Soviet Peace Offensives

August 3, 1951

Report Outline
Conciliatory Moves in Soviet Foreign Policy
Peace Congresses and Stockholm Petition
Peace Offensives and Soviet Objectives

Conciliatory Moves in Soviet Foreign Policy

Signs of Current Shift to Conciliatory Attitude

Signs of a shift in Soviet policy toward the West have multiplied in recent weeks. Although today's indications of a more conciliatory attitude may be disproved by tomorrow's events, it now looks as if the Kremlin were currently intent on reducing the tension in international relations. If such a change of policy actually has taken place, the free world naturally will welcome it. But past experience warns that Soviet peace offensives are designed to serve Soviet ends, and that changes in Communist tactics do not denote changes in long-range Communist objectives.

Major evidence of a tactical shift appeared at the end of June when Moscow made known that it was ready to call it quits in Korea. The broadcast by Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Malik, which contained the go-ahead signal for cease-fire negotiations, contained also certain other statements that escaped general notice at the time. When Malik sailed from New York, July 6, on leave from his duties as chief Soviet delegate to the United Nations, he complained that “censors” had deleted from his radio address of June 23 what he called its two most important passages. He identified those as a statement that “The Soviet Union bases its policy on the possibility of the peaceful coexistence of the two systems, socialism and capitalism,” and the further statement that the Soviet government's program “includes the cooperation of the great powers.” Malik's action in directing attention to those statements, after an interval of two weeks, was indicative of the importance which Moscow attached to them.

That view was confirmed by the publication in Moscow in mid-July of the first issue of a fortnightly Soviet periodical called News, which emphatically rejected the theory of the inevitability of war, reaffirmed the possibility of peaceful coexistence, and insisted that coexistence could be developed into broad economic and cultural cooperation. Alexander Troyanovsky, first Soviet ambassador to the United States, lauded “American efficiency, creative energy, and democratic spirit”; another contributor wrote that he could “conceive no rational excuse for the highly strained relations which have arisen between the two great Anglo-Saxon powers and the Soviet Union.”

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