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33

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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must remain purely humanitarian and non-political and we
will welcome every proposal from your side made to us in
the spirit of your letter sent by you to the Council of
Four on April 3rd. To these wholly non-political proposals we
respond most gladly.

We thank you most heartily for your good intentions,
we are ready to give you every possibility of controlling the
realisation of such humanitarian scheme, we will of course
cover all the expenses of this work and the costs of the food
stuffs and can pay, if you desire, by Russian goods. But
seeing that your original plan has been so unfortunately
discontinued [? disfigured] and considering that the most
complex and difficult questions this created must first be
thoroughly elucidated, we suggest that you take the necessary
steps to enable delegates of our Government to meet you
and your collaborators abroad and to discuss these questions,
and we ask you kindly to indicate the time and the place
for this conference between our delegates and the leaders
of your commission and what guarantee can be obtained for
the free passage of our delegates through countries influenced
by the Entente.

        People’s Commissary for Foreign Affairs,

                Tchitcherin.

I at once telegraphed this telegram to Paris,
where it had probably already been picked up
by the wireless-station. I also telegraphed to
Tchitcherin in Moscow that I was prepared to go
to Moscow to negotiate, if that should prove
desirable, but that I must first learn the attitude
of the allied Governments to the Soviet
Government’s reply.

As there was no prospect of inducing the
Supreme Council to drop their condition that
hostilities must cease, the whole project had to
be abandoned for the time being.

In my opinion, however, this was regrettable.
I am convinced that if these negotiations had

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