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39

(1923) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen - Tema: Russia
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would have been the better off in consequence.
As it is, Russia’s economic condition has been
radically made worse by the famine, her agriculture
has been subjected to a great set-back over large
areas, and those the most fertile, and it will be
a great work to restore what has been destroyed,
not to mention all the needless and indescribable
suffering which could have been avoided and the
millions of lives needlessly lost. The hearts of
politicians are often hard and inhuman.

Meanwhile, the course that events thus took also
helped to weaken the faith of the business world
in Russia’s economic capacity.

The unsuccessful conference at Genoa, in the
spring of 1922, the failure to ratify the
commercial treaty with Italy which was signed
by M. Tchitcherin and M. Krassin, and finally
the failure to ratify the agreement arrived at
between M. Krassin and Mr. Leslie Urquhart—all
this made a very unfavourable impression on all
those who had hoped immediately and to a large
extent to be able to resume profitable business
relations with Russia.

As a matter of fact the political interest in
Russia is once more gaining ground. To prevent
the Rapallo Treaty from leading to a more intimate
entente between Germany and the Soviet
Government, the idea of a Franco-Russian rapprochement
has been taken up in certain French circles; and
there has even been talk of a possible resuscitation
of the old Treaty of Alliance.

It is also symptomatic of European opinion at

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