Moscow Peace Treaty

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Moscow Peace Treaty
Finnish areas ceded in 1940.png
Areas ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union
Typebilateral treaty
Signed12 March 1940 (1940-03-12)
Location Moscow, Russian SFSR, USSR
Original
signatories
USSR
Finland
RatifiersUSSR
Finland

The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on 12 March 1940, and the ratifications were exchanged on 21 March. [1] It marked the end of the 105-day Winter War. Finland had to cede border areas to the Soviet Union. The treaty was signed by Vyacheslav Molotov, Andrey Zhdanov and Aleksandr Vasilevsky for Soviet Union, and Risto Ryti, Juho Kusti Paasikivi, Rudolf Walden and Väinö Voionmaa for Finland.

Finland Republic in Northern Europe

Finland, officially the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, and Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, and Russia to the east. Finland is a Nordic country and is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia. The capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Vantaa, Tampere, Oulu and Turku.

Soviet Union 1922–1991 country in Europe and Asia

The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.

Winter War 1939–1940 war between the Soviet Union and Finland

The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union (USSR) and Finland. It began with a Soviet invasion of Finland on 30 November 1939, three months after the outbreak of World War II, and ended three and a half months later with the Moscow Peace Treaty on 13 March 1940. The League of Nations deemed the attack illegal and expelled the Soviet Union from the organisation.

Contents

Background

The Finnish government received the first tentative peace conditions from the Soviet Union (through Stockholm) on 31 January 1940. By this point, the regime had greater claims before the start of the war. The demands were that Finland cede the Karelian Isthmus, including the city of Viipuri, and Finland's shore of Lake Ladoga. The Hanko Peninsula was to be leased to the Soviet Union for 30 years.

Stockholm Capital city in Södermanland and Uppland, Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous urban area in the Nordic countries; 962,154 people live in the municipality, approximately 1.5 million in the urban area, and 2.3 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Just outside the city and along the coast is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the capital of Stockholm County.

Karelian Isthmus isthmus

The Karelian Isthmus is the approximately 45–110 km wide stretch of land, situated between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga in northwestern Russia, to the north of the River Neva. Its northwestern boundary is the relatively narrow area between the Bay of Vyborg and Lake Ladoga. If the Karelian Isthmus is defined as the entire territory of present-day Saint Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast to the north of the Neva, the isthmus' area covers about 15,000 km2.

Lake Ladoga freshwater lake in Russia and largest lake entirely in Europe

Lake Ladoga is a freshwater lake located in the Republic of Karelia and Leningrad Oblast in northwestern Russia, in the vicinity of Saint Petersburg.

Finland rejected these demands and intensified its pleas to Sweden, France and the United Kingdom for military support by regular troops. The reports from the front still held out hope for Finland, anticipating a League of Nations intervention. Positive signals, however inconstant, from France and Britain, and more realistic expectations of troops from Sweden, for which plans and preparations had been made all through the 1930s, were further reasons for Finland not to rush into peace negotiations. (See Winter War § Foreign support for a detailed account.)

League of Nations 20th-century intergovernmental organisation, predecessor to the United Nations

The League of Nations, abbreviated as LN or LoN, was an intergovernmental organisation founded on 10 January 1920 as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. Its primary goals, as stated in its Covenant, included preventing wars through collective security and disarmament and settling international disputes through negotiation and arbitration. Other issues in this and related treaties included labour conditions, just treatment of native inhabitants, human and drug trafficking, the arms trade, global health, prisoners of war, and protection of minorities in Europe. At its greatest extent from 28 September 1934 to 23 February 1935, it had 58 members.

In February 1940, Finland's Commander-in-Chief marshal Mannerheim expressed his pessimism about the military situation, prompting the government to start peace negotiations on 29 February, the same day the Red Army commenced an attack against Viipuri (now Vyborg).

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim Finnish military leader and statesman

Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim was a Finnish military leader and statesman. Mannerheim served as the military leader of the Whites in the Finnish Civil War, Regent of Finland (1918–1919), commander-in-chief of Finland's defence forces during World War II, Marshal of Finland, and the sixth president of Finland (1944–1946).

Vyborg Town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia

Vyborg is a town in, and the administrative center of, Vyborgsky District in Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It lies on the Karelian Isthmus near the head of the Vyborg Bay, 130 km to the northwest of St. Petersburg and 38 km south of Russia's border with Finland, where the Saimaa Canal enters the Gulf of Finland. The population of Vyborg has developed as follows: 79,962 (2010 Census); 79,224 (2002 Census); 80,924 (1989 Census)..

Harsh peace

On 6 March, a Finnish delegation led by Prime Minister Risto Ryti travelled to Moscow. [2] During the negotiations, the Red Army broke through the Finnish defence lines around Tali and were close to surrounding Viipuri.

The Prime Minister of Finland is the leader of the Finnish Government. The prime minister is Finland's head of government and is formally appointed by the President. Finland's first prime minister was Pehr Evind Svinhufvud, who was appointed to the post on 27 November 1917.

Risto Ryti President of Finland

Risto Heikki Ryti was the fifth president of Finland, from 1940 to 1944. Ryti started his career as a politician in the field of economics and as a political background figure during the interwar period. He made a wide range of international contacts in the world of banking and within the framework of the League of Nations. Ryti served as prime minister during the Winter War and the Interim Peace. Later he served as president during the Continuation War. After the war, Ryti was the main defendant in the Finnish War-responsibility trials.

Tali, Helsinki Helsinki Subdivision in Uusimaa, Finland

Tali is a neighbourhood located in Pitäjänmäki district of Western Helsinki, Finland.

The Peace Agreement was signed on the evening of 12 March, Moscow Time, i.e. 1 hour on March 13, Finnish time. The protocol appended to the treaty stipulated that the fighting should be ended at noon, Leningrad time (11:00 Finnish time), [3] and the fighting continued until that time. [4]

Moscow Time zone time

Moscow Time is the time zone for the city of Moscow, Russia, and most of western Russia, including Saint Petersburg. It is the second-westernmost of the eleven time zones of Russia. It has been set to UTC+03:00 permanently on 26 October 2014; before that date it had been set to UTC+04:00 year-round since 27 March 2011.

Eastern European Time time zone

Eastern European Time (EET) is one of the names of UTC+02:00 time zone, 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. The zone uses daylight saving time, so that it uses UTC+03:00 during the summer.

Saint Petersburg Federal city in Northwestern Federal Okrug, Russia

Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million (2015). An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject.

Finnish concessions and territorial losses exceeded those demanded by the Soviets pre-war. Finland was forced to cede nearly all of Finnish Karelia (with Finland's industrial center, including Vyborg/Viipuri, Finland's second largest city, Käkisalmi, Sortavala, and Suojärvi and the whole of Viipuri bay with its islands; in total, nearly 10% of the territory), even though large parts were still held by Finland's army. Military troops and remaining civilians were hastily evacuated to inside the new border. 422,000 Karelians, 12% of Finland's population, lost their homes.

There was also an area that the Russians captured during the war, which remained in Finnish hands according to the Peace Treaty: Petsamo. However, the peace treaty also stipulated that Finland would grant free passage for Soviet civilians through Petsamo to Norway.

Finland also had to cede a part of the Salla area, the Finnish part of the Kalastajansaarento (Rybachi) peninsula in the Barents Sea, and in the Gulf of Finland the islands of Suursaari, Tytärsaari, Lavansaari (now Moshchny Island о. Мощный), Peninsaari (now Maly Island, о. Малый) and Seiskari. Finally, the Hanko Peninsula was leased to the Soviet Union as a naval base for 30 years at an annual rent of 8 million marks.

Contrary to common belief, the Soviet troop transfer rights by railway to the Hanko base were not granted in the peace treaty, but they were demanded first on 9 July, after Sweden had acknowledged railway transit of Wehrmacht troops to occupied Norway.

Additional demands were that any equipment and installation on the ceded territories were to be handed over. Thus Finland had to hand over 75 locomotives, 2,000 railroad cars, a number of cars, trucks and ships. The Enso industrial area, which was clearly on the Finnish side of the border, as it was drawn in the peace treaty, was also soon added to the Finnish losses of territory and equipment.

The new border was not arbitrary from the Soviet viewpoint.

The Finns were shocked by the harsh peace terms. It seemed as if more territory was lost in the peace than in the war, and the loss was in many ways some of the highest valued parts of Finland:

Sympathy from world opinion seemed to have been of little worth. A certain bitter disappointment became a common feature of the Finns' view of other nations, not the least of Swedes, who had offered plenty of sympathy but did not fulfill their obligations of military support for Finland.

The harsh terms imposed on the Finns led them to seek support from the Third Reich. The Winter War and subsequent Moscow Peace Treaty were core factors in leading to what would become the Continuation War. In the end, this might have been a necessary condition for Finland's survival in the World War.

Only a year later, in June 1941, hostilities resumed in the Continuation War.

See also

Related Research Articles

Continuation War 1941–1944 war by Finland and Germany against the Soviet Union

The Continuation War was a conflict fought by Finland and Nazi Germany, as co-belligerents, against the Soviet Union (USSR) from 1941 to 1944, during World War II. In Russian historiography, the war is called the Soviet–Finnish Front of the Great Patriotic War. Germany regarded its operations in the region as part of its overall war efforts on the Eastern Front and provided Finland with critical material support and military assistance.

Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic union republic of the Soviet Union

The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic, also called Soviet Karelia or simply known as Karelia, was a republic of the Soviet Union. It existed from 1940 until it was made part of the Russian SFSR in 1956 as the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. The latter became the Republic of Karelia, a federal subject of Russia, on November 13, 1991.

Karelia (historical province of Finland) historical province of Finland

Karelia is an historical province of Finland which Finland partly ceded to Russia after the Winter War of 1939–40. The Finnish Karelians include the present-day inhabitants of North and South Karelia and the still-surviving evacuees from the ceded territories. Present-day Finnish Karelia has 315,000 inhabitants. The more than 400,000 evacuees from the ceded territories re-settled in various parts of Finland.

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Karelian question

The Karelian question or Karelian issue is a dispute in Finnish politics over whether or not to try to regain control over Finnish Karelia and other territories ceded to the Soviet Union in the Winter War and the Continuation War. Despite the name "Karelian question", the term may refer also to the return of Petsamo, ceded parts of Salla and Kuusamo, and four islands in the Gulf of Finland. Sometimes the phrase "debate on the return of the ceded territories" is used. The Karelian question remains a matter of public debate rather than a political issue.

Svetogorsk Town in Leningrad Oblast, Russia

Svetogorsk is an industrial town in Vyborgsky District of Leningrad Oblast, Russia, located on the Karelian Isthmus, on the Vuoksa River. It is located 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) from the Finnish–Russian border, 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) from the Finnish town of Imatra, and 207 kilometers (129 mi) from St. Petersburg. Population: 15,981 (2010 Census); 15,698 (2002 Census); 15,594 (1989 Census).

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Greater Finland is an irredentist and nationalist idea that emphasized territorial expansion of Finland. The most common conception of Greater Finland was defined by natural borders encompassing the territories inhabited by Finns and Karelians, ranging from the White Sea to Lake Onega and along the Svir River and Neva River—or, more modestly, the Sestra River—to the Gulf of Finland. Some proponents also included the Kola Peninsula, Finnmark, Torne Valley, Ingria, and Estonia.

Interim Peace

The Interim Peace was a short period in the history of Finland during the Second World War. The term is used for the time between the Winter War and the Continuation War, lasting a little over a year, from 13 March 1940 to 24 June 1941. The Moscow Peace Treaty was signed by Finland and the Soviet Union on 12 March 1940 and it ended the 105-day Winter War.

Moscow Armistice peace treaty

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History of Karelia aspect of history

The History of Karelia is about the cultural and geopolitical region of Karelia, in present-day eastern Finland and northwestern Russia in northern Europe. The Karelian people's presence can be dated back to the 7th millennium BC—6th millennium BC.

Vyborgsky District, Leningrad Oblast District in Leningrad Oblast, Russia

Vyborgsky District is an administrative and municipal district (raion), one of the seventeen in Leningrad Oblast, Russia. It is located in the northwest of the oblast on the Karelian Isthmus and borders with Priozersky District in the northeast, Vsevolozhsky District in the east, Kurortny District of the federal city of St. Petersburg in the south, Kymenlaakso and South Karelia regions of Finland in the northwest, and Lakhdenpokhsky District of the Republic of Karelia in the north. From the southwest, the district is limited by the Gulf of Finland. The area of the district is 7,475.472 square kilometers (2,886.296 sq mi). Its administrative center is the town of Vyborg. Population : 120,446 (2010 Census); 113,748 ; 108,571 (1989 Census).

Vyborg–Joensuu railroad

The old Karelian railroad between Viipuri (Viborg) and Joensuu is a railway with 1,524 mm broad gauge, which used to link Joensuu, Sortavala, Hiitola, Antrea and Viipuri (Vyborg). Originally built in 1892-1894 by Finnish State Railways in the Grand Duchy of Finland, in the 1940s most of the railway up to Niirala was ceded by Finland to the Soviet Union in the Moscow Peace Treaty, Moscow Armistice and Paris Peace Treaty as a result of the Winter War and Continuation War. Now the track is located in Leningrad Oblast, Republic of Karelia and North Karelia. The Sortavala – Joensuu link across the border was abolished after the Continuation War, but was since restored and is currently in use for cargo traffic.

Finnish invasion of the Karelian Isthmus

The Finnish reconquest of the Karelian Isthmus (1941) refers to a military campaign carried out by Finland in 1941. It was part of what is commonly referred to as the Continuation War. Early in the war Finnish forces liberated the Karelian Isthmus. It had been ceded to the Soviet Union on March 13, 1940, in the Moscow Peace Treaty, which marked the end of the Winter War. Later, in the summer of 1944, the Soviet Union reconquered the southern part of the isthmus in the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

Viipuri Province province of Finland from 1812 to 1945

The Viipuri Province was a province of Finland from 1812 to 1945.

The timeline of the Winter War is a chronology of events leading up to, culminating in, and resulting from the Winter War. The war began when the Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939 and it ended 13 March 1940.

Battle of Porlampi

The Battle of Porlampi, also known as the Battle of Porlammi, was a military engagement fought between the Finnish Army and Red Army from 30 August to 1 September 1941 on the Karelian Isthmus. The battle was fought near the town of Porlampi during the second month of the Continuation War. The battle was a Finnish victory and effectively ended the reconquest of Karelia.

References

  1. First published in English as Finland – Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Treaty of Peace. Signed at Moscow, 12 March 1940; ratifications exchanged, 21 March 1940. The American Journal of International Law 34 (3), Supplement: Official Documents. (July 1940), pp.127–131.
  2. Jussila, Osmo; Hentilä, Seppo; Nevakivi, Jukka (1999). From Grand Duchy to Modern State: A Political History of Finland since 1809. London: Hurst & Company. p. 187. ISBN   1-85065-421-2.
  3. "Protocol appended to the treaty of peace concluded between Finland and The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on 12 March 1940".
  4. Степаков, Виктор, Евгений Балашов. В «Новых районах»: Из истории освоения карельского перешейка, 1940–1941, 1944–1950. Saint Petersburg: Нордмедиздат, 2001. p. 5