Moscow Conference (1945)

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Moscow Conference
Host country Soviet Union
Date16 December – 26 December 1945
CitiesMoscow, Soviet Union
ParticipantsSoviet Union Vyacheslav Molotov
United Kingdom Ernest Bevin
United States James F. Byrnes
FollowsPotsdam Conference


The Moscow Conference of Foreign Ministers, also known as the Interim Meeting of Foreign Ministers, was the meeting of the foreign ministers of the United States, represented by James F. Byrnes, the United Kingdom, represented by Ernest Bevin, and the Soviet Union, represented by Vyacheslav Molotov. The meeting was held in Moscow from 16 to 26 December 1945 to discuss the problems of occupation, establishing peace, and other Far Eastern issues.

The communiqué, issued after the conference on December 27, 1945, contained a joint declaration that covered a number of issues resulting from the end of World War II.[1] It was signed by the foreign ministers of the three powers and contained the following sections:

  1. Preparation of peace treaties with Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland. (See Paris Peace Treaties, 1947)
  2. Far Eastern Commission and Allied Council for Japan.
  3. Korea: The rival US and Soviet military commands in Korea would set up a Joint Commission to make recommendations of a single free government in Korea. The Commission was treated with great suspicion on both sides from its inception. Most important was the decision that a four-power trusteeship of up to five years would be needed before Korea attained independence.[2]:p.34
  4. China
  5. Romania
  6. Bulgaria
  7. The establishment by the United Nations of a commission for the control of atomic energy

Veteran American diplomat George F. Kennan, who was then serving in the US embassy in Moscow, observed the proceedings first hand, and wrote in his diary on US Secretary of State Byrnes:

The realities behind this agreement, since they concern only such people as Koreans, Rumanians, and Iranians, about whom he knows nothing, do not concern him. He wants an agreement for its political effect at home. The Russians know this. They will see that for this superficial success he pays a heavy price in the things that are real.[3]:pp.287–288

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Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Avalon Project - A Decade of American Foreign Policy 1941-1949 - Interim Meeting of Foreign Ministers, Moscow". avalon.law.yale.edu. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  2. ^ Leckie, Robert (1962). Conflict: The History of the Korean War 1950-1953. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. LCCN 62-10975.
  3. ^ Kennan, George F. (1967). Memoirs, 1925-1950. Boston: Little, Brown.

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