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29

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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and so-called neutral Powers and by the incessant wars forced
upon it against its will.

If left in peace and allowed free development Soviet Russia
would soon be able to restore her national production, to
regain her economic strength, to provide for her own needs,
and to be helpful to other countries. But in the present
situation in which she has been put by the inplacable policy
of the associated Powers, help in foodstuffs from abroad
would be most welcome to Russia, and the Russian Soviet
Government appreciates most thankfully your humane and
heartfelt response to her sufferings, and considering the
universal respect surrounding your person will be especially
glad to enter communication with you for the realisation
of your scheme of help which you emphasize as being purely
humanitarian.

On this basis of a humanitarian work of help to suffering
people we would be pleased to do everything in our power
to further the realisation of your project.

Unfortunately your benevolent intentions which you indicate
yourself as being based upon purely humanitarian grounds
and which according to your letter must be realised by a
commission of fully non-political character, have been mixed
up by others with political purposes. In the letter addressed
to you by the four Powers your scheme is represented as
involving cessation of hostilities and of transfer of troops
and war materials and we regret very much that your original
intentions have thus been fundamentally disfigured by the
Governments of the associated Powers.

We need not explain to you that military operations which
obviously have in view to change the external or internal
condition of the involved countries belong wholly to the
theme [? sphere] of politics and that likewise cessation of
hostilities which are preventing the belligerent, who has
every reason to expect successes, from obtaining them, is
also a purely political act. Thus your sincerely charitable
intention has been misused by others in order to cover such
purposes, which are obviously political, with the semblance
of an action originally humanitarian only.

Being ready to lend every assistance to your scheme so far
as it bears the character you have ascribed to it in your
letter, we at the same time do not wish to be the object of
foul play, and knowing that you in the same [way] as

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