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March 28, 1958

Code Message No. 3794 from Ambassador Pietkiewicz in Helsinki to Ogrodziński and Birecki

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March 28, code message of the ambassador in Helsinki:

the position of the Scandinavian states regarding the Rapacki Plan


Top Secret!


Code message No 3794

from HELSINKI, transmitted March 28, 1958, 12.30 hrs




Our informer reports that at the conference of foreign minister in Stockholm,4[1]6 the position of the individual representatives on the Rapacki Plan was as follows:


The initiative to discuss the Rapacki Plan came from Unden, who believed that the Polish proposals, although unacceptable in their current form, could be the springboard for talks. Norway supported the motion, but asked for additional information and demanded that no reference to the Rapacki Plan be made in the final communiqué, because that could irritate and bring to intervention of Washington and London. Eventually, the Norwegian representatives agreed with Unden’s argument, who, supported by the Finnish minister, pointed out that the conference does not specify any concrete action on the part of the Scandinavian states, but merely expresses the sentiment of European countries, which could have some influence on the US position. In view of such a position of the Scandinavian countries, Finland found itself in a comfortable situation. Minister Hynninen supported the proposals and expressed contentment with their conformity with the ‘policy of neutrality’ and the ‘Paasikivi line’. That is important because recently the USSR frowns on the development in Finland (my dispatch No 57).


As a result of a previous decision of the president and the government, Finland did not take part in the discussion of the issues of the ‘free exchange zone’, although the industrialists and prime minister Van Fieandt tried to achieve this. The biggest opponent of participation was the president, who justified his position by referring to the failure by relevant organs to make a decision, he was in fact expecting possible dissatisfaction on the part of the USSR.


Khrushchev and Bulganin’s visit in Scandinavia was discussed only at the first meeting, whereas the interested ministers concluded that the matter might gain relevance only after clarification of the question of the top-level conference. Unden gave to understand that he would have nothing against inviting the Soviet leaders even now. But taking into consideration the Swedish public opinion, the matter should be postponed.


Traveling to Moscow Hammarskjoeld made a stop-over in Finland. When he spoke with Kekkonen he expressed the view that a top-level meeting should take place by the end of the year.



AMSZ, ZD 6/77. w. 58, t. 801


46 The reference is to a Northern Council conference, with foreign ministers and ministers of trade and economy participating, held in Stockholm on March 18–10: see doc. no 167.

Ambassador Pietkiewicz writes to Ogrodziński and Birecki to inform them about the stance of Scandinavian countries towards the Rapacki Plan. Representatives from Sweden, Norway, and Finland expressed support and were interested in more information or further discussion on the matter.

Document Information


Polskie dokumenty dyplomatyczne 1958 (Warszawa: Polski Instytut Spraw Międzynarodowych, 2011), Document #107, pp.242-243. Translated by Jerzy Giebułtowski.


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