28 DECEMBER 1945, Page 1

Russia's Claim on Turkey

While the Foreign Secretaries were holding " frank and friendly talks " in Moscow, and the United Nations are preparing for their first Assembly, the Soviet Union has opened a Press campaign in which claims are made to a large area of North Eastern Turkey. The Soviet Government has officially asked for the handing over of the Kars and Ardahan districts, but the Soviet Press is now making even larger demands. Even if justice were on the side of the Soviet Union, one cannot admire the methods it uses of making its claims heard. For a campaign of this kind, carried out by a Press which is rigidly controlled, creates suspicions and fears which cannot be removed by normal diplomatic means ; it is the ill will behind the campaigns even more than the territorial issues which is alarming, not only to the Turks More than anything, they are troubled by doubts of the Soviet Government's motives in raising this question now and in such a manner, and their doubts and fears are incrosed because of Russia's recent actions in Persia and her demand for a revision of the Straits Convention. Added together, these diplomatic offensives justify the belief that the Soviet Union is intent on an aggressive policy in the Middle East whose results every Govern- ment in that area must fear ; and all the more because the true reasons for such a policy have never been proclaimed or explained. Such fears are wider-reaching than the countries directly concerned ; for they help also to increase the suspicions of Russian policy which arc increasing both here and in the United States. It is especially the friends of the Soviet Union who deplore her present diplomacy ; convinced of her peace-loving policy, they find it difficult if not impossible to account for actions calculated to increase the uneasiness and uncertainty which are the greatest enemies of peace.