- Project Runeberg -  Diplomatic Reminiscences before and during the World War, 1911-1917 /

(1920) [MARC] Author: Anatolij Nekljudov - Tema: War, Russia
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Full resolution (JPEG) - On this page / på denna sida - XIX. Sweden in 1915

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Sweden and of claiming the supply of certain
commodities. Sweden could never have borne the
cessation of the exportation of her iron ore and of the
products of her forests; that would have spelled ruin
and even famine for the entire population of her central
and northern provinces. Now, the ore found a natural
market in Germany by way of the Baltic, and the wood
could only be shipped westward by this same way, that
is to say with the tacit authorisation of the Germans.

(5) Finally, if the Entente countries were able to
bring pressure to bear on Sweden by the restriction
of imports, Sweden on her side could bring pressure to
bear on those countries through the absolute necessity
for one of the members of the group—Russia—to have
recourse repeatedly to Swedish assistance. Cut off from
her allies since Bulgaria’s entry into the war, having no
outlet open except on the Archangel side—a port which
is ice-bound for more than five months of the year and
only connected to the rest of Russia by one railway
with a very bad service[1]—Russia had an imperative
need to secure transit through Sweden. I was
constantly obliged to entreat the Swedish Government to
grant free passage to such and such merchandise not
coming in the category of actual contraband of war.
And also officers, generals, statesmen and scientists on
missions were perpetually crossing Swedish territory
going from Russia to the West, and vice versâ. Germany
was kept informed by her numerous agents of all this
transport and all these permits; she did not omit to
make them a subject for claims, sometimes even for
threats, and she demanded compensation in the form of
certain supplies and of authorisation for a stay in Sweden
for these same “control” agents.

(6) Russian orders in Sweden became daily more
numerous as the war continued. They comprised
machines of all kinds, ball bearings, steel-plating,
turbines, steel and iron pipes, presses, cables and above all

[1] The Murman coast was only connected with Petrograd towards the
end of 1916 by a railway line with a still more inadequate service.

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