced in a joint communique: "The government of USSR agreed to equip the Yugoslav Army with weapons, ammunition, etc. on conditions of long-term credit, as well as to assist in the reestablishment of the Yugoslavian military industry." (Pravda, 12 June 1946.) However, no concrete agreement had been signed at this point. It was to be worked out in special negotiations. Even during Tito's visit, the Yugoslav General Staff forwarded requests, on the basis of which the Soviet General Staff determined the type and quantity of materiel to be shipped to Yugoslavia, and a portion of the shipments began to arrive even before the forthcoming agreement. (See AVP RF, f. 144, op. 6, p. 8, d. 3, ll. 132-134; ibid., op. 7, p. 12, d. 1, l. 23.; ASSIP-PA, 1945/1946 god., F-IV, Str. Pov. 968; ibid., 1947 god., F-IV, Str. Pov. 1881.)

[11] Enver Hoxha (1908-1985) - first secretary of the CC CPA [Com. Party of Albania], chairman of the Council of Ministers of Albania. Kochi Dzodzej - organizational secretary of CC CPA, vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers and Minister of Internal Affairs, the number-two man in the Albanian government at the time. In 1948 he lost in the power struggle against Hoxha, was stripped of all posts, arrested, and executed in 1949.

[12] In February 1946 the CC CPA Plenum resolved to call the First CPA Congress on 25 May 1946. However, the Congress was not called until November 1948.

[13] The memorandum "On Yugoslav-Albanian Relations," put together by the director of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Balkan sector, A.A. Lavrishchev, in preparation for Tito's visit to Moscow, labelled the completion of the Yugoslav-Albanian Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance "useful and important," and contained only the recommendation to avoid mentioning Italy in the treaty, adopting instead the wording from the Yugoslav-Polish treaty signed in March 1946, which could be used against Italy if it tried to "renew aggression." (The Yugoslav-Polish Treaty provided for mutual military and other assistance using all available means, if one of the countries "is drawn, as a result of invasion, into military operations against either Germany, a country which had been allied with Germany during the last war, or any other country which had directly or by any other means allied with Germany or its allies in such an aggression.") As for the "discussion of incorporating Albania into the Yugoslav Federation," the memorandum recommended to put this off, "in order not to exacerbate the international positions of Yugoslavia and Albania." It further specified that it be put off until peace treaties were signed with Italy and Austria, and Albania was included into the UN. "By the same reasoning" it advised to refrain from signing a secret military agreement between Yugoslavia and Albania, and to "simplify the border situation without signing a special agreement, so as not to attract British and American attention to this matter." (See AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 10, l. 3.)

In his meeting with Tito, Stalin stayed close to this strategy. However, it is unclear whether his arguments to put off federation for the time being were an actual expression of the Soviet policy or simply a tactical ploy, intended to shield the real Soviet efforts to prevent Albania's unification with Yugoslavia altogether, which later became one of the reasons for the 1948 conflict. As a result of the 1946 Moscow talks, the question of direct Albanian unification with Yugoslavia was for the time being removed from the agenda. In addition, the Soviet side, having given Tito the "okay" for the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance and the Agreement on Close Economic Cooperation with Albania, informed the Albanian government that it had come out in favor of these agreements and of further "Albanian orientation toward closer relations with Yugoslavia." This had an influence on the Albanian position and in particular on Hoxha, who arrived in Belgrade in late June 1946, where he consulted with Lavrent'ev before signing the corresponding Yugoslav-Albanian documents in early July. (Ibid., d. 15, ll. 167-168; ibid., d. 16, l. 1.)

[14] Already since late 1944, the leadership of the communist parties of Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, having come to power, began talks on uniting both countries into a federation. The talks were sanctioned, if not even initiated, by Stalin himself, who at the time was in favor of expediting the creation of such a body. Apparently, he had intended this as a means to significantly strengthen the "people's democracy" in Bulgaria: first, with the help of the more stable communist regime in Yugoslavia, and second, reckoning that by uniting with Yugoslavia-a member of the anti-Hitler coalition-Bulgaria would successfully shed its status as a vanquished nation and consequently escape U.S. and British prerogatives stemming from their participation in the establishment of allied control. In early 1945, however, the Western allies, exercising these prerogatives, vetoed the establishment of the Yugoslav-Bulgarian federation. And when Stalin in turn decided to have Yugoslavia and Bulgaria for now sign only a Treaty of Alliance and Mutual Assistance, the veto was extended to this as well. The matter had to be put off to follow the signing of a peace treaty with Bulgaria. See L. Ya. Gibianskii, "U nachala konflikta: balkanskii uzel" ["The Beginning of Conflict: the Balkan Knot"], Rabochii klass i sovremennyi mir 2 (1990), pp. 172-173.

In early 1946, although the peace treaty was still far off, the Bulgarian side began to pose the question to the Soviet and Yugoslav governments of resuming the Bulgarian-Yugoslav talks on federating, broken off a year ago. This was done mainly in January 1946, during the Moscow visit of the Bulgarian prime-minister and the ministers of foreign and internal affairs. In his reply Molotov pointed out the importance of holding off on federation and the Treaty of Alliance until a more opportune moment. (ASSIP-PA, 1945/1946 god., F-1, Str. Pov. 433, 434.) Nevertheless, in April the Bulgarian envoy in Belgrade posed the same question to Tito and Lavrent'ev. Tito, like Molotov, told the Bulgarian envoy that such steps, if taken prior to signing a peace treaty with Bulgaria, would cause harm. Nevertheless, in relating this to Lavrent'ev, the Yugoslav leader stated "in a significantly decided tone that he cannot currently support the idea of establishing a federation with Bulgaria," as the latter continued to remain a formal monarchy, and in particular because the communist party influence in Bulgaria was "incomparably weaker" than in Yugoslavia. However, certain that Bulgaria would once again raise this question, Tito asked the Soviet ambassador to ascertain Moscow's position on signing the Yugoslav-Bulgarian Treaty of Friendship. (See AVP RF, f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 15, ll. 39-41, 47-48.) And in the discussion with Lavrent'ev a week before his visit to the USSR, speaking on the agenda for the Moscow talks, he pointed out the importance of examining Yugoslav relations not only with Albania, but with Bulgaria as well. (Ibid., l. 100.)

The Yugoslav position coincided with the Soviets', as reflected in the MFA USSR report by Lavrishchev, "On Relations between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria." The report was completed on 27 May 1946, the day of Tito's arrival in Moscow and his reception by Stalin. Its accompanying suggestions for talks with the Yugoslav leader stated that although "the establishment of the Yugoslav-Bulgarian federation would correspond to the interests of both countries," it would be a mistake to undertake its creation, as well as to conclude the Treaty of Friendship and Mutual Assistance between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, prior to signing a peace treaty with Bulgaria and resolving "difficult internal-political questions" within both countries. (Ibid., d. 10, ll. 13-17.)

[15] It is unclear why, contrary to the previous Soviet position expressed in Lavrishchev's report and in Molotov's statements during the meeting, Stalin suddenly announced that the Bulgarian-Yugoslav treaty could be concluded prior to signing the peace treaty with Bulgaria. However, at the meeting with Stalin a few days later, which, along with Tito and accompanying Yugoslav officials, also included the Bulgarian leaders Georgii Dimitrov, Vasil Kolarov and Traicho Kostov, it was decided that the Bulgarian-Yugoslav treaty would be signed after concluding the peace treaty with Bulgaria. In addition, it was provided that the matter would involve the closest cooperation between Yugoslavia and Bulgaria. See N. Ganchovskii, Dnite na Dimitrov kakvito gi vidyakh i zapisyakh (Sofia: 1975), vol. 1, p. 220.)

[16] The reference is to the regime that appeared in Poland in July 1944 with the arrival of Soviet forces, and which was established by the Soviet Union and Polish communists relying on its military presence. On 21 April 1945, when the treaty between USSR and this regime was concluded, the Western allies continued to recognize the Polish government in exile.

[17] Matyas Rakosi (1892-1971) - General Secretary of the Hungarian Communist Party, deputy prime-minister.

[18] The question of Yugoslav territorial claims on Hungary was raised by the Yugoslav representatives to the Soviet government already towards the end of the war. In particular, Hebrang, assigned by Tito to visit Moscow in January 1945 (see introduction), put forth to Stalin claims to the region of the city of Pecs and the "Bais triangle." Stalin at the time replied that such a question could be put before the allied powers only in the event that the Yugoslav population in these regions started to "clamor" for unification with Yugoslavia. The question of possibly posing Yugoslav territorial demands to Hungary and relocating Hungarians from Yugoslavia was discussed in April-May 1946 by Yugoslav and Soviet representatives of various ranks. In late April 1946, Tito also discussed the matter with Rakosi, who had come to Belgrade. The Yugoslav leader expressed readiness not to put the territorial demands on Hungary before the Council of Foreign Ministers and the Paris Peace Conference, but with the condition that the Yugoslav minorities in Hungary be granted ethnic rights and Yugoslav economic interests be ensured in border regions. Rakosi agreed. (See AVP RF, f. 06, op. 7, p.53, d. 872, l. 16; ibid., f. 0144, op. 30, p. 118, d. 12, l. 6; ibid., d. 13, ll. 19, 22-23; ibid., d. 15, ll. 39, 64-65.)

[19] Reference is to the Council of Foreign Ministers (see note #5).