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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Letter from Premier Khrushchev to President Eisenhower, on the question of a summit meeting, June 11, 1958,   pp. 281-290 PDF (4.6 MB)

Page 285

selves: why are the governments of the Western Powers acting in
this way-does this possibly reflect a desire to insult us in some way?
Indeed, the so-called-question of the situation in Eastern Europe
is again raised in the proposals of the Western Powers that have been
transmitted. A new attempt is thus made to return to- a stage
through which we have already passed and to impose discussion of a
matter with regard to which the positions of the parties have long
been exhaustively clarified. The Government of the USA knows
very well that this is no subject for discussion. We have always
repeatedly stated that we regard it inadmissible to raise such a ques-
tion at an international conference. The Soviet Union does not in-
tend to interfere in the internal affairs of other sovereign states and
is of the opinion that no one can claim the right to such interference.
It is not difficult to imagine what an absurd situation the world
would be in if at international conferences we started to bring up prob-
lems concerning the internal systems of states which were somehow
not to the taste of certain people in other countries. Any rapproache-
ment between states is out of the question if we engaged in discus-
sions of the fundamental differences existing between social systems.
Is this the path toward lessening international tension? To insist on
interfering in the affairs of other states, on discussions of their in-
ternal affairs by third countries having no authority whatever to do
so, means starting on a course of gross violation of the UN Charter,
which prohibits such interference; it means mocking the principles
of the United Nations.
The absolutely fictitious nature of the very talk about the so-called
"tension in Eastern Europe," by which they attempt to justify the
demand for including this question in the agenda for the conference,
is also obvious. The Soviet Union has diplomatic relations with all
the countries of Eastern Europe and maintains the most active rela-
tions with them. And I must say that we know of no signs of any kind
of "tension" in this area. If the Government of the USA has any
lack of clarity with regard to the situation in these countries, it also
has ambassadors in almost all of these countries and nothing prevents
it from elucidating matters of interest to it through normal diplomatic
channels. And if we are to speak frankly, anyone who has the slightest
knowledge of the present international situation knows full well that
the tension endangering the cause of peace is to be sought on entirely
different directions.
If the governments of the Western Powers, which know full well
the point of view of the Soviet Union and of the people's democracies
themselves concerning this question, still consider it possible to pro-
pose it again for consideration at the conference, can this be under-
stood as being anything other than proof of an intention to bury in
its very embryo stage the conference with the participation of the
heads of Government?
It is also impossible to give any other appraisal to the desire of
the three Western Powers to impose consideration of the problem
of the unification of Germany at the conference with the participation
of the heads of government. And in this case, as the Soviet Govern-
ment has already repeatedly had occasion to bring to the attention
of the Government of the USA, it is a question of a problem which
does not come within the competence of an international conference.

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