Moscow Conferences

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Moscow Conferences,

meetings held between 1941 and 1947 at Moscow, USSR. At a conference in Sept.–Oct., 1941, American and British representatives laid the basis for lend-leaselend-lease,
arrangement for the transfer of war supplies, including food, machinery, and services, to nations whose defense was considered vital to the defense of the United States in World War II. The Lend-Lease Act, passed (1941) by the U.S.
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 aid to the USSR in World War II. In Aug., 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and W. Averell Harriman, representing U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, met with Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin to discuss the opening of a second front in Europe. The third conference (Oct., 1943), attended by the American, British, and Russian foreign ministers, resulted in the pledge to establish a United Nations organization for the maintenance of peace. At the fourth Moscow Conference (Oct., 1944) Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin discussed the political difficulties of Poland and agreed on armistice terms for Bulgaria and a joint policy with respect to Yugoslavia. For the foreign ministers' conferences held at Moscow in 1945 and 1947, see Foreign Ministers, Council ofForeign Ministers, Council of,
organization of the foreign ministers of the World War II Allies—the United States, Great Britain, France, and the USSR—that, in a long series of meetings, attempted to reach political settlements after the war.
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Moscow Conferences


(1941, 1943, and 1945). The Moscow conferences on certain problems of the conduct of World War II and the postwar peace settlement were attended by representatives of the USSR, the USA, and Great Britain.

Moscow Conference of 1941. The Moscow Conference of 1941 was held from September 29 to October 1. The heads of the delegations were V. M. Molotov (USSR), W. A. Harriman (USA), and Lord Beaverbrook (Great Britain). Under a protocol on reciprocal deliveries for the period from Oct. 1, 1941, to June 30, 1942, the USA and Great Britain were obliged to make monthly deliveries to the USSR of 400 airplanes, 500 tanks, antiaircraft and antitank guns, motor vehicles, and aluminum and other metals. In return the USSR, despite tremendous difficulties, promised to deliver to the British and the Americans large quantities of raw materials needed for war production.

Moscow Conference of 1943. Held on October 19–30, the Moscow Conference of 1943 was attended by delegations headed by the foreign ministers of the participating countries—V. M. Molotov (USSR), C. Hull (USA), and A. Eden (Great Britain). The conference considered measures that should be adopted to shorten the war. During the discussions the representatives of the USA and Great Britain avoided making any definite pledges to open a second front.

A number of major documents were issued by the conference. The Four Power Declaration on General Security, which was signed by the representative of China, proclaimed the resolve of its signatories to wage the war until the enemy made an unconditional surrender, and after the war, to continue joint actions to maintain world peace. The parties to the declaration promised to establish as soon as possible an international organization to maintain peace and security. In addition, they promised to cooperate in arms control and to use their armed forces on the territory of other states only after joint consultation and only for the aims stipulated in the declaration.

The Declaration on Italy called for joint action by the allies to eradicate fascism in Italy and establish a democratic regime. The Advisory Council for Italy was established to help achieve these goals.

The Declaration on Austria stated that the “annexation” of Austria by Germany (Mar. 15, 1938) was null and void. At the same time, it pointed out that Austria must bear responsibility for its participation in the war on the side of Hitlerite Germany. However, in the final settlement Austria’s contribution to its liberation would be taken into consideration.

The conference also published the Declaration on the Responsibility of the Hitlerites for Atrocities Committed by Them (the Declaration on Atrocities), which was signed by J. V. Stalin, F. D. Roosevelt, and W. Churchill. This document later became the legal basis for the judicial punishment of war criminals.

Problems of the postwar settlement, including the German problem, were discussed at the Moscow Conference of 1943. The Soviet delegation refrained from presenting its views on the Anglo-American proposal for the partition of Germany, agreeing that this question was still under study. However, the Soviet delegation rejected the British draft of the Basic Scheme for the Administration of Liberated France, which essentially provided for the occupation of France by Anglo-American troops. The Soviet government also rejected the Anglo-American proposal for the restoration of diplomatic relations with the Polish émigré government in London, which was hostile to the USSR. The conference adopted a resolution regarding the establishment of the European Advisory Commission for the consideration of pressing European problems arising from the liberation of Europe.

Moscow Conference of 1945. Held on December 16–26, the Moscow Conference of 1945 was attended by delegations headed by their nations’ foreign ministers—V. M. Molotov (USSR), J. F. Byrnes (USA), and E. Bevin (Great Britain). The participants coordinated procedures for preparing and concluding peace treaties with Italy, Rumania, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Finland and reached an agreement on the creation of a Far Eastern Commission and an Allied Council for Japan.

A resolution approved by the conference provided for the establishment of the Provisional Korean Democratic Government. The participants agreed on the organization of a joint commission made up of representatives of the Soviet and American commands to assist in the formation of a Korean government and to draw up (with the participation of Korean officials) measures that would promote the development of democratic self-government and the establishment of an independent Korean state. Under the resolution issued by the conference, the joint commission was obliged to consult Korean democratic parties and public organizations in drawing up its proposals.

The participants in the Moscow Conference of 1945 reached an accord on the need for the unification and democratization of China and for the cessation of the civil war there. A resolution was adopted concerning the desirability of the withdrawal of Soviet and American armed forces from China as soon as possible. In addition, the representatives of the three powers reaffirmed their “adherence to the policy of noninterference in the internal affairs” of China.

The Moscow Conference of 1945 set forth the conditions for the recognition by Great Britain and the USA of the governments of Rumania and Bulgaria, with which the Soviet government had already established diplomatic relations. The foreign ministers of the states represented at the conference agreed to submit recommendations for instituting a commission for the control of atomic energy to the UN General Assembly.

The Moscow conferences contributed to the strengthening of the anti-Hitlerite coalition and to the settlement of several postwar problems. However, as a result of the policy of the Western powers, which was manifested after the defeat of Hitlerite Germany in the unleashing of the Cold War against the Soviet Union, several important decisions adopted by the conferences were not implemented.


Vneshniaia politika Sovetskogo Soiuza v period Otechestvennoi voiny, vols. 1–3. Moscow, 1944–47.


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